Blender 3.0 introduced AMD HIP acceleration to the Cycles X render coding due to the removal of OpenCL. The support from AMD for Blender was restricted to Windows systems only, with probably Linux support added for Blender 3.1. However, AMD’s delay on drivers means that the HIP Linux support is now anticipating a launch with Blender 3.2. Blender 3.1 will launch in March 2022.
Brian Savery, Product Manager for AMD’s ProRender software, remarked on the tracking ticket for the AMD HIP Cycles X render code:
Regarding Linux support:
Our driver release timeline unfortunately doesn’t quite line up with the dates for Blender 3.1, and there are some fixes in there that are needed. It should be out sometime after bcon3 and before bcon4, but I’m proposing Linux support gets pushed to Blender 3.2 so there is time for testing. Linux users should be able to use it under 3.2 in march though.
Daily developer builds for Blender 3.2, currently in “alpha” testing, can be found on the Blender organization’s website. Blender is planning to release version 3.2 in June 2022.
Users anticipate no further delays in AMD HIP for Linux with Blender support. Blender users receive the benefit from AMD Radeon graphics acceleration. Users operating Blender on the Linux operating system have an alternative with NVIDIA and the company’s in-house driver stack, which has provided exceptional CUDA/OptiX GPU acceleration support. Currently, it appears a majority of AMD Radeon Linux users do not install the company’s Radeon ROCm driver stack for HIP support. The support is also not heavily packaged beyond enterprise Linux allocations. With any luck, users utilizing Vulkan support from within Blender’s environment can flourish and eventually heighten the graphics card support within this prominent open-source 3D modeling application.
Last Tuesday saw the release of Vulkan 1.3, and NVIDIA resumes its unprecedented record of day one driver support for the cross-platform GPU application programming interface for 3D graphics and computing.
Vulkan is developed by specialists from across the industry working in tandem at the Khronos Group. NVIDIA has diligently worked to advance the efforts of Vulkan in cross-platforms. In fact, NVIDIA’s Neil Trevett has been the president of Khronos since its early days of development.