Brussels / 30 & 31 January 2016


NIR on the Mesa i965 backend

A case for a faster and simpler driver

If you are running Linux on an Intel GPU, chances are that your graphics driver just got much better. Mesa, the most popular open source OpenGL implementation, has got a new intermediate language to represent GLSL shader programs. It is called NIR, and is based on modern knowledge on compilers and GPU architecture. The Intel i965 driver is fully powered by NIR now, after support to non-scalar shaders has been recently added.

This talk will give the audience a tour around the work done during 2015, that culminated in the rewrite of the i965 non-scalar backend to use NIR, and was released in Mesa 11.0. It will present a brief technical overview of how NIR integrates into a Mesa backend, some important considerations, and the main challenges we faced. It will also illustrate the benefits of the new backend by comparing to the old one in terms of performance and backend code complexity.


Photo of Eduardo Lima Eduardo Lima