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- Mesa 21.1.0 Is Released With Variable Rate Shading Support For AMD GPUs, Performance Improvements And New Vulkan ExtensionsMesa is a swiss army knife of graphics drivers and libraries that are used to provide graphics functionality on all the major GNU/Linux distributions. Mesa 21.1.0 brings Vulkan Variable Rate Shading support for AMD RX 6000 series GPUs, performance increasing graphics optimizations for the OpenGL and Vulkan drivers for both Intel and AMD GPUs, OpenGL 4.6 support in the Zink OpenGL-to-Vulkan translation layer, shader caching for the Lima driver for ARM Mali GPUs and a lot more.
- Wine 6.7 Is Released With 44 Bug-FixesThe latest development versin of the popular Wine Windows API re-implementaiton has 44 mostly game and application-specific bug fixes, NetApi32, WLDAP32, and Kerberos libraries converted to portable executables, improved plug and play driver support and some new media foundation code under the hood. You still can't play Mario Kart DX12 with it.
- AMD Radeon Software For Linux 21.10 Is ReleasedA new proprietary AMD GPU driver package for Linux is out and it is not a very exciting release. The only highlights mentioned in the release notes are "full support for Ubuntu 20.04.2" and "preview of the Vulkan Ray Tracing Extensions supported on compatible AMD RDNA 2 based graphics products". The actual driver package appears to be a mix of Mesa drivers, the OpenCL library from Radeon Open Compute, an older "legacy" OpenCL library, a AMD-specific LLVM fork, the free AMDVLK Vulkan driver and "Pro" Vulkan driver, and some tools.
- Mesa 21.1.0-rc1 Is Released With Variable Rate Shading Support For AMD GPUs, New Vulkan Extensions And MoreThe first release candidate for Mesa 21.1, is scheduled to be released on May 5th, has been set in stone. It is a good indication of what the final 21.1 release will have: Variable Rate Shading support on the very latest AMD RX 6000 GPUs, new Vulkan features, OpenGL 4.6 support in the OpenGL-To-Vulkan translation layer, graphics optimizations for Intel's 12th generation GPUs/CPUs and a bit more.
- Nvidia Display Driver 465.24.02 For Linux Is ReleasedNvidia's latest proprietary binary blob driver for using Nvidia graphics hardware on Linux adds support for three new Vulkan extensions, Nvidia's upcoming RTX A4000 and A5000 GPUs, better X11 DrawText() performance, numerous bug-fixes and some new Vulkan extensions.
- The Mesa RADV Vulkan Driver Will Soon Have An Option That Boosts Performance 30%+ On RDNA2 GPUs By Rendering LessThose who have the very latest Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards from AMD will get the option of doing fewer fragment shader invocations per pixel rendered in Vulkan games when Mesa 21.1 is released come May. This can provide a huge performance-boost, or nearly none at all, depending on the game or workload. The new Mesa option requires variable rate shading support in hardware, so it is only for those who have a shiny new GPU from AMD.
- Mesa 21 Broke VAAPI Hardware Encoding On Machines With AMD Graphics Cards. A Fix Is Coming.Those of you who have tried to hardware encode video using AMD hardware after upgrading to Mesa 21 may have noticed that the encoded video is, in fact, not a video - it's some kind of odd slide-show with one new frame every 5 seconds or so. Mesa 20.3 didn't have that problem, Mesa 21 and the newly released 21.0.2 bug-fix do. The Mesa developers are aware of the problem we are referring to and a patch has been merged into the upcoming 21.0.3 version scheduled to be released around two weeks from now.
- Mesa 21.0.2 Is Released With Minor Bug-Fixes Mostly For AMD Graphics HardwareMesa 21.0.2 is a bug-fix release with small fixes for EGL, the Panfrost driver, the RADV Vulkan driver for AMD and the ACO shader compiler that goes along with it, and a LLVM related fix those of you with older AMD graphics cards will want.
- Mesa Considers Dropping Default Support For 16+ Year Old x86 CPUsThe Mesa graphics stack supports a really wide range of hardware. The current stable 21.0 Mesa version works on really old 32-bit x86 computers with ancient graphics cards. By-default support for some of those old x86 computers could soon be a thing of the past, the Mesa developers are currently discussing if the SSE2 processor instructions should be a default compiler flag for Mesa builds. GNU/Linux distributions will still be able to set their own flags.
- AMD ROCm 4.1 Is Released With A Fine New Notice Saying "GUI-Based software" Is "Not Supported"The latest AMD Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) stack brings a few new features for AMDs data-center customers. OpenCL, which is what most GNU/Linux desktop applications use for GPU compute, is not even mentioned in the "What's New" section of the release notes. There is, instead, a shiny new notice on the ROCm documentation website saying "GUI-based software applications are currently not supported".
- Mesa Could Fork Older "Classic" Display Drivers Out To A Separate "Mesa Classic-LTS" BranchDylan Baker, release-manager for the Mesa graphics stack used by all the GNU/Linux distributions, is proposing to rid the Mesa of older "classic" display drivers by moving them to a separate "classic-lts" branch. Users of integrated Intel graphics provided by chips prior to Broadwell would have to switch to the new "classic-lts" graphics library to keep their computers working if Mesa goes forward with Bakers proposal.
- The Mesa Graphics Library Developers Are Considering Dropping Android AOSP SupportThe developers of the Mesa graphics library, mainly used to provide OpenGL and Vulkan API support on Linux desktop systems, are debating if they should drop Mesa's support for the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) operating system. It would still be possible to build Mesa using the Android NDK toolchain.
- The Linux Desktop Could "Soon" Get Support For Vulkan With 10-Bit Color EnabledEnabling 10-bit color is a non-issue on proprietary operating systems. That is far from being the case on the GNU/Linux desktop. Enabling 10-bit color on GNU/Linux is easy enough, but things like the Vulkan graphics API, the Steam games store and launcher, the KDE Plasma and Deepin desktop environments and Chromium hardware acceleration do not work.
mpvdeveloper Niklas Haas has submitted patches to the Mesa graphics stack that make it possible to run Vulkan games and applications on GNU/Linux desktops when 10-bit color is enabled.
- The Closed-Source NVIDIA Linux Driver Is Incompatible With Linux 5.9 And Support Won't Come Until Mid-NovemberThe latest Nvidia graphics driver for Linux, v455.28, won't work with the latest Linux kernel. This may be due to an intentional change on the Linux kernel side that blocks third party shims from using GPL-only symbols. Regardless of the root cause, anyone using Nvidia on Linux should stick with Linux 5.8 for now. Nvidia has promised that an updated driver compatible with Linux 5.9 will arrive mid-November.
- AMDVLK 2020.Q4.1 Is Released With A New Vulkan Extension And Three Game-Specific FixesAMD has released a new version of their AMDVLK Vulkan driver for Linux with support for one new Vulkan extensions and game-specific fixes for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Second Extinction and X-plane. Performance is still overall worse than the AMD RADV Vulkan driver that comes with Mesa 20.2.0 and performance is much worse in specific graphics benchmarks and image up-scaling.
- Mesa Just Got A Significant Performance Boost For Intel Tiger Lake ChipsIntel's Kenneth Graunke has written a few patches for Intel Gen12+ graphics chips that boost graphics performance by one to twelve percent. Don't get too excited, it only applies to Intel Tigerlake and newer and they won't arrive in mainstream GNU/Linux distributions until Mesa 20.3 is released mid-December.
- Vulkan Specification Version 1.2.158 Brings Two New ExtensionsVersion 1.2.158 of the Vulkan specification introduces
VK_KHR_fragment_shading_ratethat lets developers change the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-region, per-primitive or per-draw basis and
VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocationwhich, together with the previously introduced
VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocationextension, lets developers do a much more specific
- Latest 20.41.18123 Intel NEO OpenCL Driver Claims "Production" OpenCL 3.0 Quality On All Intel CPUs Going Back To BroadwellIntel made their Neo Graphics Compute-Runtime OpenCL claim to have OpenCL 3.0 support on all chips going back to Broadwell in the v20.40.18075. The latest v20.41.18123 goes one step further by having that same claim in the release-notes. There's also a new
clinfowarning regarding the supposed OpenCL 3.0 support.
- Mesa 20.1.10 Is Released With A Handful Of Bug-FixesMesa 20.1.10 is a small bug-fix release for GNU/Linux distributions that have not yet upgraded to Mesa 20.2.0. There's not much to see, there's seven for the Intel graphics drivers and two on the AMD side.
- Intel's latest NEO OpenCL Driver Claims Support For OpenCL 3.0 On All Intel Chips Going Back To BroadwellIntel's latest NEO OpenCL driver, now going by the name Compute-Runtime since it has gained support for more than just OpenCL compute, claims to have OpenCL 3.0 support on all Intel chips going back to Broadwell. It doesn't actually support OpenCL 3.0 on anything other than Intel's latest Tiger Lake chips, but it does claim to.
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