First Android OS Supporting Vulkan Out Now

Released in the UK on the 22nd of August, the latest Android OS (7.0 Nougat) brings with it support for the Vulkan™ API and also a selection of new features and updates, as well as the ability to run two apps on the same screen at once.

We’ve talked about Vulkan a lot (as have others), but for those of you just joining us, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Vulkan is an explicit API developed by the Khronos Group™.
  • It is one API – it can be used on a wide range of platforms and hardware, from smart watches to high end workstations. This is because you can link to the same library, with the same header and the same code on all targeted platforms.
  • Vulkan is streamlined – there are less ways to do anything, improving performance. OpenGL had about a thousand ways to do anything, but only two or three of those were actually efficient.

In the past, Android devices made use of the OpenGL ES API. Whilst serviceable, it was never capable of taking full advantage of multicore CPUs, and was not well-suited to tile-based GPU architectures that are ubiquitous on mobile devices. With Vulkan, the newest Android devices will boast improved gaming performance for applications choosing to take advantage of the new API.

Fortunately, the PowerVR SDK & Tools package is fully compatible with the latest generation of devices, giving all potential developers the tools they need to ensure their applications run as smoothly on Android N devices as possible. Have a look at what our SDK & Tools package offers here. If you’re interested in learning more about Vulkan, check out the relevant blog posts here, and our YouTube playlist introducing the API here.

For the latest Imagination (and Vulkan) related news follow @powervrinsider and @VulkanAPI on Twitter.

For even more useful information about PowerVR SDK and Tools, feel free to follow our Developer Technology engineer @rajones_devtech.

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