Vulkan

Combined Vulkan and OpenGL ES listing for android

Upon popular request I finally got around combining android device data from my Vulkan and OpenGL ES hardware databases into a convenient table. This should be handy if you plan on supporting both apis on Vulkan or if you just need to check for general device support.

The new page can be reached via https://android.gpuinfo.org/

It combines all android device reports from the Vulkan database with all reports from the OpenGL ES database and also uses google’s official device list for translating device IDs (stored with Vulkan and OpenGL ES reports) into actual retail names.

Each entry displays the highest supported Vulkan and OpenGL ES version if there is a report present for that device in at least one of the database and also lists what apis are supported by a given device. Clicking on the version opens up the report for this device in the respective database.

So if you just want to see all devices that support (have a report present for) Vulkan and OpenGL ES you can filter by the list of supported apis or just pass this selection as a parameter to the url: https://android.gpuinfo.org?apis=vk,gles

 

Headless Vulkan examples

I have just added two minimal, mostly self-contained cross-platform headless Vulkan examples to my open source C++ Vulkan repository. Unlike the other examples in my repository these two don’t require a surface (created from a window) and as such can be run on systems with no window compositor.

The intention behind the two examples is to show how Vulkan can be used for running graphics and compute tasks without the need for an actual user interface to be present i.e. in the form of a window, often called “headless mode”. Those could e.g. be run on headless cloud-hosted server instances (like AWS once they add support) with Vulkan support.

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The Vulkan Device Simulation Layer

LunarG recently made the new Vulkan Device Simulation layer public. This is a Vulkan instance level layer that injects physical device properties, limits and features based on a json input file, simulating different features than the actual Vulkan device you are running on. The idea behind this is to help developers check if their Vulkan applications can handle devices with missing features and tighter limits without having to actually run on a such a device. It’s not an emulation (like a software rasterizer, e.g. WARP for DirectX) and only affects queries against the device limits and features, so you can’t magically get e.g. tessellation support on a device that doesn’t support it by using this layer.

But still this is a nice addition to the Vulkan eco system and is especially handy for smaller devs that don’t own all the different devices they intend to run their applications on. With this layer you check your fallback paths and how your application handles missing device features.
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iOS and macOS support added to the Vulkan examples

Thanks to a contribution from Bill Hollings, one of the developers from MoltenVK , my open source C++ Vulkan examples now also support Apple’s iOS and macOS platforms.

MoltenVK is a commercial Vulkan implementation that runs on top of Apple’s Metal api with a free trial available.

Details on how to build and run the examples for those platforms can be found in this readme.

Note that not all examples will work on iOS or macOS due to the differences in supported features like geometry or tessellation shaders not being available in Metal (1).

Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer 1.4 released

A new version of the Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer is now available for all platforms (Windows, Linux, Android). This is the biggest update since I released this tool, including lots of new features that also brought along a few changes to the online database. I also decided to drop the “beta” tag now that more than 1,300 reports have been uploaded, making this the first non-beta release of the Vulkan Hardware Capability viewer.

New features

  • Added support for new features and properties provided via VK_KHR_GET_PHYSICAL_DEVICE_PROPERTIES_2
    • Currently supported:
      • VK_KHR_push_descriptor
      • VK_EXT_discard_rectangles
      • VK_KHX_multiview
      • VK_NVX_multiview_per_view_attributes
  • Reports can now be saved to disk via command line using the -s argument (without invoking the UI)
    • Example : vulkanCapsViewer -s my_device.json
  • Added pipeline cache UUID
  • Exported JSON is now compatible with vkjson_info from LunarG SDK
  • Added Android platform info
    • Device model and manufacturer
    • Build information
  • UI improvements 
    • Updated layout and UI scaling 
    • Support for high DPI scaling
    • Touch scrolling for mobile devices (Android)

Bugfixes

  • Fixed unauthorized access to SSL libraries message on Android 6.0 and newer

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Updates to the Vulkan hardware database

Server-side processing (performance)

In preparation for the next release of the Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer I published a major change to the Vulkan online hardware database at http://vulkan.gpuinfo.org/.

Up until now all data was handled client-side, so when loading up the report listing all reports were fetched and displayed by the client. While this was more or less fine in the beginning, delivering all reports to the client even if only the 25 newest ones were visible now takes several seconds (even on a fast connection) and fetching all rows for each visitor is also putting strain on the database.

So I updated the report listing page (that does pretty much all the heavy lifting) to use server-side processing. So instead of the client fetching all data and handling paging, ordering, sorting and filtering this is now done by the database (that’s what databases are best at after all).

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Physically based rendering and moving (hdr) assets out of the repository

The last days (and weeks) I’ve been working on a Vulkan example implementing physically based rendering with image based lighting (you can find a nice article with lots of details over at Trent Reed’s blog) and just pushed it to my public github repository.

  

While working on this demo I realized that putting all the binary assets (models and esp. textures) in the repository might not have been a great idea. They quickly bloat the size of the repository and once a binary asset is there you won’t be able to completely remove it (to shrink the repo again) unless you actually rewrite the history. But with the repository being public with almost 400 forks and numerous pull requests this pretty much a no-go.

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Updated Android vkQuake binaries

For those that want to test out my Android port of of Axel Gneiting’s vkQuake, I have released updates binaries at http://vulkan.gpuinfo.org/vkquake.php


Please note that the .apk does not contain any game files, so you need to get the .pak files from the shareware or registered version in order to play this. See the page above for details on this.

This release is based on vkQuake’s latest version and is pretty much feature complete. The only big thing missing for the Android port is sound, but other than that everything is there including multiplayer.

Also note that this version requires a gamepad to play and an Android device that supports Vulkan.

 

Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer 1.2 released

I have released an update to the Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer. The new version (1.2) adds support for os-specific surface capabilities that are added to the reports and online database.

This adds a new category to the tool and reports at the online database (for example this one) containing:

  • Surface properties (extents, usage flags, transforms, etc.)
  • Surface Formats (incl. color spaces)
  • Present modes

You can download the new version from http://vulkan.gpuinfo.org/download.php, downloads are available for Windows, Linux and Android (arm and x86).

The Android version (for now arm only) is now also available at the google playstore.