Vulkan Driver in the works for the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that it is working on a Vulkan Driver for the Raspberry Pi 4.

Raspberry Pi Vulkan News

On top of the recent news that the Raspberry Pi 4 is now conformant with OpenGL ES 3.1, the Pi foundation has now also announced that they are developing an open-source Vulkan Driver.

There have been some community lead attempts in the past to add Vulkan support to the Raspberry Pi. However, this is the first effort that is being backed by the Pi Foundation.

What is Vulkan?

Vulkan is a next-generation graphics and computing API that is designed to provide high-efficiency access to modern GPUs.

The API is designed better to handle modern GPU’s and allow a developer to squeeze more performance out of the hardware.

Vulkan achieves these performance improvements by reducing the overhead, meaning the GPU can spend more time processing then waiting on commands.

Essentially what this means is that you will be able to squeeze more performance out of your Raspberry Pi. Of course, the software needs to have support for Vulkan for you to see any benefits of the graphics API.

Both gaming projects and intermediate projects, such as OpenCV, should see performance improvements from the introduction of Vulkan.

First drawn triangle

Sadly there will be some time before everyone will be able to use the new Vulkan compliant driver. The team has only just managed to get one of the most basic objects drawn using the driver.

Raspberry Pi Vulkan Driver Triangle Test

That object is a single, flat, RGB triangle. While basic, this does show that the Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4’s VideoCore VI is up and running already.

Helping with the development of the Vulkan driver is an open-source software consultancy firm called Igalia.

According to the team, it could be several months before a useable version of the driver is released out to the public. We should expect to hear more about the Vulkan driver from Igalia and the Raspberry Pi foundation over the next few months.

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