Progress On SPIR-V For The Nouveau Driver Is Moving Slow
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 18 October 2015 at 08:05 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Back in July I wrote about someone working on a SPIR-V to NV50 IR Nouveau translator so that this intermediate representation for Vulkan and OpenCL 2.1+ could then be fed into this open-source NVIDIA driver. A brief, indirect update was shared this weekend and so far it appears the work is progressing slowly.

In responding to a question on an unrelated mailing list thread (it was about the latest performance counters work), Nouveau contributor Ilia Mirkin commented about the SPIR-V to NV50 IR pass.

Ilia wrote, "Pierre Moreau is working on a SPIR-V [to] nv50 ir adapter, which will hopefully mean that once a SPIR-V llvm backend exists (such a thing *is* in the plans by... someone, right?) that would be able to be used. He hasn't made a lot of progress though. Among other things, SPIR-V is SSA, and nv50 ir input has to be non-ssa (because, among other things, the various lowering passes generate non-ssa code, futz with control flow, etc)."

For the near future at least, NVIDIA card owners will likely need to rely upon NVIDIA's closed-source Vulkan driver for suitable support.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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