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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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jamesc359 3 Mar, 2015
I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they really did support hardware back that far.
raacoon 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: jamesc359I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they really did support hardware back that far.

I wouldn't be since OpenGL ES 3.1 is the latest release of the OpenGL ES API.
pd12 3 Mar, 2015
like!
Although the name is a bit weird ...
mirv 3 Mar, 2015
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Quoting: jamesc359I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they really did support hardware back that far.

To be fair, that's just the requirements for Vulkan. I don't think anyone expects the hardware manufacturers to actually go back very far in their hardware lineup with actual driver support.
Mesa might, but they're not a hardware manufacturer.
pb 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: pd12like!
Although the name is a bit weird ...

Since the group's name is a bastardised name of a Greek deity, then why not use a bastardised name of a Roman deity for the API? ;-)
minj 3 Mar, 2015
N00b question: won't bypassing 'error checking' etc in the driver impact system stability?
tuubi 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: minjN00b question: won't bypassing 'error checking' etc in the driver impact system stability?
N00b answer: They're not just taking OpenGL and dropping useful but slow stuff. That would be idiotic. There's simply less need for runtime validation if the API is simpler and better defined. And the layered architecture allows for a more efficient pipeline, loading only whatever validation and error checking "layers" are needed in any given situation. Is this the part you were worried about?
STiAT 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: jamesc359I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they really did support hardware back that far.

To be fair, that's just the requirements for Vulkan. I don't think anyone expects the hardware manufacturers to actually go back very far in their hardware lineup with actual driver support.
Mesa might, but they're not a hardware manufacturer.

NVidia very likely will. They're internally doing a similar thing in their drivers anyway.
neffo 3 Mar, 2015
This is brilliant news.

And it actually makes me wonder how similar the APIs of DX12 and Vulkan will be. Surely there will be some convergent evolution going on here.

DX12 might be easier to wrap into Vulkan than DX10/11 was into OpenGL (especially since the later has never happened).
Styromaniac 3 Mar, 2015
Quoting: pd12like!
Although the name is a bit weird ...
It means Volcano. Since volcanoes bring up material from deep within the crust and they're very powerful, I'd say it's a very appropriate name, especially since the new naming trend includes Mantle and Metal. It stands out, yet follows the trend a bit.

"Mantle plumes" would be weird for a name :P

"Volcanoe" is the meh version of the word.

It also makes sense since Vulkan will be a chewing up and spitting out of Metal :)
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