Imagination Already Has A Vulkan Driver In The Works For PowerVR GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 3 March 2015 at 08:09 AM EST. 9 Comments
While hearing "PowerVR" tend to make Linux users cringe over memories of past Linux driver issues with Imagination's binary blobs, Imagination is among the vendors now experimenting with the new Vulkan graphics API and SPIR-V IR. Imagination too has already put out one of the first demos using this new graphics API.

Ashley Smith of Imagination wrote a very interesting blog post talking about the company's experimental GPU drivers for Vulkan on PowerVR graphics hardware and porting one of their OpenGL ES 3.0 tech demos to the Vulkan interfaces. In this process they found the Vulkan experience to utilize less CPU work, yields a leaner and more explicit graphics driver, more consistent performance, render commands can be parallelized, tile-based architectures can be very efficient with Vulkan, it's a more intuitive design, explicit memory management, and offers other benefits too.

As said in the earlier article, Vulkan on the hardware side should work with any OpenGL ES 3.1 graphics processors. Imagination Technologies is planning to release their demo Vulkan source code in the future. While already covered in the earlier article, don't expect any preview drivers ready for public consumption until later in the year, but then again there could be surprises -- especially with Valve expected to potentially demo some titles like CS:GO on Vulkan.

Read more about PowerVR with Vulkan via this blog post.
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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 or contacted via

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