The Khronos Group announced today the immediate availability of the Vulkan 1.0 royalty-free, open standard API specification. As the press release reads, Vulkan provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms.
This ground-up design, complementing the OpenGL and OpenGL ES 3D APIs, aims to provide applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability with minimized CPU overhead and efficient multi-threaded performance.
Multiple Vulkan 1.0 hardware drivers and SDKs are available immediately for developers to begin creating Vulkan applications and engines.
Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director, Valve, said:
“We are extremely pleased at the industry’s rapid execution on the Vulkan API initiative. Due to Vulkan’s cross platform availability, high performance and healthy open source ecosystem, we expect to see rapid uptake by software developers, far exceeding the adoption of similar APIs which are limited to specific operating systems.”
Vulkan is described as the result of 18 months in an intense collaboration between leading hardware, game engine and platform vendors, built on significant contributions from multiple Khronos members. Vulkan is designed for portability across multiple platforms with desktop and mobile GPU architectures.
Vulkan is available on multiple versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and has been adopted as a native rendering and compute API by platforms including Linux, SteamOS, Tizen and Android.