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The release of the Vulkan API is imminent

The release of the Vulkan API is imminent

The release of the Vulkan API is imminent

The release of the Vulkan API is imminent

 

The release of the Vulkan API is said to be imminent by the Khronos Group, with version 1.0 of the API coming shortly after this years end. 

This new API will be a successor to OpenGL, providing a low level API that will work with all GPUs and all operating systems like competing APIs like Metal, Mantle and DirectX 12. 

 

We have some good news and some bad news.  The year-end target release date for Vulkan will not be met.  However, we are in the home stretch and the release of Vulkan 1.0 is imminent!

Here is a more detailed update...

The Vulkan specification is complete and undergoing legal review and final polishing. The Vulkan conformance tests are being finalized and multiple member companies are preparing drivers for release. Implementation feedback is the vital final stage of making any Khronos specification ready for primetime, and the Vulkan 1.0 specification will be published when the first conformant implementations are confirmed.

Work is also progressing to complete Vulkan SDKs for Windows, Android and Linux. Google has upgraded to Promoter membership and is now on the Khronos Board to help steer Vulkan strategy for Android and the wider industry.

There is considerable energy driving the work to bring you Vulkan. We are planning Vulkan sessions and demos at key industry events throughout the year. We are excited about the emerging Vulkan ecosystem that will create new business opportunities for the graphics and compute industry.

Vulkan will set the foundation for graphics and compute APIs for years to come and so Khronos is taking the time needed to do this right – and the Vulkan 1.0 release is near!

  

This API has been created from the Ashes of AMD's Mantle API, which is now no longer supported actively by AMD. AMD have given The Kronos Group all of AMD's research and work with Mantle so that the Khronos Group could create their own cross vendor API. 

 

KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API

 

Here is what Valve's Gabe Newell had to say about the Vulkan API:

 

  Industry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms. Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.

 

KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API

  

Vulkan will have many of the same advantages as other Next generation Graphics API's like a lower CPU overhead and the ability to create and use a larger number of draw calls.

What makes Vulkan special is it's cross platform compatibility, being able to work across multiple OS' and GPU families, which is the major disadvantages to AMD's Mantle and Microsoft's DirectX 12.

 

KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API

  

The KHRONOS groups Vulkan API will be supported on any hardware that supports OpenGL 3.1 and up and is expected to be fully specified and implemented by the end of this year.

Some of the participants in the creation of this next generation API can be seen below, as you can see most major players are seen here like AMD, Nvidia, Intel, ARM and many game developers and game Engine creators.  

 

KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API

 

One major difference between Vulkan and it's predecessors is SPIR-V (Standard Portable Intermediate Representation), it's language frontend which allows developers to program for Vulkan in more programming languages, as almost any type of code can be compiled down to SPIR.

SPIR is already being used in OpenCL, which it was originally created for, which also means that Vulcan also supports OpenCL kernel Languages. This also means that developers can use SPIR to do both Compute and Graphical tasks, which may open a lot of new options for the API going forward. As the underlying runtime is the same, more compute workloads can be offset to the GPU, or vice versa.

 

KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API  KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API  

 

Vulkan is set to be one of the most popular gaming APIs in the future, offering direct hardware access without locking the game or program to a single operating system or hardware vendor. 

This API will be instrumental to the success or Linux/SteamOS gaming moving forward and is expected to be used by used heavily for future versions of game emulators like the Wii's Dolphin Emulator and other similar software suites. 

 

You can join the discussion on the KHRONOS Group's Vulkan API on the OC3D Forums.  

 

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Most Recent Comments

20-12-2015, 12:16:16

NeverBackDown
Will be a long time before it even shows up in any game thoughQuote

20-12-2015, 16:18:31

Kleptobot
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Will be a long time before it even shows up in any game though
Just curious, are you basing that on anything other than that because we are hearing it now and it usually takes some time before new tech reaches the consumer?

The fact that companies like epic, valve, unity etc have been working on and involved in this and that Gabe N said that it will be "a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games" i think it'll show up sooner than you might think.

But that's just like my opinion man...Quote

20-12-2015, 16:54:25

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleptobot View Post
Just curious, are you basing that on anything other than that because we are hearing it now and it usually takes some time before new tech reaches the consumer?

The fact that companies like epic, valve, unity etc have been working on and involved in this and that Gabe N said that it will be "a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games" i think it'll show up sooner than you might think.

But that's just like my opinion man...
For a lot of thing like this it is really hard to tell when you are outside of the high game development ecosystem.

Valve has already shown Vulkan working and other developers have already used beta builds of the API.

I think that developers that have already been using Mantle or a different low level API will not have much trouble implementing it, especially Mantle devs given Vulkan's origins.

Intel, Nvidia and AMD have used Vulkan and delivered talks on it and given that fact that it can be used on Linux, Mac OS and Windows it is likely that it will be adopted by developers much faster than DX12, as developers are always looking for ways to expand their market and potential sales.


I remember a Valve software developer, Dan Ginsburg, saying this;

Quote:
Unless you are aggressive enough to be shipping a DX12 game this year, I would argue that there is really not much reason to ever create a DX12 back end for your game
I imagine that Oxide games will jump on this as soon as they can and that former Mantle developers will not have much trouble implementing Vulkan support.

Hopefully performance from the Vulkan API will be similar to that of DX12, as that is the only way I see Vulkan gaining less traction than DX12.Quote

20-12-2015, 17:54:38

Kushiro
I wasn't aware that NVidia was going to play ball.. Nice to know.Quote

21-12-2015, 04:37:22

AlienALX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kushiro View Post
I wasn't aware that NVidia was going to play ball.. Nice to know.
I don't think they had much choice really, especially given how popular it has shown to be.

Steam support means Steam machines, and Nvidia have quite a few on offer.Quote
Reply
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