Khronos Debuts OpenGL ES 3.2 & New GL Extensions, But No Vulkan This Week
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 10 August 2015. Page 4 of 4. 57 Comments


While there was some hope and talk of Vulkan potentially being released for SIGGRAPH 2015, that is not the case... Unfortunately there isn't any more of a definitive timeline to share besides "later this year." Neil mentioned that Vulkan is continuing to advance well, there's tweaks and feedback as more developers toy with it, etc. With the Vulkan release later in the year, it may be released as a provisional specification, but it seems at least some implementations (a.k.a. drivers) will be ready.

The hardware requirement for Vulkan is remaining with any graphics processor supporting OpenGL ES 3.1+ or OpenGL 4.x. Of course, it will be up to the vendor or the open-source community for releasing the Vulkan driver for the compatible GPUs.

Vulkan On Android

Google is officially confirming today that Vulkan will be added to future versions of Android. Unfortunately the exact time-line and other details are not yet available.

Vulkan Window System Integration / Platforms

Vulka will have standardized extensions that by default will support Android, Mir, Windows (Vista and newer), Wayland, and X. Yep, both Wayland and Mir will be first-rate in the Vulkan world. The X11 Vulkan support will require DRI3 be supported by the hardware drivers. It will also be possible to provide platform extensions to the Vulkan WSI for having a custom display stack or even no display. Neil mentioned it would be even possible to implement Vulkan support for Windows XP. At this time, Apple hasn't pursued Vulkan support for OS X.

Well, those are all of the details to share today. It's a bit of a letdown that Vulkan isn't out in any provisional form for SIGGRAPH as we're dieing to see initial ports and drivers, but at least it's on track for later this year. The new desktop OpenGL extensions are exciting and likely later today we may see the first (beta) drivers released with support for the new extensions, as NVIDIA has been known to do. OpenGL ES 3.2 is also exciting on the mobile front, albeit there's more work now for the Mesa developers to do in catching up to these latest Khronos revisions for the open-source Linux graphics drivers.

Update #1: NVIDIA has already released a new driver for taking advantage of the OpenGL ARB 2015 extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2.

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