MoltenVK Sees Big Update To Jump-Start Vulkan On macOS In 2019
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 18 January 2019 at 01:00 AM EST. 6 Comments
VULKAN --
Next month MoltenVK will celebrate one year since being open-sourced for allowing the Vulkan API to function on Apple's macOS/iOS by mapping the Vulkan calls to the Apple Metal graphics/compute API. Just in time for that first birthday, a big MoltenVK update is now available.

Thursday marked the release of a new MoltenVK version built against the Vulkan SDK 1.1.97 release. Besides re-basing against the latest Vulkan headers, there are a lot of macOS quality of life improvements for those developing Vulkan games/apps on Mac and even a few for those just enjoying the games.

The new MoltenVK now allows run-time configuration of MoltenVK via environment variables, support for GPU switching was added and is enabled by default, queue family specialization was added but currently disabled by default, synchronous queue submits was added and enabled by default, there is now support for four queue families, support for the VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float and VK_KHR_variable_pointers extensions, and updated against the latest SPIR-V Cross. There is also some fixes and other internal improvements.

The change-log for the new MoltenVK 1.0.31 release can be found over on GitHub. It will certainly be interesting to see what new macOS cross-platform games that might come this year powered by MoltenVK/Vulkan; so far the likes of Feral Interactive and Aspyr have been quiet on whether they plan to use MoltenVK to ease their porting burden.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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