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Press Release

Vulkan SDK is Vulkan Video Ready

New Vulkan SDK shipping today with support for Vulkan Video extensions, including use of Validation Layers; Vulkan Video drivers shipping from multiple GPU vendors

Vulkan Video LogoBeaverton, OR – January 30, 2023 – 9 AM Pacific – Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces that LunarG has released the Vulkan Software Development Kit (SDK) version for Windows and Linux with full support for the four Vulkan Video extensions finalized in December 2022, including header upgrades and Validation Layer integration. Together with drivers shipping from multiple GPU vendors, developers are now equipped with the essential tools to use Vulkan Video-accelerated H.264 and H.265 decode in frameworks and applications.

Growing Vulkan Video Industry Adoption

Vulkan drivers supporting the Vulkan Video extensions are now rolling out from multiple GPU vendors including NVIDIA’s Windows and Linux beta drivers, and AMD’s beta driver for Windows. Intel will support Vulkan Video with an upcoming Intel Graphics Driver release for Intel Arc A-Series Graphics and Intel Iris Xe Graphics later this year.

The open-source community is also pushing Vulkan Video support into the Vulkan RADV drivers for AMD, and the ANV drivers for Intel GPUs. Popular open-source media frameworks, including GStreamer and FFmpeg, are actively integrating Vulkan Video acceleration to deliver enhanced user experiences across multiple platforms.

“Many companies have worked hard on Vulkan Video to deliver specifications, conformance tests, drivers, tools, samples, and now an SDK to enable developers to efficiently utilize this groundbreaking API, and we are thrilled by the early engagement and adoption by the open source community,” said Ahmed Abdelkhalek, Vulkan Video technical subgroup chair. “We are also keenly aware of the strong industry interest in encode extensions, including for VP9 and AV1 codecs, together with additional features to optimize a growing range of use cases. Delivering on our roadmap will be the subgroup’s focus in 2023, and we appreciate the community's ongoing support!"

Vulkan Video Support in the Vulkan SDK

The Vulkan SDK now integrates all the components necessary for developers to easily use the new Vulkan Video extensions.

The Vulkan validation layers, API header files, and API registry now include support for:

The new Vulkan SDK also provides Vulkan Video codec-specific headers including:

  • vulkan_video_codec_h264std.h: defines structures and types shared by H.264 decode and encode operations.
  • vulkan_video_codec_h264std_decode.h: defines structures used only by H.264 decode operations.
  • vulkan_video_codec_h265std.h: defines structures and types shared by H.265 decode and encode operations.
  • vulkan_video_codec_h265std_decode.h: defines structures used only by H.265 decode operations.
  • vulkan_video_codecs_common.h: defines a versioning macro used by other standard headers for version maintenance.

Additional Vulkan Video Resources

Additional Vulkan Video resources are being constantly evolved by both Khronos and members of the Vulkan Video subgroup, including:

  • The Khronos blog from December 2022 has a detailed description of the current Vulkan Video extensions.
  • With version 2022.7 expected in February 2023, the NVIDIA Nsight Graphics frame debugger and NVIDIA Nsight Systems system profiler will explicitly support Vulkan Video.
  • The open source vk_video_decode sample from NVIDIA encapsulates how to parse a video stream from an input file, employ hardware-accelerated decoding, and pass the decoded stream frame-by-frame into graphics processing and presentation. This code in this sample can also be used as a customizable library to accelerate development.

In addition, all are invited to attend the virtual tutorial that will be live streamed from the sold-out Vulkanised 2023 event in Munich, taking place February 7-9. Online tutorial registration is free, but availability is limited.

The Khronos Vulkan Video subgroup welcomes all developer feedback and is carefully monitoring the Vulkan issue tracker on GitHub.

Industry Support for Vulkan Video

“The standardization of video acceleration in Vulkan® adds an essential building block to improve the efficiency of many use cases, from video transcoding to game streaming across a wide range of devices. The finalized support for H.264 and H.265 decoding is just the beginning for Vulkan. AMD is proud to have initiated this effort with Khronos. We look forward to supporting end-users with an upcoming release of an AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition™ driver that delivers an optimized Vulkan Video implementation for their products and solutions on AMD RDNA™ architecture-based graphics,” said Andrej Zdravkovic, SVP of software development at AMD.

"The possibilities opened up by having a cross-vendor, cross-platform video decoding/encoding standard are very interesting to the open-source community. The proliferation of APIs across platforms has seriously hampered development in this area, and the chance to standardize on a solution with a consistent set of expectations and testing is very exciting,” said Dave Airlie, Mesa/Linux developer, RADV/ANV driver video contributor.

“Collabora is proud to support the development and deployment of the Vulkan Video family of extensions. Vulkan Video extends the coverage of efficient, high-quality, media support to a wide variety of platforms with a standard, vendor-neutral, interface. We look forward to seeing its development across the whole open-source ecosystem, assisted by Collabora’s years of expertise with efficient and performant open-source multimedia support,” said Daniel Almeida, multimedia software engineer, Collabora.

"Igalia is proud to have been a contributor to the Vulkan Video extensions and the respective CTS tests, as they cover the large need of having a multiplatform standard around hardware-accelerated video coding. As long-term contributors to open-source graphics and video stacks, we are working hard on providing Vulkan Video support in GStreamer, a popular open-source multimedia framework, that will benefit applications that require hardware-accelerated video coding functionality," said Samuel Iglesias, director of GPU driver development at Igalia.

“NVIDIA has been a driving force behind the integration of accelerated video processing into the power and flexibility of the Vulkan API, expanding the choice of video APIs for developers as part of our commitment to open, cross-platform standards. Working with industry leaders, we’ll continue expanding Vulkan Video’s capabilities with support for encoding and additional popular codecs to elevate workloads,” said Bob Pette, vice president of professional visualization, NVIDIA.

“RasterGrid is proud to have played a key role in finalizing the Vulkan Video Core & Decode extensions and adding support for them to the Vulkan Validation Layers. We are looking forward to Vulkan Video redefining the benchmark for hardware-accelerated video coding performance and developers leveraging the tight integration of graphics, compute, and video coding workloads in new and innovative ways,” said Daniel Rakos, CEO, RasterGrid.

About Vulkan and Vulkan Video

Vulkan is an open, royalty-free API for high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs, with widespread adoption in leading engines, cutting-edge games, and demanding applications. Vulkan is supported in a diverse range of devices from Windows and Linux PCs, consoles, and the cloud, to mobile phones and embedded platforms.

Vulkan Video provides developers with a powerful and flexible cross-platform video processing API by seamlessly integrating hardware-accelerated stream compression and decompression with the full power of the Vulkan API, with flexible, fine-grained control over scheduling, synchronization, and memory allocation—enabling developers to combine GPU rendering, compute acceleration and video processing within a single efficient run time.

Vulkan Video enables efficient, low-latency, low-overhead use of processing resources, including distributing stream processing tasks across multiple CPU cores and video codec hardware—all with application portability across multiple platforms and devices ranging from small embedded devices to high-performance servers supporting Windows and Linux.

The Khronos Vulkan Video extension roadmap will enable additional codecs and functionality during 2023.

About Khronos

The Khronos Group is an open, non-profit, member-driven consortium of over 200 industry-leading companies creating advanced, royalty-free, interoperability standards for 3D graphics, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, vision acceleration and machine learning. Khronos activities include 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, glTF™, Kamaros™, NNEF™, OpenCL™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenVG™, OpenVX™, OpenXR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, Vulkan®, and WebGL™. Khronos members drive the development and evolution of Khronos specifications and are able to accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.


Khronos® and Vulkan® are registered trademarks, and ANARI™, WebGL™, glTF™, KTX™, NNEF™, OpenVX™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, OpenVG™, Karamos™ and 3D Commerce™ are trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenXR™ is a trademark owned by The Khronos Group Inc. and is registered as a trademark in China, the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. OpenCL™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL® is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES™ and OpenGL SC™ logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.