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It has been officially announced now, so Vulkan API it is! We are entering a new era of graphical performance.

The good news, is that Vulkan will be able to work on any chip that supports OpenGL ES 3.1 and upwards. So, it looks like it could work on cards as old as the Nvidia 400 series, but we still need to wait and see what cards the official proprietary drivers and open source drivers actually support before people with older cards get too excited.
I can't imagine them leaving it to only the newest generation of chips, as that would lock out too many people.

image

It may be a while before we see support for it in drivers, as the API probably isn’t completely finished just yet, and the open source drivers don’t have full OpenGL support just yet either.

Here's a choice quote from Gabe Newell, Valve:
QuoteIndustry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms. Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.


It will be interesting to see what demos they have in store for us later at GDC!

See the official press release here.

There’s also the official Vulkan site here as well.

And finally, there’s the slides to look over that give you an overview. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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25 comments
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Skully 3 Mar, 2015
Just because it means Volcano, doesn't mean it they did that on purpose. Maybe they picked it cause it sounded cool or something.
Orkultus 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: SkullyJust because it means Volcano, doesn't mean it they did that on purpose. Maybe they picked it cause it sounded cool or something.

Most likely cause it's going to erupt with amazing performance and kill DirectX (we all hope anyway)..lol ;)
fedso 3 Mar, 2015
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They did a lot more work than I expected! At page 8 of the slides there is a screenshot of the Vulkan debugger developed by Valve and LunarG with some API calls. I wonder how close the names are to Mantle API although at low level the actual calls are probably very similar to each other.
The Vulkan working group is also interesting, it seems all relevant industry and more is onboard. Just discovered that Continental is also in the working group... they must be using graphics API for tires tassellation... (...stupid joke, I couldn't resist, sorry!)
Shmerl 3 Mar, 2015
What is the earliest Intel chip that supports OpenGL ES 3.1?
Bumadar 3 Mar, 2015
the Logo so brings back my 3DFX memories, and I know its different but still... can't help it :)
fedso 3 Mar, 2015
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Quoting: ShmerlWhat is the earliest Intel chip that supports OpenGL ES 3.1?

Compute shaders were introduces with OpenGL 4.3 so Haswell or newer if I remember correctly
MayeulC 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: fedsoThey did a lot more work than I expected! At page 8 of the slides there is a screenshot of the Vulkan debugger developed by Valve and LunarG with some API calls. I wonder how close the names are to Mantle API although at low level the actual calls are probably very similar to each other.
The Vulkan working group is also interesting, it seems all relevant industry and more is onboard. Just discovered that Continental is also in the working group... they must be using graphics API for tires tassellation... (...stupid joke, I couldn't resist, sorry!)

Yeah, moreover, this screenshot is taken on X :P
I wonder how close Mesa (Gallium) IR and SPIR-V are ?
fedso 3 Mar, 2015
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Here is an excellent article about SPIR-V:
http://www.g-truc.net/post-0714.html#menu
Maelrane 3 Mar, 2015
API Calls look similar to Mantle... looks like Vulkan is about an open Mantle. Great move that AMD ditches Mantle as well :)

Too many organizations try to ride a dead horse in this business.
Shmerl 4 Mar, 2015
Did anyone address the issue of one thread bottleneck? According to this diagram, Vulkan doesn't offer the ability to submit GPU commands from multiple threads and requires one dedicated thread to do it (Mantle and DX12 allow it).
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