Open Source Vulkan Driver Optimizes AMD Radeon GPU Ray Tracing Performance

Mesa3D RADV Radeon Vulkan driver team said that it is working to improve the ray tracing performance of AMD GPUs.

Google's Bas Nieuwenhuizen is the co-founder of the RADV driver. He previously released the source code on the first day of the X.Org Developer Conference (also known as XDC 2022) and discussed the Mesa Vulkan driver. The ray tracing performance of the program is demonstrated.

In his presentation at XDC 2022, he explained the process of ray tracing, how to handle graphics acceleration on AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards, and the challenges the team encountered in the implementation process, as well as how to achieve software optimizations for older AMD GPUs.

Currently, the RADV driver is the first choice for users of Linux AMD graphics cards, and this driver is constantly updated and regularly improved to optimize performance and other aspects. Unlike AMD's proprietary AMDVLK, it uses the Mesa project's RADV driver, which changes are explicitly known to every Linux distribution. Games that the RADV co-founders ensured compatibility with ray tracing on RADV include Control, Dead Loop, Metro Exodus Plus, Quake 2 RTX, and Resident Evil Village.

Another topic related to RADV is the performance comparison of AMDVLK ray tracing support, and the performance comparison of the AMDGPU-PRO proprietary driver. RADV still performs poorly when using ray tracing, but developers are using experimental techniques to improve performance.

AMD updated the AMDVLK code as part of its official Linux update, based on the same source code used in the Windows and Linux proprietary Vulkan drivers. Also, a big challenge with this driver is that the LLVM AMDGPU shader compiler used on proprietary shaders still has missing pieces.

RADV support currently under development will include separate shader compilation and default ray tracing support, and indirect BHV builds will also bring DirectX ray tracing (DXR 1.1) support, as well as further performance optimizations and enhancements.

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