We have some good news and some bad news. The year-end target release date for Vulkan will not be met. However, we are in the home stretch and the release of Vulkan 1.0 is near!
A more detailed update is available on the Vulkan ecosystem page.
AMD has announce it will start rolling out in January an open source set of tools called GPUOpen. The “All Open” stack will contain open source modules for two parallel stacks, each containing modules for OpenGL graphics, motion video codecs, and OpenCL GPU computation. The “Professional/Gamer” stack will include the open source motion-video module and a closed source OpenGL module. Its final OpenCL module will support both OpenCL and Vulkan. Linux will gain access to a full open source, high-performance driver stack, with the only constraint being that developers must use Vulkan instead of the older OpenGL.
Imagination Technologies introduces another installment in their Vulkan series. In this post Tobias will be doing some analysis of why and how Vulkan is an explicit API, and what exactly that means. There is a lot of mention of Vulkan being a low-level API, and in some ways that’s true, but a lot of work is still abstracted from developers to handle cross-vendor compatibility.
It’s been a very busy few weeks for the Khronos Group chapters. We’ve added three new chapters: Paris France, Washington DC and Wroclaw Poland. There is a good selection of upcoming meetups as well:
- Computer Graphics on the Web: Dec 8, 2015 - Melbourne, Australia
- First Khronos Wroclaw meetup + VR: Dec 9, 2015 - Wroclaw, Poland
- Image Processing with WebGL: Dec 10, 2015 - London, Britain
- WebGL Developers Meetup: Dec 17, 2015 - Milano, Italy
- OpenGL for beginners part 1: Jan 06th, 2016 - Naritaweg, Amsterdam
Errata: We originally said Seattle Washington… our mistake, our latest chapter is in Washington DC.
Think Silicon’s mandate was always to deliver best in class ultra-low-power 2D/3D graphics performance thus the company took a close look at the Vulkan standard. We quantified the benefits of Vulkan graphics and compute APIs and we believe that Vulkan has the potential to become a very widely adopted cross-platform next generation 3D API.
LunarG announced that the company is splitting into two teams to better address the needs of Vulkan, the new graphics API from Khronos. The Desktop group will continue as LunarG, sponsored by Valve, and the team members from the Mobile group will move over to Google to work on Android. LunarG will continue to work closely with Khronos to forge the new Vulkan ecosystem.
Imagination Technologies is halfway through their series of blog posts on Vulkan. Hopefully you’ve checked out the other blog posts, or tuned into the webinars? This next post will discuss the importance of scaling to multiple threads, and how Vulkan helps achieve that.
The Khronos Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenCL 2.1 and SPIR-V 1.0 specifications for heterogeneous parallel computation. Consumption of the new SPIR-V cross-API intermediate language is guaranteed in the core OpenCL 2.1 specification. Khronos has released open source utilities and extensions to enable use of SPIR-V in OpenCL 1.2 and 2.0, as well as the upcoming Vulkan graphics API, ensuring widespread availability of its powerful runtime capabilities for developers of parallel computation languages and frameworks. The OpenCL C++ kernel language released in the OpenCL 2.1 provisional specification is being finalized and will be released imminently, also using SPIR-V for run-time execution. The OpenCL 2.1 specification is available for immediate download and SPIR-V 1.0 is available online as well.
Jetson TX1 is the first embedded computer designed to process deep neural networks. With 1 teraflops of performance, Jetson delivers exceptional performance for machine learning, computer vision, GPU computing and graphics, while drawing very little power. Jetson TX1 includes a comprehensive SDK for embedded visual computing, including VisionWorks, an implementation of the OpenVX 1.0.1 specification with additional NVIDIA extensions as well as support for the latest graphics drivers and APIs, including OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan.
Basemark announced a new product called Basemark GPU Vulkan. This benchmarking software enables the industry to objectively and reliably quantify and compare graphics and computing performance of next generation mobile and desktop processors compatible with the new generation Vulkan API from the Khronos Group. Basemark GPU Vulkan is developed in close cooperation with key player semiconductor companies, such as AMD, Imagination Technologies, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Renesas within Basemark’s benchmark development program.
Imagination Technologies webinar series part II on Vulkan is now online. Vulkan is designed from the ground up with the idea of not being bottlenecked by the CPU, and provides huge efficiency gains over previous generation graphics APIs in this area. This webinar provides an overview of what mechanisms in Vulkan enable this, what this means in practice, and why it is so important for embedded and mobile devices. The episode was presented by Tobias Hector, Software Design Engineer for Vulkan and OpenGL ES, Imagination Technologies. Be sure to add November 19th to your calendar as the webinar series continues with ‘Scaling to multiple threads’.
ARM announced a new GPU from the same family as Mali-400 that uses only half as much power. The new GPU, the Mali-470, is targeted at next-generation wearables and IoT devices that need low-cost and low-power chips. The new Mali-470 comes with support for the ubiquitous OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics API. According to ARM, it brings a strong balance between pixel control and energy efficiency, which makes it well-suited for user interfaces. Users aren’t likely to play 3D games on their smartwatches any time soon, so OpenGL ES 3.0 and beyond shouldn’t be necessary. (By the time it is, the more efficient Vulkan should be the de facto graphics API.)
Vulkan is able to cover a wide range of platforms and hardware with vastly different form factors and power envelopes. Vulkan can run on a smart watch or a high end workstation, or anything in between. These platforms are going to have completely different capabilities and for good reason – they have different use cases in mind. Read more to understand how Vulkan has been designed to support all platforms.