Google has announced that it is introducing low-overhead API Vulkan to its Android devices, bringing with it improved speed and graphics while reducing the load on the CPU.
“Even the most careful developers can hit unforeseen bottlenecks, in part because the drivers for some graphics processors may reorganize all of that data before it can actually be processed,” Shannon Woods, Shannon Woods for Google’s Android operating system, explained in a blog post. “In order to address some of the sources of CPU overhead and provide developers with more explicit control over rendering, we’ve been working to bring a new 3D rendering API, Vulkan, to Android.”
Vulkan allows programmers to access the hardware of whichever Android device a game is running on, much in the same way as Apple’s Metal, giving them more flexibility and power to exploit while saving the processor much of its usual overhead.
“We’ll be working hard to help create, test, and ship Vulkan, but at the same time, we’re also going to contribute to and support OpenGL ES,” Woods added. “As a developer, you’ll be able to choose which API is right for you: The simplicity of OpenGL ES, or the explicit control of Vulkan. We’re committed to providing an excellent developer experience, no matter which API you choose.”
High-end Android smartphones and tablets released over the last six months – featuring Qualcomm’s Adreno 400-series GPUs and Nvidia’s Tegra K1 – should support Vulkan, with further hardware integration planned for future devices.
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