Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan is progressing on Windows, X-Plane is looking to use it


There is some exciting progress around Zink as the OpenGL 4.6 implementation is built on top of the Vulkan APIs for generally quite good OpenGL-on-Vulkan acceleration… Zink with the newly merged Kopper code is even starting to run on Windows and Laminar Research hopes to use Zink for the next major release of X-Plane!

X-Plane’s Sidney Just worked with Mike Blumenkrantz and upstream Mesa developers to enable Zink on Windows. With Kopper code recently merged to provide native support for WSI (windowing system integration) and other improvements, Sidney worked to get Zink working properly on Windows.

Sidney today opened a Mesa pull request adding Windows WGL support for Kopper. With this latest code, Zink runs Windows at “full speed” with proper windowing system integration. It is also the first Mesa driver that supports OpenGL 4.6 with hardware acceleration and runs natively on Windows.

It turns out that the X-Plane developers are interested in using Zink as an OpenGL back-end with X-Plane 12. While X-Plane recently added native support for Vulkan, X-Plane still relies on OpenGL for various X-Plane plugins. ins in the rendering of certain elements such as custom avionics screens. Currently, X-Plane 11 relies on OpenGL/Vulkan driver interoperability extensions to achieve GL/VLK rendering, but for some platforms the interoperability extensions are either non-existent or buggy.

X-Plane features native Vulkan support but still relies on OpenGL to maintain compatibility with flight simulator plugins.

With X-Plane 12 as the next major release of this realistic flight simulator, the hope is to ship it with Zink as an OpenGL backend for use by plugins and pass through there when needed. GL rendering support. This avoids missing buggy OpenGL drivers / interoperability extensions.

More details on Mike’s blog for this notable milestone and the exciting planned use of Zink, which also leads to work to ensure Zink can run well on Windows in addition to Linux.


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