Vulkan on Windows 10 PCs
Apollo Lake and Kaby Lake added to the list of chips that support Vulkan, writes Agam Shah
Intel is bringing more options to improve gaming and virtual reality experiences on Windows PCs with official support for Vulkan (API). The crossplatform is similar to DirectX 12, and will work with GPUs integrated into Intel’s Kaby Lake, Skylake and Apollo Lake chips.
The firm’s support could open the door for Vulkan applications to work on Windowsbased VR headsets. Microsoft recently launched VR development kits with tethered headsets at its Game Developers Conference, and later this year, PC makers, including Lenovo, Dell and HP, are expected to release headsets that attach to Windows 10 PCs.
Intel has ramped up the graphics capabilities of its integrated Kaby Lake GPUs, making them capable of 4K graphics. Vulkan will exploit the new features for a better gaming experience. It’s already possible to run Vulkan games on Windows PCs via drivers provided by Nvidia and AMD, but Intel’s support for the platform is now official.
Most of the latest Windows games run on closed-source DirectX 12 technology. The opensource Vulkan has many similar features: it takes full advantage of the latest GPUs and CPUs for better graphics. It also uses fewer system resources and can generate images faster.
It’s easier to port games from DirectX 12 to Vulkan, which succeeds the older OpenGL set of APIs. Porting games from OpenGL to DirectX was considered time-consuming.
Some premium smartphones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 also support Vulkan. Games running the platform use fewer system resources and preserve battery life in laptops and mobile devices. It is already seen as a future for gaming on Linux PCs and Steam Machines.