No Vulkan 1.1 Today, But There Is A New Initiative That Could Help macOS See Vulkan
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 31 July 2017 at 09:26 AM EDT. 14 Comments
VULKAN --
While this morning the embargo lifted on the exciting OpenGL 4.6 update, those hoping SIGGRAPH 2017 would bring "Vulkan 1.1" or some big update on that front, that is not the case.

There is no big Vulkan update going out this week for SIGGRAPH. But there is an interesting announcement: the formation of a Vulkan portability initiative by The Khronos Group. The Vulkan Portability Initiative will try to expand the platforms where Vulkan can work, namely, macOS being a big focus.

This sub-group is being officially announced at SIGGRAPH although it's been a known effort about increasing Vulkan's portability going back months.

The group will announce today, "This subgroup is tasked with developing specifications, open-source library code and tools, together with conformance tests to define and support the set of Vulkan capabilities that can be made universally available across all major platforms, including those not currently served by Vulkan. The Vulkan Portability Initiative is defining and providing a standardized subset of the familiar Vulkan API that will run universally on all new-generation 3D-enabled platforms, including those that currently support only DirectX and Metal."

Basically it's about coming to a common denominator of the API/IR that could be easily translated for running on other platforms with macOS being a significant focus for this new group. This is also important if in the future there is to be a "Web Vulkan" API or similar high-performance web graphics API to be supported by all major platforms. Currently there is the proprietary "Molten" project for trying to map Vulkan atop Metal.

More details on the Vulkan Portability Initiative via Khronos.org.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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