While the OpenGL 4.3 specification was just released (along with OpenGL ES 3.0), there's already a beta NVIDIA Linux proprietary driver supporting this latest desktop graphics API from Khronos. AMD will also soon be released a Catalyst beta with the GL 4.3 / GLSL 4.30 support. However, the open-source Mesa support will still be a ways out.
While the open-source Linux graphics drivers may not be up to scratch with the proprietary Linux graphics drivers from NVIDIA and AMD in terms of features, power efficiency, and performance, Linux isn't the only operating system with less than desirable OpenGL drivers. I've been surprised by the OpenGL issues under OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" with the Retina MacBook Pro.
Haiku OS, the open-source operating system that's a re-implementation of BeOS, is continuing to look at leveraging more of Mesa for its 3D/OpenGL rendering.
There was exciting OpenGL 3/4 news yesterday for Mesa when it came to early but yet-to-be-merged support for OpenGL geometry shaders, but that's not all the new Mesa GL news this week. Patches were also published to provide support for OpenGL Core contexts for OpenGL 3.1 and newer.
An exciting message hit the Mesa mailing list on Friday morning concerning support for OpenGL geometry shaders.
If you have an AVX-enabled processor like Intel's Sandy/Ivy Bridge or AMD's Bulldozer, there's some good news should you be relying upon Mesa's Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver.
With commits this afternoon by Intel, there's now support for handling ETC1 texture compression within Mesa.
Remember LunarGLASS? It was the technology from LunarG in early 2011 for gutting Mesa to use LLVM as its IR. This LLVM-ized Mesa has fallen dormant.
Mesa 8.1 is set to be released in August as a major six-month update to this important open-source user-space graphics driver stack. Here's a look at the OpenGL support level.
Just days after making a number of improvements to Mesa/Gallium3D, Marek is back this week so far with 22 patches to improve Gallium3D and specifically to benefit the AMD Radeon "R600g" graphics driver.
Less than a day after Marek Olšák posted a set of patches to implement GL4 transform feedback for Mesa/Gallium3D, he's back with another important but separate set of patches.
Marek Olšák, the prolific independent contributor to Mesa/Gallium3D with a special interest in Radeon Gallium3D, has just published his latest patch work. This time around he's been working on the remaining transform feedback extensions from OpenGL 4.0.
Based upon the latest Git statistics, the rate of Mesa's development commits has been slowing down. There's also some other interesting numbers to share.
With a commit this afternoon to Mesa, the R600 Gallium3D driver with the LLVM back-end is now using the performance-boosting VLIW scheduler.
Patches emerged last week for supporting the GL_ARB_base_instance OpenGL extension within Mesa and Gallium3D's Mesa state tracker. This OpenGL extension was only conceived last year and became part of the specification with OpenGL 4.2.
The latest R600g driver improvement this weekend is for shader variant caching rather than rebuilding the shaders each time.
Here's a hint that may allow for some notable performance gains out of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver for multi-core systems.
While OpenGL ES 3.0 has been speculated about for months, the specification will be formally released by the Khronos Group this summer.
While the OpenCL enablement process for the open-source GPU drivers isn't over yet, there's a big accomplishment today: the "Clover" OpenCL state tracker for Gallium3D has finally been merged to Mesa Git master.
While the Intel Linux graphics developers have postponed the OpenGL 3.1 support until probably next year, the Intel Windows driver developers have now managed OpenGL 4.0 support, which compliments the OpenCL 1.1 support on Ivy Bridge -- another feature not found at this point in the Intel Linux GPU driver.
The release plans for Mesa 8.1 and Mesa 8.2 have been proposed. Unfortunately if you were hoping to see OpenGL 3.1 compliance in this open-source graphics driver library this summer, it looks like that won't come until 2013 and support for newer OpenGL specifications are even further out.
Mainline Mesa Git can now be built with the AMD R600 Gallium3D LLVM shader compiler back-end available.
LLVM 3.1 is set to be released next month but will it offer up any performance improvements when paired with the open-source Mesa Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver for CPU-based OpenGL support? Here's some new benchmarks that were conducted over the weekend.
The OpenCL support work for the open-source Linux graphics drivers with the Clover state tracker and other compute infrastructure prerequisites have moved a step closer to being merged into the mainline Mesa repository.
The Gallium3D compute infrastructure, which is the underlying work for supporting OpenCL over this open-source graphics driver architecture, is on approach for landing in the very near future. This has been one damn good day for open-source Linux graphics drivers following the earlier Nouveau surprise announcements.
One of the Gallium3D drivers yet not fully supporting the OpenGL 3.0 specification is the LLVMpipe software rasterizer. However, if you're curious of what's left before this CPU-based graphics driver can handle GL3, here's a list.
Besides the recent talk about using Gallium3D's LLVMpipe for Mozilla Firefox, there's another interesting technical discussion happening now about using Mesa on the web to emulate the full OpenGL API using the WebGL API.
Benoit Jacob of Mozilla is looking at the possibility of using Mesa's LLVMpipe Gallium3D driver as a means of WebGL software rendering within Firefox.
With nearly one month having passed since the release of the highly-anticipated Mesa 8.0, where have you come to realize not full satisfaction with this open-source graphics driver library? What would you like to see improved with the next release, Mesa 8.1?
Piglit, the OpenGL conformance test for Mesa, may see some improvements this summer thanks to Google's Summer of Code initiative. In particular, there might be OpenCL support.
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