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Imagination Technologies Releases Vulkan API v1.0

By Casey Houser
March 17, 2016

With the TMC All About the API conference only a few months away, its existence begs the question: What makes application programming interfaces (APIs) so special?

Well, Imagination Technologies just released version 1.0 of its Vulkan graphics and compute API and, speaking for the graphics development community, states that it can lower the driver overhead on computing systems when creating graphics for various applications. It also promoted its control layer, the PowerVR Framework for Vulkan, that also just landed in a new version as part of the PowerVR Graphics SDK v4.1. Together, the control layer framework, the software development kit (SDK) it contains, and the underlying API give graphics developers the tools they need to define objects and handle multi-threading in an efficient manner.

Such tightly-integrated packages bring APIs to the forefront of the conversation when it comes to development of any type of application. In this case, the API acts as the messenger between a user’s application and the PowerVR Framework. It works on multiple platforms so developers can create programs that work well on desktop, mobile, and even embedded devices.

Developers should note that the new version of the API has been distributed under an MIT open source license. This purposeful move brings the community into the Vulkan project. Graham Deacon, the senior director of PowerVR business operations at Imagination Technologies, commented that his companies was one of the first to successfully use Vulkan on mobile devices and that the community will be essential to taking the platform even further.

“Now that the specification is released, we feel that it is important to get it into the hands of developers as soon as possible,” Deacon said. “With this new SDK, they have a powerful tool for game and application development on PowerVR based platforms, which include some of the world’s most popular smartphones, tablets, OTT set-top boxes, and other consumer products.”

This trend of opening up APIs and SDKs to the community may play a strong role at All About the API. The event’s focus will be to bring together product developers – including game developers – with API creators. Together, they can link their efforts to make something greater than the whole. Imagination Technology’s unique taken on the open source nature of its code should invite a lot of discussion and create an atmosphere where developers can both use the API code and contribute to its future.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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