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Intel graphics drivers update on Linux made them 100x faster at ray tracing

The developers of the Intel GPU drivers for Linux have released an update that fixes a bug and improves performance in ray tracing by 100x. The error was contained in the driver code and led to incorrect memory allocation in the system.

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The fix has been included in the open source Intel Mesa Vulkan driver. An error in the code was discovered by one of the engineers for Intel graphics drivers for Linux, Lionel Landverlin. According to him, the Vulkan ray tracing implementation used external system memory (RAM connected to the motherboard) instead of the graphics card's local GDDR6 memory. This happened due to the fact that the code lacked one line that was responsible for reallocating memory. The Vulkan driver ended up moving ray tracing data to and from the slower external system memory, resulting in an overall slowdown.

The developers added the ANV_BO_ALLOC_LOCAL_MEM command, and this resulted in a 100x performance improvement in ray tracing on Intel graphics cards when using the Vulkan API.

The changes have already been approved and will appear with the next Mesa 22.2 software release. It will be incorporated into a package of other Linux driver enhancements that will be available to users by the end of August.

At the end of 2021, the lead developer and architect of the open source Vulkan driver for Linux, Jason Ekstrand, left Intel. He promised that he would continue cooperation with Khronos Group / Vulkan.

Michael Zippo
2022/07/26

https://linkedin.com/in/michael-zippo-9136441b1
[email protected]

Sources: Python.Engineering

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