Vulkan Turns Two Years Old, What Do You Hope For Next?

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 24 February 2018 at 03:48 AM EST. 22 Comments
This last week marked two years since the debut of Vulkan 1.0, you can see our our original launch article. My overworked memory missed realizing it by a few days, but it's been a pretty miraculous two years for this high-performance graphics and compute API.

In the two years that Vulkan 1.0 has been around we have seen drivers for all major platforms, not one but two open-source AMD Vulkan Linux drivers (AMDVLK and RADV), the rapid rate of ascent for the RADV and Vulkan drivers have shown how much lighter the driver implementations are than OpenGL drivers, these open-source drivers have kept up-to-date with minor specification revisions, OpenGL SPIR-V/Vulkan interoperability was introduced last year, and more game developers continue making use of Vulkan.

Also, we have seen Feral Interactive focus now on bringing their new games to Linux using Vulkan (in fact, Vulkan exclusives now) and the open-source community around Vulkan has been thriving. In fact, on GitHub is now around 1,800 projects referencing Vulkan while just 94 mention D3D12 or 38 as "Direct3D 12." On the Windows side there have been a few prominent Vulkan titles like DOOM and Wolfenstein. But sadly not as many Vulkan games as I would have hoped for now two years in, especially for cross-platform games.

Making it challenging as well is that many of the current games utilizing Vulkan aren't seeing significant performance benefits compared to their OpenGL code-paths since the engines/renderers aren't yet fully designed for making use of a low-level graphics API. We have been seeing more work in this direction and the Vulkan vs. Linux OpenGL performance improving as well as the increasing maturity of the Vulkan drivers.

What do you think of Vulkan now two years since the public release? What do you want to see added to the API? What do you think they will introduce in their next major update? Has the Vulkan tooling to date been satisfactory? What about macOS support? More convergence between OpenCL and Vulkan for compute? Will 2018 finally be "the year of Vulkan gaming"? Share your thoughts with us this weekend in the forums.
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Michael Larabel

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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