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Open, scalable development with Vulkan GPUs


AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) will soon release the ratified Vulkan 1.0 Specification by the Khronos Group.
The journey to this point began in June 2014 when AMD submitted the XGL proposal based on its work on Mantle. Once accepted by the OpenGL Next working group, AMD helped steward it through committee via its role as specification editors.
With the transition to public availability of the Vulkan 1.0 API specifications, AMD will be releasing a beta version of its Vulkan API-enabled Radeon Software driver. This new driver, in-concert with Radeon graphics hardware, enables PC game developers to remove historical software bottlenecks which will unleash new, rich visual gaming experiences.
As a complement to OpenGL, descended from AMD’s Mantle, and forged by the industry, Vulkan is a powerful low-overhead graphics API that gives software developers deep control over the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of Radeon GPUs and multi-core CPUs.
Compared to OpenGL, Vulkan substantially reduces API overhead, which is background work a GPU or CPU must do to interpret what a game is asking of the hardware. Reducing this overhead gives hardware much more time to spend on delivering meaningful features, performance, and image quality.
Vulkan also exposes GPU hardware features not ordinarily accessible through OpenGL, and uniquely supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Android, and Linux.
“The release of the Vulkan 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers,” says Raja Koduri, senior vice-president and chief architect of the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. “The Vulkan API, which was derived from Mantle, will bring the benefits of low-overhead high-performance Graphics API to the benefit of cross-platform and cross-vendor targeted applications.
“The promotion of open and scalable technologies continues to be the focus at AMD, as a pioneer in the low-overhead API space. As a member of the Khronos Group, AMD is proud to collaborate with hardware and software industry leaders to develop the Vulkan API to ignite the next evolution in PC game development.”