Developers related stories

Vulkan session will be Live Streamed

Please join us at 2PM pacific time for a Live Stream of the second and last Vulkan session at GDC. There will be better quality video and slides available in the next few days.

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GLAVE Demo: Debug tool for the Vulkan API

LunarG has posted a video providing an overview of GLAVE, an open source tool for debugging Vulkan applications. GLAVE is being developed by Valve and LunarG.

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Redefining the shading languages ecosystem with SPIR-V

G-Truc Creation has posted an excellent and well balanced overview of SPIR-V – The first open standard intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics. "I am looking forward to the shading language revolution that SPIR-V will lead to, one step at a time!" sums up Christophe Riccio.

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An Early Look at WebGL 2

Mozilla is introducing a preview of WebGL 2, which is still under development by the WebGL working group. WebGL 2 is based on OpenGL ES 3.0, and brings with it many improvements and additions to help developers create stunning visuals on the Web. WebGL 2 will raise many restrictions and add new capabilities compared to WebGL 1. For example, while WebGL 1 only required support for being able to render using 8 textures at a time, WebGL 2 raises this minimum limit to 32.

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Khronos Reveals Vulkan API for High-efficiency Graphics and Compute on GPUs

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The Khronos Group announced the availability of technical previews of the new Vulkan™ open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices. This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-V™ specification for shading language flexibility. Vulkan initial specifications and implementations are expected later this year and any company may participate in Vulkan’s ongoing development by joining Khronos.

Quick links:
Press Release
Video of Live Vulkan Session
Vulkan Feedback thread: We look forward to hearing from you.
Overview slide: Powerpoint presentation outlining Vulkan

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Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.1 Provisional Specification for Public Review

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The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 2.1 provisional specification. OpenCL 2.1 is a significant evolution of the open, royalty-free standard for heterogeneous parallel programming that defines a new kernel language based on a subset of C++ for significantly enhanced programmer productivity, and support for the new Khronos SPIR-V cross-API shader program intermediate language now used by both OpenCL and the new Vulkan graphics API.

Press Release: Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.1 Provisional Specification for Public Review
Video of Live OpenCL Session
OpenCL Feedback thread: We look forward to hearing from you.
Overview slide: Powerpoint presentation outlining OpenCL 2.1

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Khronos Releases SPIR-V The first open standard intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics

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In another significant announcement today, OpenCL 2.1 and Vulkan™, the new open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, are now sharing core intermediate language technologies resulting in SPIR-V; a revolution in the Khronos Standard Portable Intermediate Representation initially used by OpenCL™, now fully defined by Khronos with native support for shader and kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan or OpenCL drivers. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of kernel IP protection, accelerated kernel load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving kernel reliability and portability across multiple implementations. You can read more on the SPIR homepage, registry and whitepaper, and give us valuable community feedback in our SPIR forum.

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How Open Standards are changing the Computational Landscape

The Computational and Simulation Sciences and eResearch, Annual Conference 2015 was held the second week of February. Neil Trevett recently spoke on how Open Standards are changing the Computational Landscape. The slide deck from the presentation is now online.

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Imagination Packs High-Quality PowerVR Rogue Graphics with OpenGL ES 3.0 into a tiny footprint

Imagination Technologies announces a new area-optimized PowerVR GPU designed to drive high-quality graphics with full OpenGL ES 3.0 functionality into low-cost and space-constrained devices. The new PowerVR G6020 GPU has been specially designed for graphics efficiency in ultra-compact silicon area, obtaining better real device performance and compatibility without unnecessary overhead. It is the smallest member of the PowerVR Series6XE family, with four arithmetic logic unit (ALU) cores and a silicon footprint of 2.2mm2 (28nm process technology at 400MHz).

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Microsoft achieves compelling Performance-per-Watt in cloud data center acceleration with OpenCL powered FPGAs

Altera Corporation announced Microsoft is using Altera Arria 10 FPGAs to achieve compelling performance-per-Watt in data center acceleration based on CNN (convolutional neural network) algorithms. This performance is achieved using the open software development language known as OpenCL, or VHDL to code the Arria 10 FPGA and its IEEE754 hard floating point DSP (digital signal processing) blocks.

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