Khronos Group’s Vulkan API Release is Imminent

Khronos Group has issued a press release today, stating that their Vulkan API (Version 1.0) will be getting a release very soon.

Vulkan is the only low level API that supports every single platform in existence. As the successor to OpenGL Vulkan improves vastly on its predecessor. Compared to OpenGl which was a high level API, Vulkan is a low level API and possesses a multi-core friendly architecture, reduces the load on CPUs in situations where the CPU is the bottleneck, allowing higher throughput for GPU calculations and rendering, has support for pre compiled shader and supports mobile GPUs.

The Vulkan API can be seen as the successor to AMD’s Mantle API as it is built on the same core features. The Vulkan API pushes for reduced API overhead and optimized multi-core and multi-threaded performance. The API will be a direct competitor to Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API which is also going to see wide-scale usage in 2016.

DirectX 12 however will be restricted to Windows 10 only. Vulkan on the other hand can work on multiple OS which range from Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10), Linux, SteamOS, Android. Also unlike Mantle, Vulkan will be able to run multiple GPUs from various vendors allowing a more wider support than any previous API. Another leverage over previous APIs is that Vulkan adopts the first open standard cross-API intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics known as SPIR-V, allowing developers to write programs for Vulkan in their own choice of programming language.

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Following is the press release issued by Khronos Group:

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 specification is complete and undergoing legal review and final polishing. The 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 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!

Since hosting the first Vulkan face-to-face meeting last year, we’ve been really pleased with the progress of the API and we think it’s the right way forward for powering the next generation of high performance games.

Here’s why we think Vulkan is the future. 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. And the reason for that is that Vulkan will cover you on Windows 10 on the same class of hardware and so much more from all these other platforms and IHVs that we’ve heard from. Metal is single platform, single vendor, and Vulkan; we are gonna have support for not only Windows 10 but Windows 7, Windows 8, we’re gonna have it on Android and all of the IHVs are making great progress on drivers, I think we’re going to see super rapid adoption. If you’re developing a game for next generation APIs, I think it’s clear that Vulkan is the best choice and we’re very pleased with the progress and the state of the API. We think it’s gonna power the next generation of games for years to come.

The trademark for Vulkan was filed on February 19, 2015. Vulkan was formally named and announced at Game Developers Conference 2015, although speculation and rumors centered around a new API existed beforehand and referred to it as ‘glNext’. Vulkan will be joining DirectX 12 and Metal as a low level API.

Suvoparno Banerjee

Suvoparno Banerjee

Student , Gamer , Blogger , Audiophile .