back to article Khronos releases Vulkan 1.0 open graphics specification

Khronos has released Vulkan 1.0, the next generation open graphics API, and a Vulkan SDK for Windows and Linux is now available from LunarG. Khronos is an industry consortium which creates open graphics standards, including OpenGL and WebGL. Vulkan was announced in March 2015 and represents the next generation after OpenGL, …

  1. Len

    Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

    If I read between the lines it looks as if Vulkan could be a successor to OpenGL (i.e. Vulkan being rebranded as OpenGL 5.0 at some point) because it would allow much of the cruft that has gathered in OpenGL do stay behind in OpenGL 4.0.

    Obviously they wouldn't openly acknowledge that at this stage so they don't alienate developers but I don't see why this couldn't happen in about two years. Especially if Vulkan proves to be a success.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

      That's exactly what it's not. You could actually implement OpenGL using Vulcan.

      OpenGL is a very abstract state machine, whereas Vulcan is a lot closer to the metal. My hope is that someone creates a less crufty OpenGL alternative using Vulcan.

    2. TheVogon

      Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

      Rather late to the party now that Direct-X 12 has been out for a while. If it doesnt offer any compelling performance or feature advantages, I can't see it making much headway.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

        Unless you are on one of those non-microsoft platforms.

        I hear they have computers in pockets these days

      2. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

        "I can't see it making much headway"

        Vulcan is portable to Linux, Android and older Windows versions - DirectX 12 is Windows 10 only. Do you think that Windows 10 adoption is going so well (both on desktop and mobile) that in few years time no-one will bother with APIs other than DirectX 12? Aren't you a little too optimistic?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

          "in few years time no-one will bother with APIs other than DirectX 12? Aren't you a little too optimistic?"

          There will always be a market for Open GL related libraries. However Direct-X 12+ already works on over ~200 million Direct-X 12 capable PCs and 20+ million Xbox Ones. Vulcan likely won't work on the PS4 as Sony have their own custom direct to metal API. Or on any Apple products. So you are basically talking about a market of Android mobile phone owners for which direct to the metal hardware acceleration is probably mostly not relevant - and PC owners who already have a more mature API in Direct-X 12 - and which already has targeted hardware on the market.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

            And a few hundred million new cars that are going to have fancy graphics, and millions of smart TVs and billions of IoT devices that will want pretty UIs without running Windows10.

            The market for this is anything that currently has an LCD display.

    3. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: Vulkan successor to OpenGL?

      Given that DirectX 12 is the successor to DirectX 11, it certainly would seem that the close-to-the-metal capabilities of Vulkan should be integrated with the more mainstream approach of OpenGL to provide a comparable alternative - ideally, one where one could program most of one's graphics in the normal OpenGL fashion, getting close to the metal only when one needs to.

  2. Alan Bourke

    MOAR TRINAGLES

    YES TRINAGLES

  3. Phil Endecott

    I fear Apple is unlikely to support this, as they have their "metal" language which does a similar thing. So for cross-platform development, you're probably still stuck with OpenGL.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      I think the opposite is more likely; Apple created and gave OpenCL to Khronos back in 2009 so probably still has a good relationship with them, and has its high-level SceneKit and SpriteKit as proprietary APIs up where most developers now hang out.

      I think the only market advantage Apple derives from Metal is that cross-platform fare sitting atop Unreal or Unity or whatever runs better on its hardware than on a hypothetical clock-for-clock equivalent alternative.

      If Vulkan offers the same advantages of Metal then I would expect Apple to adopt the two as equals (hedging against Vulkan falling behind, naturally).

      1. Phil Endecott

        > Apple created and gave OpenCL to Khronos back in 2009

        But the more recent data point is that they created Metal in 2015 and kept it as an Apple-only technology.

        > has its high-level SceneKit and SpriteKit as proprietary APIs up where most

        > developers now hang out.

        Not developers who are trying to write portable code.

  4. sopcannon

    can someone translate what this actually means to a average pc user?

    1. Fibbles

      You might get games and other graphical programs that can better utilise your graphics hardware without getting bottlenecked by the CPU.

      1. regadpellagru

        "You might get games and other graphical programs that can better utilise your graphics hardware without getting bottlenecked by the CPU."

        Yep, and you'll progressively be able, if you're a gamer, to get rid of the shite from Redmond entirely, as game devs will have the choice for their 3D API: DX11/12 from MS (plus the whole malware stuff) or something that works on OS X/Linux/Windows. I think I know what many will choose.

        Really the best news of the year !

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          OS X and Windows?

          Have either Apple or Microsoft announced that they will be supporting Vulkan in OS X or Windows, respectively?

          Vulkan may end up only being a real option on Linux/Android, and the only way you might be able to get it on OS X or Windows would be third party drivers.

          1. Lennart Sorensen

            Re: OS X and Windows?

            It doesn't matter what Microsoft thinks. If intel, AMD and Nvidia all support it in their drivers, then it doesn't matter if Microsoft officially wants to support it. They already did it back when OpenGL wasn't what Microsoft wanted, and they are doing it now with Vulcan.

            1. regadpellagru

              Re: OS X and Windows?

              "It doesn't matter what Microsoft thinks. If intel, AMD and Nvidia all support it in their drivers, then it doesn't matter if Microsoft officially wants to support it. They already did it back when OpenGL wasn't what Microsoft wanted, and they are doing it now with Vulcan."

              Exactly. Nvidia and AMD (also Intel) are running the show as far as 3D APIs and silicon go.

              Since they've been able to assemble at Khronos, it means, to me, the API is gonna be the natural choice, onwards.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "if you're a gamer, to get rid of the shite from Redmond entirely, as game devs will have the choice for their 3D API: DX11/12 from MS (plus the whole malware stuff)"

          Because switching to say Android eliminated malware entirely. Oh, wait - I just got rooted by an SMS.

          1. regadpellagru

            "Because switching to say Android eliminated malware entirely. Oh, wait - I just got rooted by an SMS."

            Well, at least with Android, malware comes as accidents. So there are mitigations.

            With Windows, nowadays it comes, part of the operating system, therefore, there is REALLY no escape.

            I'm sorry, but I really don't know how to protect users from the kernel booting up from their drive !

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Well, at least with Android, malware comes as accidents. So there are mitigations."

              You realise Android is made by Google and slurps everything you and targets adverts based on that by design? At least Microsoft pretend to ask first.

              1. asdf

                >You realise Android is made by Google and slurps everything you and targets adverts based on that by design?

                Well technically AOSP doesn't until you go and add that google account sign in (with gapps) which you can go without with F-Droid (but granted most people can't).

                >At least Microsoft pretend to ask first.

                Only because they are late to the game but they are making up for it with increased invasiveness nicely. Trust neither company with your data but at least with Android you can cut Google out of the equation if you no longer care about the warranty.

              2. wayward4now
                Headmaster

                "You realize Android is made by Google and slurps everything you and targets adverts based on that by design? At least Microsoft pretend to ask first."

                <creaky grandpa>

                You young whippersnappers don't know of the days when a month's worth of heavy usage on AOL could cost $500. Google can slurp all they need of my itty-bitty life. I doubt any of us are double-naught spies, with some huge need for privacy to protect democracy for us all.

                <creaky grandpa/off> .

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge

      "can someone translate what this actually means to a average pc user?"

      Sorry, but the average PC user won't want to touch this. They'll be sticking with Windows.

      It takes brains to run this.

    3. John Savard Silver badge

      Some (well, most, or nearly all) of the improvements found in DirectX 12 over DirectX 11 will now be available on Linux as well. Plus, since this also works under Windows, and on the Mac, it will be easier to make games that run very well on all three platforms.

  5. msknight
    Joke

    But to the more serious question.... why isn't the logo a version of a pointed ear?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      It *IS* - you've just been looking at it sideways! (for copyright reasons)

      (-;

  6. John Savard Silver badge

    Aww

    Went to the NVIDIA site. Their Vulkan drivers are still in beta, and they only go back as far as the GTX 600 series, so I'm out of luck with a GTX 440 on my laptop.

    What made me enthusiastic about Vulkan at this point was that it was noted in the article as being helpful to using the GPU for calculation and not just for graphics.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Microsoft is a contributing member of Khronos

    To those saying Apple and Microsoft etc will never use this:

    https://www.khronos.org/members/contributors/

    https://www.khronos.org/members/promoters/

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