SteamOS announced their brewmaster update 2.80 pushed to brewmaster_beta. Major changes for this update are the inclusion of the new RC1 AMD GPU PRO driver with Vulkan and VDPAU support. The new AMD driver is enabled only if you have a "Bonaire" GPU, with new drivers added for other GPUs as AMD completes testing. All bugs should be reported to the AMD Steam Linux forum.
Khronos sponsored a day long course covering both the function-based API and the graph API that enable OpenVX developers to efficiently run computer vision algorithms on heterogeneous computing architectures. One section explains the tutorial exercises with a VirtualBox VM, which can be downloaded from the tutorial on Github. The Embedded Vision Summit schedule is located here, the tutorial is on Github and the associated videos from the day long tutorial are available on Youtube.
Join the Khronos UK Chapter tomorrow May 26th for their 3rd Vulkan Developer event which will take a longer and deeper dive in programming 3D graphics using the Vulkan API. ARM is hosting the meet up for the day, and also inviting attendees to join them for a drink after at the Cambridge Beer Festival! In this full-day of technical sessions the meet up aim to provide 3D developers like yourself with everything you need to come up to speed on Vulkan and to forge ahead and explore how to use Vulkan in your engine or application.
Valve pushed out an update that provides opt-in support for using the Vulkan graphics API of the Source 2 Engine rather than using OpenGL (or DirectX under Windows). Those interested in trying out Vulkan on Dota 2 can enable the Dota 2 Vulkan DLC and launch the game with the -vulkan switch. More details here and in the official Dota 2 announcement.
Crytek’s Technical Director, Rok Erjavec recently shared his thoughts regarding DirectX 12 and Vulkan, and the performance boost gained. When asked about choosing between Vulkan and Directx 12, Rok Erjavec replied, saying: "If we implemented Vulkan in CRYENGINE, we wouldn’t have to choose one, as titles built with our tech would work seamlessly with both, and thus leave this choice with the users instead." He further said if they were to develop a game which would ship in 2017 and beyond, then “Vulkan looks like an appealing choice.”
Tom's Hardware has a nice review on mobile GPUs getting ready for 'Daydream' VR. Among the technologies being used are Khronos' ASTC specification and OpenGL ES. The Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) technology supported by ARM’s latest Mali and other recent GPUs on the market will reduce bandwidth requirements while still delivering decent graphics quality. On the software side, ARM has been optimizing its drivers to reduce latency and ensure fast context switching that is necessary for VR. ARM also enabled a few more OpenGL ES extensions to support efficient rendering to multiple views for both stereo and foveated rendering. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC, which comes with the Adreno 530 GPU, has been optimized for VR. It has support for 3D stereoscopic and foveated rendering, the latest graphics APIs such as OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan, and 360-degree 4k video decoding at 60fps.
Google has unveiled more details about Android N at its Google I/O developer’s conference including a discussion of performance in Android N 7.0 getting a boost from Vulkan. The two presentations from Google I/O are now online:
- Vulkan on N announcement in the keynote
- "Make shinier, faster mobile games with Vulkan"
You will find the Android Vulkan API SDK here.
AMD has launched their new line of discrete Radeon M400 GPUs that are designed specifically for notebooks. The R9 and R7 M400 series offer support for both Vulkan and OpenGL 4.4. There is no mention of support for the R5 M400 series. Product is based on a published Khronos Specification and is expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Process. Current conformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance.
A two hours-long talk at University of Lodz in Poland discussed the most common mistakes we come across in Vulkan applications. Dominik Witczak, one of AMDs developers, started from presenting exactly where Vulkan fits in the vast ecosystem of 3D APIs, and who Vulkan generally is, and is not, targeted for. After this short introduction, he proceeded with shedding more light on various areas of the API we find Vulkan application developers are having trouble with. Slides are available online.
Google will be holding their annual developer festival with hands-on learning, technical talks, and a chance to hear more about Google’s latest developer products May 18-20 in Mountain View California. If you are going, be sure not to miss Hai Nguyen's talk on 'Make shinier, faster mobile games with Vulkan'.