Intel launches Vulkan driver support

February 14, 2017 // 11:18 a.m.

Tags: #api #kaby-lake #mantle #opengl #skylake #vulkan

Companies: #amd #intel #khronos-group

Intel has announced that it is going to start officially supporting the Khronos Group's Vulkan low-level graphics application programming interface (API) on its latest GPUs, following a period of beta releases.

Announced back in 2015, Vulkan builds on technology developed during the GLnext programme and by AMD as part of its own short-lived Mantle API with one primary goal in mind: reducing driver overhead and providing developers with access closer to the metal as a means of boosting performance, particularly on lower-end hardware. Designed to work alongside OpenGL, Vulkan has won support from both AMD and Nvidia - and now you can count Intel as an official Vulkan adopter.

'We are moving from beta support to full official support for the Vulkan API on Windows going forward,' the company explained in an announcemnet late last night. 'Vulkan targets high performing real-time 3D graphics applications, like games, while giving low-overhead hardware control over GPU acceleration to developers. Vulkan promises great performance and predictability, while paving the way to better equip games to handle virtual reality or 4k HDR.'

Initially, Intel's Vulkan driver supports only two product families: Kaby Lake processors running on Windows 10 and Skylake processors running on Windows 7 or higher. Users will also need to be running the 64-bit versions of these operating systems in order to install the latest driver release and receive Vulkan support.

The driver can be downloaded from the official website now, though Intel warns that some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may customise their drivers in such a way that installation of the generic Intel graphics driver can have unforeseen negative effects.
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