AMD’s Mantle Lives On In Vulkan – Lays The Foundation For The Next OpenGL

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Mar 5, 2015
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The Khronos Group has chosen the best and brightest parts of AMD’s Mantle to serve as the foundation for “Vulkan,” the next OpenGL. This revelation came via an announcement by AMD and Khronos just recently. Mantle 1.0 is far from dead and will in fact live on and form the foundation of the next chapter of the latest cross-vendor OpenGL graphics API dubbed Vulkan.

The vision for Mantle from the get go was to develop a leading edge graphics API that pushes the entire industry forward. Thus it had to succeed not only in surpassing other APIs in performance but it also meant that it had to be open.  AMD quickly succeeded in achieving the first goal and now the second goal has finally been met and even superseded by something much more remarkable.

AMD’s Mantle Lives On In Vulkan – Lays The Foundation For The Next OpenGL

The benefits of Mantle 1.0 can now be enjoyed cross-vendor, across all hardware and operating systems. This includes hardware from AMD, Nvidia, Intel and even mobile players such as ARM and Qualcomm. It also means that the benefits of Mantle 1.0 can now extend to other operating systems beyond Windows such as Linux through Vulkan.

The reduced rendering latency, reduced GPU power consumption, improved utilization of multi-core CPUs, and advanced multi-GPU features like split-frame rendering advents of Mantle 1.0 have all made their way to Vulkan through close collaboration between AMD and the Khronos group.

John McDonald is a developer at Valve and one of several presenters including Tom Olson the Chair of the Working Group at Khronos who will talk about Vulkan in a session titled glNext: The Future of High Performance Graphics at GDC on March 5th.

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AMD goes on to state that :

“Open” and “flexible” technologies are an essential piece of AMD’s DNA, and we have a long history in supporting those ideals. Our co-development of the Vulkan API through contributions like Mantle is another chapter in that open technology tale for AMD, an exciting evolution of Mantle, and a big step forward for PC gamers alike.

AMD states in its recent announcement that this development speaks to the company’s aspiration for Mantle to become an industry-standard graphics API. It’s easy to see now why AMD had outright said two days ago to developers who were interested in Mantle 1.0 functionality to use DX12 and Vulkan instead.

The lead graphics engineer behind Civilization Joshua Barczak and the lead architect for the Frosbite engine, Johan Andersson both made an astute observation about the name Vulkan.

Vulkan embodies the fulfillment of AMD’s promise to stick to its core ideology of openness and support of industry standards. However Robert Hallock, AMD’s head of global technical marketing at AMD made it clear that Vulkan only represents one of multiple outcomes of the API’s evolution. We will get to explore and discover all the other future avenues that AMD has planned for Mantle tomorrow, as they’re announced during the company’s next keynote at GDC.

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