Zink: Staging a Global, Cross-Platform OpenGL Takeover

4 Oct 2022, 14:55
201 (Opus Hall)


Opus Hall

30 S 10th Street, Minneapolis, MN
Talk (full slot, Wineconf and FOSS XR only) Main Track


Mike Blumenkrantz (Valve)


For decades, OpenGL has been a widely used and supported cross-platform graphics API. Each vendor has its own drivers, and these implementations have been developed and maintained with varying priorities, leading to a scenario where applications may run very differently based on whether the environment is Linux or Windows, x86 or Adreno, waxing or waning moon, etc.

This is not a good user experience, and it is not a tenable one for implementors either as companies and projects begin to reassign resources towards more modern APIs like D3D12 and Vulkan. What happens when the only OpenGL implementation for a platform has poor performance and lacks the engineers needed to repair it? What happens when new hardware is designed and there is no OpenGL implementation at all?

This is where Zink shines as a layered OpenGL implementation atop Vulkan. By having common codepaths used by all Vulkan drivers, a given platform needs only create a Vulkan implementation which satisfies the Zink feature requirements in order to gain a free OpenGL implementation--One that is, ideally, performant and correct on all systems in all scenarios.

This talk will explore the history and development progress of Zink, the current status, and plans for global OpenGL driver domination.

GSoC, EVoC or Outreachy No
For which conference do you send the proposal? X.Org Developers Conference 2022
In-person or virtual presentation In-person
Code of Conduct Yes

Primary author

Presentation Materials

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