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The Khronos Group launches Vulkan 1.0

The Khronos Group launches Vulkan 1.0

The Khronos Group has officially released version 1.0 of its Vulkan API, developed in just 18 months and already supported in a beta release of The Talos Principle.

The Khronos Group has officially launched its Vulkan application programming interface (API), with drivers available immediately from AMD, Nvidia, Intel, and Imagination Technologies for various graphics processors.

Designed to operate at a lower level than the Khronos Group's more well-known OpenGL API, Vulkan promises to dramatically improve performance by reducing the driver overhead - a feature that will be of most benefit to those on lower-performance graphics cards, where the overhead can sap a surprisingly high percentage of the overall performance. Coupled with support for more efficient usage of multi-core processors, Vulkan is being positioned as a next-generation API - though the Khronos Group is quick to point out that it will continue to develop OpenGL and its embedded variant OpenGL ES in parallel with Vulkan.

'The Vulkan working group has been driven by more positive developer energy than any other Khronos project, resulting in the release of specifications, conformance tests, and open source SDK and compiler components in just 18 months,' crowed Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at Nvidia, which is supporting the API on its GeForce GTX 600 series and above graphics processors. 'Vulkan does not replace traditional APIs, but it provides another choice for developers. In the right hands, Vulkan’s multi-threading and explicit resource management can enable a new class of smooth, high-performance engines and applications.'

Derived from AMD's short-lived Mantle project, Vilkan has support from all the major graphics vendors including AMD, Nvidia, Intel, ARM, Imagination Technologies, and Qualcomm. Support has been added, or is in the process of being added, to graphics processors ranging from high-end desktop and workstation devices down to mobile-centric system-on-chip designs. Impressively, it even has an end-user implementation at launch: Croteam's puzzler The Talos Principle has already received a beta update which enables Vulkan support. 'Vulkan has a huge potential! We're only scratching the surface of what can be done with it, and porting The Talos Principle to Vulkan should be seen as a proof of concept,' explained Dean Sekulic, graphics engine specialist at Croteam, of his company's release. 'Vulkan in just one sentence? The endless war between performance and portability is finally over!'

Vulkan isn't without competition in the market, however. Microsoft's DirectX 12 offers many of the same benefits, including the promise of improved multi-processor handling and lower driver overheads, but is exclusively available on the company's Windows 10 operating system with partial support on the Xbox One. Vulkan, by contrast, is cross-platform and, thanks to AMD's code contributions from Mantle, has many open source components.

More information on the Vulkan 1.0 release is available on the official website.

6 Comments

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theshadow2001 17th February 2016, 15:03 Quote
Whilst I'm sure I'll be disappointed. I do hope this API can help strengthen the position of Non Windows based gaming.
rollo 17th February 2016, 17:16 Quote
Will become a develop for dx12 or this Dout most major games will bother with both.
Corky42 17th February 2016, 18:15 Quote
I thought they shared many similarities, going on some bit and bobs I've read as i ain't got a clue about that sort of thing.
wolfticket 17th February 2016, 18:58 Quote
Even if this only serves to give DX a long deserved kick up the backside (as it seems it might have already) we still all win.
wiak 18th February 2016, 04:33 Quote
if you are bored or curious you can try vulkan out right now in "The Talos Prinicple"
https://nwgat.ninja/the-talos-prinicple-in-vulkan/
Gareth Halfacree 18th February 2016, 07:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiak
if you are bored or curious you can try vulkan out right now in "The Talos Prinicple"
https://nwgat.ninja/the-talos-prinicple-in-vulkan/
You know it says that in the article, right? Complete with a quote from the guy who wrote the Vulkan code?
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