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
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
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