Vulkan, the new generation graphics API under development by the Khronos Group, will miss its targeted year-end release. With only days to go before we reach 2016 there is still just a little too much to do to get Vulkan ready for primetime. However the downbeat news of a missed goal is tempered in this case, as Khronos insists that "we are in the home stretch and the release of Vulkan 1.0 is imminent".
Many people have high hopes for Vulkan. It is a new generation open standard API built from the ground up to get the most from modern GPU's graphics acceleration and compute capabilities. This close-to-the-metal API should offer maximised performance and predictability over a wide range of platforms including Windows, Linux and Android. As it is open and multi-platform it might appeal enough to developers who want their games and apps to work as best they can across multiple formats. This contrasts to Microsoft's DirectX 12 which requires Windows 10.
In an update on the Vulkan microsite, Khronos explained "The Vulkan specification is complete and undergoing legal review and final polishing. The Vulkan conformance tests are being finalized and multiple member companies are preparing drivers for release. Implementation feedback is the vital final stage of making any Khronos specification ready for primetime, and the Vulkan 1.0 specification will be published when the first conformant implementations are confirmed."
We were also told that Vulkan SDKs for Windows, Android and Linux are nearing completion. It was also noted that Google has recently upgraded to Promoter membership and is a member of the Khronos board. Overall Khronos claims to have become energised and to have the momentum to make Vulkan a success. Throughout next year the group will be promoting and demonstrating Vulkan at key industry events. As this is "the foundation for graphics and compute APIs for years to come," users are asked to wait just a little bit longer for Vulkan 1.0.