SPIR-V Support For LLVM Is Moving Forward
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 1 May 2017 at 04:16 AM EDT. Add A Comment
STANDARDS --
While the original SPIR intermediate representation from the Khronos Group was derived from LLVM IR, SPIR-V that's used by OpenCL 2.1+ and Vulkan is not. But there is still work underway on being able to translate from LLVM IR into SPIR-V via a new back-end.

Developer Nicholas Wilson took to the LLVM mailing list today to explain the work on his up-to-date fork of LLVM with a modernized SPIR-V LLVM back-end. Eventually the plan is to merge this back-end into LLVM, but it's not yet fully-baked.

Aside from other shortcomings, this back-end is currently only tailored to SPIR-V with OpenCL use-cases and not yet any Vulkan support but that should come eventually.

More details on this preliminary work can be found via this mailing list post while the experimental SPIR-V back-end can be found via GitHub. Work on it is progressing but it doesn't sound like it will be ready until the summer at the earliest. This will be interesting in the long run to see new innovations thanks to the vibrant LLVM community can be adapted to use this SPIR-V back-end that in turn can be consumed by modern drivers.

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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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