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Vulkan and OpenCL will merge into a single API

by Mark Tyson on 19 May 2017, 11:03

Tags: Khronos Group

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Earlier this week the Khronos Group issued a press release concerning the availability of a finalised OpenCL 2.2 specification with SPIR-V 1.2. However, eagle eyed Scott Michaud at PCPer noticed something that slipped by many other tech reporters. A single line statement at the end of paragraph three signalled a very important update on the horizon; "We are also working to converge with, and leverage, the Khronos Vulkan API — merging advanced graphics and compute into a single API."

Michaud was surprised that such a significant statement was squirreled away so modestly within the press release, so sought confirmation. The Kronos Group did indeed confirm its intentions as follows "The OpenCL working group has taken the decision to converge its roadmap with Vulkan, and use Vulkan as the basis for the next generation of explicit compute APIs – this also provides the opportunity for the OpenCL roadmap to merge graphics and compute." This provided a little more specific direction over the original statement: OpenCL into Vulkan.

With the two open standards merged developers will be able to address a wide range of programming needs and disciplines under a single 'best of both worlds' API and it should be a boon to Vulkan adoption. Meanwhile Vulkan support already seems to be on the rise on both PCs and mobile platforms.

On PCs it would appear that AMD users would benefit more from this merged open API gaining traction. We already see that AMD CPUs and GPUs do particularly well with Vulkan games. Furthermore AMD keeps its OpenCL support up to date while Nvidia favours the use of its own CUDA parallel computing platform and API.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Great news
Awww yiss.
Will bring Linux as a desktop one step closer.
Nvidia is so screwed… LOL!
Anybody owning Nvidia should start dumping their ware now!

Open standards for everyone! AMD!
Yay Vulkan for everybody