Khronos Group, Valve and Imagination Technologies among the firms showcasing the tech at GDC

glNext revealed as Vulkan graphics API

The future of OpenGL has been given a name: Vulkan.

The Vulkan API, previously known as the glNext project, is a new open standard graphics API and has been revealed by the Khronos Group, an open consortium of hardware and software companies.

Vulkan specialises in high-efficiency graphics and compute on the modern GPUs found in a variety of devices. It gives applications direct control over GPU acceleration to maximise performance and predictability, the Group claims.

The full specifications are due to be revealed later this year, but Imagination Technologies has already put together a tech demo which it claims shows off high-quality physically based shading, high dynamic range rendering, correct specular reflections on reflective materials and post-processing effects such as saturation, exposure and tone mapping.

Vulkan already has a lot of support from the industry, with Valve, EA, Unity, Epic Games and Oxide due to discuss the API later this week.

“Industry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms,” said Vale boss Gabe Newell. “Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.”

You can read more about Vulkan at Khronos’ website, or Imagination’s experience with the tech here.

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