Khronos brings Vulkan 1.0-api out

Feb

17

2016

The Khronos Group has released version 1.0 of the Vulkan-api. At the same time AMD and Nvidia beta drivers released with Vulkan support. The API is the successor to OpenGL and will compete with Microsoft’s DirectX 12 and Apple’s Metal.

Besides announce the final specifications of Vulkan 1.0 Khronos has also released an SDK for developers. All documentation regarding Vulkan is available on GitHub. Developers can immediately get to work with the new api, but Vulkan users can try, as both AMD and Nvidia on Tuesday beta drivers released with Vulkan support and on Steam has now published the first game with interim Vulkan support. It comes to the latest public beta of The Talos Principle.

Vulkan is a low level API for controlling the GPU. The API is largely derived from AMD’s Mantle and gives direct access to deeper layers of graphics hardware so the overhead is reduced. Other advantages of the API is that it is royalty-free and that it is an open standard, which can be used on all platforms, provided that they offer support for there. Currently, Windows, Linux and Android. Apple is focusing since 2014 on his own Metal-api Vulkan and therefore seems not to want more support in iOS and OS X.

Now Vulkan 1.0 has been released, it is expected to follow soon more games with support for the new api. Among other Unity, Epic, Valve and Dice have pledged to support Vulkan their game engines. The extent to which a performance boost yields compared to other low-level APIs remains to be seen.

The API has been available as an open beta and was initially known under the name glNext. The Khronos Group is a consortium in which numerous companies are represented. Several businesses support the group or help themselves to the development of the Vulkan-api. These include Google, Qualcomm and Imagination. The latter is the maker of the PowerVR GPU for smartphone socs.

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