Samsung has announced an enhanced iteration of the Vulkan API, which offers a 10% performance improvement as compared to the OpenGL ES. Samsung has also announced new features for GPUWatch, a tool that aids developers monitor and measure performance between Vulkan and OpenGL ES.
Unreal Engine 4.21 continues their pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100% feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1. Projects that utilize Vulkan can run up to 20% faster than the same project that uses OpenGL ES.
Zink is an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan. Or to be a bit more specific, Zink is a Mesa Gallium driver that leverages the existing OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available.
Qualcomm has introduced the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 Mobile Platform. The Snapdragon 675 offers outstanding gaming, a leap in artificial intelligence (AI) capability and a cutting-edge camera. Premium features in the Snapdragon 675 are enabled by the Qualcomm AI Engine, Qualcomm Spectra ISP, Qualcomm Kryo CPU and Qualcomm Adreno GPU. A number of specific games and game engines have been optimized including Unity, Unreal, Messiah, and NeoX. Qualcomm Technologies also supports popular tools and APIs, including Vulkan, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL, and Snapdragon profiler.
Vulkan could improve the limited battery life on the Oculus Go and help Oculus deliver a console level experience on the Quest. While a mobile chip is unlikely to ever deliver the same performance as a home console or gaming PC, Vulkan may help narrow the gap and deliver more realistic graphics than OpenGL would.
The 2018 X.Org Developer's Conference (XDC2018) videos have now been posted online. XCD 2018 saw many Khronos members sponsor this conference, including Igalia, AMD, Arm, COLLABORA, Google, NVIDIA, Intel and Valve. The talks covered Vulkan, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL, SPIR-V, GLSL and OpenXR. We've compiled a list of all the videos discussing these Khronos standards here, or you can watch all the videos from the conference on the X.Org Foundation YouTube channel.
A libre-licensed software implementation of Vulkan has started up again. Originally started in c++ in 2017, for a reimplementation Rust has been chosen for its concurrency and memory-safety features, and Rust's LLVM support makes it highly portable. With OpenGL having both llvmpipe and MesaGL for fallback and testing purposes, it seems strange that there does not exist a corresponding Reference Implementation for Vulkan: the only implementations available are in hardware, making it extremely challenging for anyone considering entering the market. Kazan helps fill that gap. Sponsorship of this entirely libre-licensed project welcomed.
NVIDIA has released the new VRWorks Graphics SDK V3.0 for application and headset developers along with the NVIDIA display driver 411.63, both updated for NVIDIA's new Turing GPU generation. The drivers are available for download and the SDK has been posted. The SDK includes an OpenGL sample to demonstrate Turing's “Variable Rate Shading” (VRS) feature showing how to vary fragment load across the screen, e.g. for foveated rendering. Another sample demonstrates Turing's “Multi-View Rendering” (MVR) feature by showing how to render the same scene from different viewpoints. There are Vulkan versions of the samples too.
Qualcomm released a new version of Snapdragon Profiler this week. The system profiler for mobile-based hardware using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips now includes support for Vulkan frame captures. Labelling the new Vulkan capability as a beta feature, the 2018.2 release of Snapdragon Profiler includes additional fixes for OpenGL ES frame captures, saving and loading Profiler sessions, and more.
Intel’s driver team has published a new graphics driver for all recent GPUs (Intel 6th, 7th and 8th Gen processors) on Windows 10. This new driver (version 184.108.40.20623) brings support for Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809 with WDDM 2.5) and HDR for embedded laptop panels. Hardware support now included up to Vulkan 1.1.83, OpenCL 2.1 and OpenGL 4.5. Complete details are in the Intel Release Notes PDF.
The first GPUs from the Turing architecture have arrived with lots of new features. Extensions have been added to both Vulkan and OpenGL to give developers access to these new features. The various Khronos Registries and Repositories have been updated to include the specifications and tools for the new extensions. The Vulkan and OpenGL extensions are enumerated on the NVIDIA website to provide developers access to these new features.
Forsaken Remastered was just updated with Vulkan support! If you're on Linux, you're probably hitting 60fps with the existing OpenGL renderer, but it's good to be future proof. If you're on a Mac, though, you definitely want to switch. On my MacBook, the framerate goes from around 15 to a solid 60! On macOS, Vulkan support is supplied by MoltenVK, which we now ship with the game. It should work on any Mac that supports Apple's Metal API, which MoltenVK uses to make Vulkan work. You can change from OpenGL to Vulkan in-game in the "Video" options menu.
Intel’s driver team has published a new graphics driver for all recent GPUs (Intel 6th, 7th and 8th Gen processors) on Windows 10. This driver version exposes Vulkan 1.1.82, and continues to support OpenGL 4.5, exposing the same OpenGL support as v4944 (245 OpenGL extensions). Direct download from Intel is here.
SIGGRAPH is next week! The conference is August 12–16 in Vancouver Canada. For those going, Khronos will be hosting several Birds of a Feather sessions. For all those folks that will not be present, we will be offering live streaming of all our sessions (glTF, WebGL, OpenXR, Vulkan and OpenGL) on the Khronos Group YouTube Channel, and will follow up with recorded video the following week. For complete details on all the sessions, please ask your friends and co-workers to take a look at our SIGGRAPH event page! A special thanks to our Diamond sponsor NVIDIA, Gold Sponsor LunarG, and Silver sponsors Cesium and AMD, for making possible the Khronos Networking Reception at the end of the day.
The Khronos Group will be at SIGGRAPH 2018. This year, Khronos is presenting a full day of BOFs covering Vulkan, WebGL, OpenXR, OpenGL, glTF and OpenGL ES, and a Networking Reception after the Khronos sessions on Wednesday, August 15. Details on all the sessions can be found on our SIGGRAPH page.