Yes – “Valve”, as in the creator of the Half-Life series and Steam platform. At last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, OpenGL overlords Khronos announced a new API, called Vulkan. Ultimately, Khronos’ goal is to merge OpenGL and OpenGL ES efforts together, while mimicking some of the goals AMD had with its Mantle API.
When a brand-new API is announced, it’s almost unheard of to see a tech demo available right out-of-the-gate. Vulkan has become one of the major exceptions, though. The guys at PC Perspective managed to record the API in action, with Valve using Dota 2 to help show it off.
As if it weren’t impressive enough already that we’re able to see Vulkan in action, perhaps even more impressive is the fact that it’s Valve – a company that doesn’t manufacturer GPUs – that’s responsible for the very first usable driver. AMD? Nope. NVIDIA? Nada. Intel? Ditto – but it is Intel’s hardware being used, as it’s a good base, so to speak (and not to mention, Intel’s IGPs are everywhere).
Once Khronos lifts the veil off of the final Vulkan specs, Valve plans to release the driver to the open source community. What’s unclear at this point is whether or not Valve is going to back off from the project at that point, or if it will continue to keep its hands in the code, and keep it an official Valve project.
Regardless of that, this is an interesting development, and one that highlights just how serious Valve is about making its SteamOS platform matter.
Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.