During the busy development of Mesa,The open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver “NVK” has also seen an uptick in activity;Jason Ekstrand of Collabora has been very active in proposing this Vulkan driver recently. Ekstrand was one of the original developers when Intel launched the ANV open source Vulkan driver, and has been with the company for many years, so will be an important contributor to NVK.

NVK was created by Red Hat engineers as an open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver and developed by Nouveau developers like Karol Herbst at Red Hat. This Vulkan driver is still largely in development, has not yet been merged into mainline Mesa, and may take a while to be ready for Linux gamers alike.

Meanwhile, the biggest Nouveau hurdle remains on the kernel driver side, as the lack of re-clocking support for GeForce GTX 900 “Maxwell” GPUs and newer means NVIDIA GPUs are stuck running at low boot-clock frequencies .

For the GTX 900 series and newer, the Nouveau’s performance profile is terrible. The GTX 600/700 series is outdated and can be re-clocked to its optimal clock frequency, but interested users can only do it manually via the command line. Both OpenGL and Vulkan Nouveau’s performance will continue to suffer significantly until this and the PMU firmware issues that ultimately complicate this work are resolved.

Those curious about the ongoing work on Nouveau NVK can use the currently intensively developed Nouveau’s Mesa NVK branch tracks progress.

Currently, NVK adds more format features, Maxwell fixes, client-side memory object zeroing, linear image creation support, many bug fixes, and various other additions.Technology website Phoronix “We expect NVK development to continue at full speed to be ready for Linux players when the Nouveau DRM re-clocking situation is resolved, presumably through NVIDIA GSP (GPU system processor) integration,” said the report.

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Open source NVIDIA Vulkan driver “NVK” activity rises

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