The Rust-Written Kazan Vulkan Driver Lights Up Its Shader Compiler
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 21 October 2018 at 06:51 AM EDT. 5 Comments
VULKAN --
This week the Kazan project (formerly known as "Vulkan-CPU") celebrated a small but important milestone in its trek to having a CPU-based Vulkan software implementation.

As a refresher, Kazan is the project born as Vulkan-CPU during the 2017 Google Summer of Code. The work was started by student developer Jacob Lifshay and he made good progress last summer on the foundation of the project and continued contributing past the conclusion of that Google-funded program. By the end of the summer he was able to run some simple Vulkan compute tests. He also renamed Vulkan-CPU to Kazan (Japanese for "volcano").

Recently work on this Vulkan software implementation was restarted by Lifshay. This time he decided to do a full rewrite and is writing it in Rust rather than C++.

With that, he's been effectively restarting over with the new code-base. This week though he celebrated the milestone of his initial shader compiler test working. This Rust software renderer for Vulkan is relying upon LLVM for its shader compiler back-end.

There's still obviously a very long road ahead for this project in actually being useful to developers or those wanting to try running Vulkan code on the CPU, but it's an interesting project to watch and you can do so over on GitHub. Hopefully as we move into 2019 there will be a bit more to report on it.

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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 10,000 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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