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LunarG has now officially rolled out 'DevSim', a rather fancy tool for developers to test their Vulkan games and applications against many different configurations.

Why is this interesting? Well, not every developer will have access to tens (and more) different GPUs. With DevSim, they technically don't need to, as they can use it to simulate various different configurations.

Here's how they describe it (read more in their news post):

The LunarG Device Simulation layer helps test across a wide range of hardware capabilities without requiring a physical copy of every device. It can be applied without modifying any application binaries, and in a fully-automated fashion. The Device Simulation layer (aka DevSim) is a Vulkan layer that can override the values returned by your application’s queries of the GPU. DevSim uses a JSON text configuration file to make your application see a different driver/GPU than is actually in your system. This capability is useful to verify that your application both a) properly queries the limits from Vulkan, and b) obeys those limits.

It's free as well, with the source included in their VulkanTools repository on GitHub.

Fantastic to see more like this out there for Vulkan, hopefully the more we see like this, the easier and more likely it will be for developers to use Vulkan, which can help bringing games to Linux become a bit easier.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Vulkan
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3 comments

mirv 24 Jan, 2018
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Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this essentially limits the capabilities of your system/driver reporting. It cannot be used to test something that doesn't exist at all.

Think things like maximum reported surface size (monitor resolution), buffer counts, memory sizes, etc.
Purple Library Guy 24 Jan, 2018
Quoting: mirvBefore anyone gets the wrong idea, this essentially limits the capabilities of your system/driver reporting. It cannot be used to test something that doesn't exist at all.

Think things like maximum reported surface size (monitor resolution), buffer counts, memory sizes, etc.

Ah. So it's not some kind of ridiculous VM capable of actually simulating the activity of a bunch of different incredibly complex GPUs. That would have been a bit too amazing to be true. Something like that would require a pretty monstrous system to work anyway.
mirv 25 Jan, 2018
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It's still very useful to make sure code is scaling properly (swapping things in & out of memory, automatically adjusting options to keep performance, or cutting off code paths or using fallbacks if the hardware isn't offering support for a feature, etc). For a developer, it allows a single purchase of a rather beefy machine be able to test multiple "lower" configurations (which are often the target anyway - just for development something more is needed).

There's a pretty big database of GPU parameters that info can be sourced from as well.

But, it doesn't obviously cover testing different driver versions, or actually running on different hardware. So it's just another tool for the box to help harden code.
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