AMD issues high-throughput graphics driver for Vulkan API

February 16, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) has flagged support for the imminent release of the ratified Vulkan 1.0 Specification by the Khronos Group.

Vulkan, according to the Khronos website ; “ ...is the new generation, open standard API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs. This ground-up design, previously referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability.

In June of 2014 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 spec editors. With [this] 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, and 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, AMD asserts, 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 supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Android, and Linux.

With the consortium of hardware and software companies that make up the Khronos Group, AMD is looking forward to the delivering the latest and greatest game rendering technologies to millions of users and many operating systems simultaneously:

“The release of the Vulkan 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers. 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