Vulkan 1.1 on its way to Android P

Vulkan – the Open Source graphics API project, widely considered to be the multi-threaded spiritual successor to OpenGL has played already a significant part on the Android gaming scene over the past few years. It has officially been a part of the Android core since Android 7.0 Nougat, powering more and more advanced graphics engines.

Recently, the Khronos Group, in charge of Vulkan, released a new 1.1 specification for the API and while looking through some Android P source code, the guys over at XDA have already confirmed it will be part of the Android P core.

It appears that the AOSP commits integrating Vulkan API 1.1 have already been merged. This means that developers can expect to see the code ship in the second developer preview of Android P.

Many major players on the GPU market have confirmed their support of the revised instruction set as well. In fact, many current mobile GPU’s from the likes of ARM, Imagination and Samsung Electronics already comply to the standard, which means that a driver update should be sufficient to enable support on those, once Android P drops. Hopefully, we can get an extensive list of eligible hardware soon.

End users can’t realistically expect to see any major performance increase from Vulkan 1.1 initially. Instead, the bulk of benefits will be felt by developers and eventually transferred over to users in the form of improved graphics experiences.

Besides enabling better and more friendly tooling, some of the more important additions to Vulkan 1.1 include subgroup operations, extension integration, SPIR-V 1.3. In more essence these are more efficient ways to use GPU parallelism.

These could improve mobile VR and 360-degree video performance noticeably. Creators are also excited about new DRM and content protection mechanisms, that could power things like VR cinema.

Vulkan 1.1 has numerous implications for Windows and Linux users on PC as well. You can read more about it at the source link.

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