SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Khronos Group announced Vulkan, an update of the 20-year-old OpenGL graphics API that also could become the future for OpenGL ES in smartphones and embedded devices. The cross-platform interface aims to provide an alternative to new APIs specific to AMD, Apple and Microsoft products.
Today’s multithreaded, multicore GPUs “can’t get maximum system performance with OpenGL, so we needed to do a ground-up redesign,” said Neil Trevett, president of Khronos.
Vulkan aims to be a more open, cross-platform alternative to the Mantle API for AMD’s graphics chips, the Metal interface for PowerVR GPUs on Apple’s iOS and DirectX 12, the next graphics API for Windows.
Khronos is previewing details of Vulkan at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. It is in an early alpha release with leading game developers and expected to be available before the end of the year. Vulkan supports the latest version of Khronos’ Standard Portable Intermediate Language (SPIR-V), a cross-platform compiler tool that helps developers simplify driver software.
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