The Khronos Industrial Group has announced the release of Vulkan 1.3 and the roadmap for the deployment of the new version of the set of libraries for development of applications with 3D graphics and in particular video games, which has become the only viable alternative of its kind to Microsoft’s DirectX monopoly.
Vulkan keeps getting better and it’s important. DirectX is a set of advanced libraries, but closed in code and limited in platforms since Microsoft’s interest in favoring its own solutions (Windows and Xbox) is clear. Hence, the industry needs an API like this: open, free (royalty-free), multi platform (offers support for consoles, computers, tablets, mobiles, embedded…) and multisystem (in addition to all versions of Windows, Linux, Android, macOS or Steam OS).
Vulkan 1.3, more and better
The new version of this API for 3D graphics comes two years after version 1.2 and incorporates a handpicked series of extensions requested by the developer community for which it will become the core version of the specification. IIncludes new hardware features for GPUs; dynamic rendering; improvements in memory operations; improved timing and a variety of other features.
Another relevant change. Unlike previous versions, none of the extensions added to the core base of these Vulkan 1.3 libraries will be optional, which will ensure that the specifications of the standard are available in all implementations of this new version of the API, as explained by Khronos: «In this new phase of Vulkan’s evolution, the task force is taking significant measures to reduce fragmentation throughout the ecosystem and increase the value of Vulkan to the industry as a trusted cross-platform GPU API«.
To reinforce this strategy, the Vulkan’s new profiling mechanism allows precise management of all of its capabilities. Each profile specifies a major version of Vulkan plus a set of required extensions, with limits, features, and supported formats. Profiles provide a way to accurately communicate device requirements and capabilities among Vulkan ecosystem participants to optimize application development and deployment.
As with previous versions of the specification, Vulkan 1.3 is designed to accelerate OpenGL ES 3.1 class hardware, allowing the core API to be supported across a wide range of devices and markets. And you will not lack support. The Khronos Industrial Group, which manages the standard, has within it large industry players as contributing members, support from semiconductor manufacturers such as AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Imagination and ARM or graphics engine providers such as iDTech, Unreal, Unity, Frostbite or CryEngine.
The main ones have already welcomed this Vulkan 1.3, such as:
- NVIDIA: «As a long-time supporter of Vulkan, NVIDIA will provide full-featured Vulkan 1.3 drivers out of the box once the 2022 roadmap is released on both Windows 10, Windows 11, and Linux, including popular distributions such as Ubuntu, Kylin, and RHEL.«.
- AMD: “AMD is pleased to announce that we expect to support Vulkan 1.3 and the Vulkan Roadmap 2022 profile on all AMD Radeon RX Vega Series architecture graphics cards and AMD RDNA. Beta drivers from AMD Radeon Software are now available to developers with final driver support expected in the coming months.«.
The said. Vulkan 1.3 arrives with technical improvements and the adoption of measures to reduce fragmentation in its ecosystem, ensuring that the specifications of the standard and its key extensions are available on any system and device that uses them. Very necessary for the industry, such as open and free APIs, competition and alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX.