RadeonSI NIR Backend Now Supports GLSL 4.50
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 17 January 2018 at 09:37 AM EST. 6 Comments
The experimental RadeonSI NIR back-end is taking a final step forward for Mesa 18.0.

Up until today when using the RadeonSI NIR code-path the GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) version was limited to 1.50 due to not having any tessellation shader support, but now it's supported up through 4.50 -- the GLSL version matching OpenGL 4.5.

This bump comes as earlier this month Valve developer Timothy Arceri landed RadeonSI NIR tessellation shader support. With this they can now expose GLSL 4.50 along their NIR code path to match what the RadeonSI (non-NIR) code has already supported. In the process this allows nearly seven thousand more Piglit tests to pass as outlined in the change.

This is great news that the RadeonSI NIR code is stepping closer to parity as this code is being driven for the AMD driver's handling of ARB_gl_spirv for allowing SPIR-V ingestion by their OpenGL driver as one of the big ticket features of OpenGL 4.6. Unfortunately this ARB_gl_spirv support for RadeonSI won't land in time for the imminent branching of Mesa 18.0. But hopefully for Mesa 18.1 next quarter we'll see OpenGL 4.6 support for both Intel i965 and RadeonSI...

In the future AMD developers have also talked of potentially using the NIR intermediate representation by default as well, matching what the Intel driver currently does along with VC4/Freedreno Gallium3D (and RADV Vulkan). Nouveau is also pursuing NIR for compute purposes. I'll do some benchmarking of the RadeonSI NIR state on Mesa 18.0 shortly.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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