NVIDIA To Discuss OpenGL & AZDO VS Vulkan At GDC 2016

Posted Jan 27, 2016
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The upcoming Game Developers Conference 2016 already delivers, and during the event, NVIDIA will be discussing  Low-Overhead Rendering with OpenGL and Vulkan.  Additionally, there will be a discussion of OpenGL “AZDO” versus Vulkan.

During the Game Developers Conference 2016, both AMD and NVIDIA will be organizing sessions regarding DX12 and Vulkan. During the event, however, NVIDIA will also be organizing a session on low-Overhead Rendering with OpenGL and Vulkan. Presented by Sr. Developer Technology Engineer’s, Mathias Schott, Lars Bishop, and Christoph Kubisch, Nvidia’s programming session  introduces and details new extensions to OpenGL and Vulkan.

As advanced games and applications continue to push the performance envelope, developers look to their 3D APIs for improved predictability, threading and reduced CPU load. New extensions to OpenGL and a totally new 3D API Vulkan are answering these requests directly. This session introduces and details both of these approaches. The session shows how applications can use OpenGL “AZDO” (Approaching Zero Driver Overhead) extensions like NVIDIA’s Command Lists to greatly reduce single-threaded CPU overhead while reusing existing OpenGL code. Going further, the second section introduces the new 3D API from Khronos called Vulkan; focusing on how to use Vulkan’s command buffers, precompiled “SPIR-V” shaders, application-managed rendering resources and rendering queues, to take full advantage of true multi-threaded rendering. The speakers detail how to efficiently synchronize multiple threads using Vulkan at top performance. Finally, there is a discussion of the tradeoffs of extended OpenGL and AZDO versus Vulkan, and how a developer might choose between them. Throughout, examples of real applications and source code are shown.

The Vulkan API from Khronos, was revealed last year during the Game Developers Conference 2015.

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“Industry standard APIs like Vulkan are a critical part of enabling developers to bring the best possible experience to customers on multiple platforms,” said Valve’s Gabe Newell.  “Valve and the other Khronos members are working hard to ensure that this high-performance graphics interface is made available as widely as possible and we view it as a critical component of SteamOS and future Valve games.”

Vulkan is a unified specification that minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded GPU command preparation for optimal graphics and compute performance on diverse mobile, desktop, console and embedded platforms. A lot of developers have shared their interest to support the Vulkan Api, including DICE with their Frostbite engine, and also Crytek and their CryEngine.

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