Khronos Vulkan spec launches, aims to take GPUs cross platform

Vulkan is an API that aims to make graphic and compute resources available to multiple platforms and devices.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

An open consortium of key hardware and software vendors dubbed the Khronos Group has launched what it hopes will be an open standard that will make high-end graphics and compute portable across multiple platforms and devices.

Vulkan 1.0, the open standard specification for application programming interfaces, launched on Tuesday with software developer kits and drivers. Nvidia, Intel, AMD, ARM and Qualcomm are among the chip makers supporting the effort.

What makes the Vulcan effort interesting is that it serves as a bridge between hardware, gaming and software companies on multiple platforms. Vulkan is designed to make graphics processing unit architectures portable and is available on Windows 7 to Windows 10 and Linux, SteamOS, Tizen and Android.

The standard is aimed at providing GPU control to multiple applications. Vulcan is designed to compete with OpenGL by using multiple cores and eliminating application bottlenecks.

In addition, the primary win for Vulkan is portability. The argument from Khronos is that GPUs will have to branch out from PCs and smartphones to cars, drones and wearables.

Here's a look at a few key slides outlining Vulkan.

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