While Mesa 9.2 has some performance improvements and many new features, this open-source 3D graphics library isn't cut for everyone.
Mesa 9.2 is due to be released in the coming days so here's an overview of what to expect from the key open-source graphics drivers on this six-month update.
With hopes of releasing Mesa 9.2 in the coming days, Ian Romanick of Intel put out the first release candidate of this next major Mesa graphics library update. The release candidates should have begun weeks ago, but after forgetting about them, they only just began with the final release expected this week.
As a follow-up to the news a few days ago about NVIDIA VP3/VP4 Engines Exposed On Nouveau For MPEG-2/VC-1, the support has now been committed to Mesa Git master.
While there's now ETC2 texture compression and ASTC texture compression that were announced last year, S3 Texture Compression (S3TC) continues to be widely used by OpenGL games and application. This patent-encumbered means of graphics texture compression continues to cause massive headaches for open-source developers and end-users and will be the case for years to come.
A set of six patches were published for Mesa on Friday that allow for profiling support with Gallium3D's "Clover" state tracker for OpenCL support.
Last month I reported on the effort by a lone individual to try crowd-funded Mesa development. The developer wants to implement a new OpenGL extension in Mesa while providing some documentation on the process. For showing he's true to his word, he published some experimental Mesa code today for the GL_KHR_debug extension.
While the Mesa 9.2 release is right around the corner, Mesa 9.1.6 was released on Thursday to ship various bug-fixes for the major open-source Linux graphics drivers.
After a series of Mesa commits today by Marek Olšák, the R600 Radeon Gallium3D driver is now handling Unigine Heaven 3.0, the visually impressive OpenGL tech demo. There's also been other important Mesa Git commits that happened today.
With Mesa 9.2 due to be released next month and it having a lot of new features, I figured it's time to dive into some Git development statistics to see how the code-base is for Mesa 9.2.
While Canonical right now is attempting to raise millions of dollars for their Ubuntu Edge project, on a smaller scale would crowd-funding work for development of Mesa?
Ian Romanick of Intel went ahead this week and branched the code-base for Mesa 9.2. Feature-development on Mesa 9.2 is now over and it's a period of bug-fixing ahead of the official Mesa 9.2 release in August.
The Direct3D 9 state tracker could prove to be the most important project since the original release of the Mesa graphics library.
Linux desktop systems can now have working support for Microsoft's Direct3D 9 API via a new Gallium3D state tracker. Unlike the earlier Direct3D 10/11 state tracker for Gallium3D on Linux, this new code actually can run D3D9 games and at better performance than what's offered by Wine.
A set of twelve patches were published on Monday by an Intel OTC developer for allowing support for OpenGL layered rendering as needed for OpenGL 3.2 / GLSL 1.50 support.
With the arrival of sRGB frame-buffers support, the Gallium3D LLVMpipe software driver is nearly ready to advertise OpenGL 3.0 support and OpenGL 3.1 is also attainable.
With the release of Mesa 9.2 being a few weeks out, here's a current look at the OpenGL 3.x/4.x support levels within Mesa.
In the past few days after having delivered R600 Gallium3D benchmarks of the R600 SB back-end that is a new shader optimization back-end for the Radeon Gallium3D driver, here's some comparison benchmarks against the upcoming R600 LLVM back-end.
Mesa 9.2 is slated for release next month, which means its code will be branched soon, so here's a look at some of the exciting features that have been merged for this next Mesa open-source Linux graphics release.
The "Clover" Gallium3D state tracker to Mesa for providing OpenCL support can now be used with an ICD loader.
While the very exciting Mesa 9.2 release is expected next month and its code will be branched soon, one feature that looks unlikely to be merged in time is any support for Canonical's Mir Display Server.
Mesa 9.2 and the R600 Gallium3D shader optimization back-end can deliver some nice performance gains for various generations of AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.
This morning I posted new Radeon Gallium3D - Mesa 9.1 vs. Mesa 9.2 benchmarks, which showed the upcoming Mesa release performing nicely for AMD APU graphics. However, what is the performance like the software-based LLVMpipe driver that is commonly being used in fallback situations where there is no GPU hardware driver available? It's generally a lot faster now for handling OpenGL.
Ian Romanick announced the Mesa 9.1.4 release on Monday. Mesa 9.1.4 offers back-ported bug-fixes to the open-source graphics drivers, mostly affecting the Intel DRI driver along with two LLVMpipe driver fixes.
There's long been a need for QEMU/KVM to have guest 3D support for virtual machines (especially with more of the modern Linux desktops requiring OpenGL support) and Red Hat engineers have talked about such support previously, but now it looks like code is finally materializing.
An Oracle engineer is beginning to look at developing a Mesa-based graphics driver for their VM VirtualBox software that could be integrated into the mainline Mesa code-base.
More Mesa / Gallium3D patches out of Google have come about this month for improving the open-source graphics stack.
Being published this afternoon are benchmarks of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe software driver compared to Intel HD 4600 graphics on Mesa 9.2 Git when using an Intel Core i7 4770K. While this Intel "Haswell" CPU is faster than previous generations, it's still obviously best not relying upon LLVMpipe.
Freedreno, the reverse-engineered community-based open-source driver for Qualcomm Adreno graphics hardware, now has support for the newer A300 series of graphics cores as found in the Google Nexus 4.
The Lima driver is slowly but surely progressing for supporting ARM Mali graphics hardware in an open-source world. A Mesa driver has been started, their demo code can be faster than the binary driver, user-space memory management is being tackled, and evidently the management at ARM Holdings isn't too happy.
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