Khronos + W3C Collaborating On SPIR-V Potentially Being The Shading Language For The Web
Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 28 November 2019 at 12:02 PM EST. 12 Comments
DESKTOP --
The W3C put out an interesting status update this week on web games technologies and the various standardization efforts at play.

The updated included that the core WebAssembly specifications are "imminent" for publishing, the web gamepad specification continues being moved along, WebCodecs continue to be explored, and on the WebGPU front they are exploring the choice of shading language to use for next-generation web graphics.

The most interesting bit is: "A simple liaison with the Khronos Group was setup to coordinate on shared areas of interest. The GPU for the Web Community Group is notably discussing possible use of SPIR-V as shading language for WebGPU with the Khronos Group through that liaison."

Seeing W3C's WebGPU centralize on SPIR-V, the IR used by OpenCL and Vulkan and OpenGL 4.6, would be quite exciting. SPIR-V already has a robust ecosystem in place, there is extensive yet still growing assortment of open-source tooling around SPIR-V, plenty of existing open-source driver solutions as part of OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, and a lot of other momentum around SPIR-V.

Seeing SPIR-V as the "web shading language" is quite tantalizing and would allow for a lot of open-source code re-use and making use of the extensive open-source projects already built around SPIR-V and embracing that for the web.

The W3C web gaming update can be found on W3.org. Here's to hoping the working group ends up moving ahead with at least targeting a sub-set of SPIR-V for WebGPU!
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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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