Vulkan Comes To Apple Silicon GPUs / M1 By Means Of MoltenVK 1.1.1

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 10 December 2020 at 12:00 AM EST. 23 Comments
While Apple continues to drive their own Metal graphics/compute API, Vulkan support built atop Metal continues to mature thanks to the open-source MoltenVK project. With the MoltenVK's latest update is now support for Apple Silicon with the M1's new GPU.

MoltenVK 1.1.1 was released on Wednesday and while the version number may seem like an insignificant update, it's actually a big one. There are a number of updates in this release for Vulkan-on-Metal and is rounded out by the initial Apple M1 "Apple Silicon" support. Apple Silicon needed some additional GPU pixel formats support and different device properties to be set, among other tweaks for this brand new Apple hardware.

The MoltenVK update also supports the "Mac Catalyst" platform for iOS apps running on macOS 11.0+, which is working on both x86_64 and ARM64.

MoltenVK 1.1.1 also brings support for several more Vulkan extensions like KHR_timeline_semaphore, EXT_private_data, EXT_post_depth_coverage, EXT_texture_compression_astc_hdr, and AMD_shader_image_load_store.

MoltenVK 1.1.1 is also better handling device loss events, features many fixes, and a wide variety of other improvements.

More details on this MoltenVK update for allowing the Vulkan API to function on Apple's macOS and iOS can be found via GitHub.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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