One important part of the implementation of the EXT_external_objects and EXT_external_objects_fd groups of extensions for iris (the Intel gallium OpenGL driver) was the semaphore synchronization (EXT_semaphore extension). We’ve seen how the GL semaphores structs and functions that are introduced by this extension should be used in previous interoperability posts. In this post, I’ll try to describe the methods we’ve used to debug the EXT_semaphore implementation itself as well as the fences backend of the iris driver without getting into many driver internals details.
This is 10th post on OpenGL and Vulkan interoperability with EXT_external_objects and EXT_external_objects_fd. We’ll see the last use case I’ve written for Piglit to test the extensions implementation on various mesa drivers as part of my work for Igalia. In this test a stencil buffer is allocated and filled with a pattern by Vulkan and then it is used in OpenGL to render something else. We validate that the pattern has been imported correctly and we repeat the process for other depth-stencil formats.
This blog post (originally published on: Oct 18, 2020) has been updated in 2022 because some information was inaccurate.
I had misinterpreted a part of the spec about memory mapping and thought that we can’t really overwrite Vulkan allocated buffers. That had to do with the Intel cards memory organization where the GPU memory is RAM and we usually map it the same way we map user allocated memory. I am pretty sure that buffers should be overwritten now, and so I am planning to extend these series with buffer overwriting examples in the future.
Afaik, Tapani Pälli is working on supporting this feature on Intel and AMD might have some support already (I plan to check) so I believe that it will be soon available in most mesa drivers that support the interoperability extensions.
In a previous post, I wrote about Vkrunner, and how I used it to play with fragment shaders. While I was writing the shaders for it, I had to save them, generate a PPM image and display it to see the changes. This render to image/display repetition gave me the idea to write a minimal tool that automatically displays my changes every time I save the file with the shader code and use it when the complexity of the scene is increasing. And so, I’ve written sdrviewer, the minimal OpenGL viewer for pixel shaders of the video below:
Vkrunner is a Vulkan shader testing tool similar to Piglit, written by Neil Roberts. It is mostly used by graphics drivers developers, and was also part of the official Khronosconformance tests suite repository (VK-GL-CTS) for some time . There are already posts  about its use but they are all written from a driver developer’s perspective and focus on vkrunner’s debugging capabilities. In this post, I’m going to show you an alternative use I’ve found for it, in order to have fun with pixel shaders during my holidays! 🙂
The video mostly shows the behavior of some GL calls and operations with and without the patches that improve the emulation of the ETC/EAC formats on Gen7 GPUs. The same programs run first with the previous ETC/EAC emulation (upper terminal) and then with the new one (lower terminal).