AMD RTG To Publish Radeon Software Driver Beta Alongside Release Of Vulkan 1.0 Spec.

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅16.02.2016 14:00:40

Seeking to capitalise on the imminent release of a ratified specification for Vulkan 1.0, Khronos Group's low-overhead graphics and compute API, AMD Radeon Technologies Group are today announcing that a new Radeon Software beta driver will be issued to take immediate advantage of the new API in supported games and applications.

Vulkan was born out of a need to create an open standard API for graphics and compute that works across a vast array of existing an upcoming platforms and devices, from desktop PCs through to mobile phones and new emerging technologies. Built from the ground-up, it's designed to allow the creation of simpler drivers and more efficient operation of high and low-performance graphics hardware, all while also improving the development process. Vulkan is explicitly an alternative to DirectX and Apple Metal, each of which are exclusive to either an OS or platform.

Khronos Group boast as its members over 100 major industry bodies, including giants such as Intel and Samsung in addition to the two major graphics hardware developers. Despite building on AMD's work with their Mantle low-level API, Vulkan is intended to be graphics hardware agnostic and supported by hardware that also supports OpenGL ES 3.1/OpenGL 4.X and up. Naturally, it would also be supported on Windows, the major desktop PC OS.

The release of the Vulkan™ 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers. The Vulkan™ API, which was derived from Mantle, will bring the benefits of low-overhead high-performance Graphics API to the benefit of cross-platform and cross-vendor targeted applications. The promotion of open and scalable technologies continues to be the focus at AMD, as a pioneer in the low-overhead API space. As a member of the Khronos™ Group, AMD is proud to collaborate with hardware and software industry leaders to develop the Vulkan™ API to ignite the next evolution in PC game development.

- Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD

Publication of the Vulkan 1.0 specification was originally scheduled for the end of 2015, and both it and the release of drivers supporting the API is a major milestone for the project; however that is not the end of the journey. Public availability will help to stimulate development of applications that support the new API. Furthermore existing software that supports the older Mantle standard can now be ported to Vulkan with some surety that the newer standard is a stable one. Finally, we will also be able to see if other hardware developers will embrace the new API with the enthusiasm that AMD have shown, despite its somewhat divisive origins as an AMD-specific tool.

More information on Vulkan can be found at AMD Radeon Software beta drivers will be available from, as per usual.

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