Android P to support Vulkan graphics API 1.1 for better looking, better performing games


Vulkan is the exciting graphics API (application programming interface) that will help give mobile gaming a serious push forward, visuals-wise at least, bringing something more akin to home console quality graphics to the palm of your hand. Samsung has been supporting it on Galaxy devices starting with the S7 back in 2016, and Google has also added support for it in Nougat. We’ve already seen some pretty interesting tech demos of what Vulkan will be capable of when it’s fully fleshed out and developers get around to fully utilizing its powers — i.e. having much more direct access to the hardware, than what the current mobile graphics rendering API (OpenGL ES) allows for.

Support for Vulkan was added in Android, starting with 7.0 Nougat, but now there's a new version of the API out, v. 1.1, and Google is expected to start supporting it with Android P. Unfortunately, end users won't be able to reap the benefits immediately, as Vulkan 1.1 is more of a refinement of the programming interface aimed at allowing developers to better utilize the available hardware.That is, Vulkan 1.0 games won't miraculously start running and looking better, but as more developers adopt Vulkan 1.1, you'll start seeing mobile games that look better, perform better, and play better.

Support for Vulkan 1.1 is expected to be included in the Android P Developer Beta 2.

source: XDA

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6 Comments

1. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Nice stuff in droid P hope next year midrange,flagship phones reaps the benefits of it to its fullest extent on all mobile games.Beside what is this openGL ES actually i know it's a gpu api what its indicate that make it sound better in no.& terms and also what is emmc,u.f.s storage thing i need better explanation on these things from someone pls reply.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7579; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The author got it wrong. Vulkan 1.0 from OpenGL was a significant leap in speed. However 1.1 is not so much of a speed increase. As of right now all the major game engines already support Vulkan graphics. For instance it's just a matter of toggling a switch in Unity or Unreal. As far as midrange and low end SoCs are concerned. The SD 430, 435, 450, SD 617, 625, 630, 660, and a number of other SoC models in between already support 1.0. So Vulkan 1.1 will be supported as well. OpenGL was single threaded. Where as Vulkan is multithreaded, and can achieve significant increase in speed. I always laugh at those benchmark tests like GFXBench, 3DMark and others when they still use OpenGL to Apples Metal. Btw Apples Metal is the closest thing to Vulkan graphics. Yet they will compare iPhones using Metal benchmarks to Android smartphones using OpenGL instead of Vulkan. It's not like those benchmark programs can't be updated. Besides Android 7 had Vulkan 1.0 back in 2016. So those benchmark programs should be updated by now.

3. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 739; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Too bad. The only thing that would benefit this are those from windows desktop and laptop class. There's not much of vulkan optimized games on android.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7579; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Clearly you enjoy playing the part of the fool. Plus you don't know your head from your butt when it comes to actual development. Most engines already support Vulkan. Unity had Vulkan support back in 2016. Unreal had Vulkan support at the start of 2017. It's as easy as turning on a toggle in most game engines.

5. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 739; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

sgodsell Have you check the playstore fool? Since 2016 up to now. How many android games do you think is vulkan optimized? How many unity games on android do you think is Vulkan optimized?

6. truthbetold

Posts: 42; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

It is practically a toggle, at least in Unity, and the same goes for Metal. There's no reason to keep these off since the engine falls back to OpenGL in case the device doesn't support it. Now, it's not possible to know how many game devs use it, and the overall quality of the game isn't indicative of the API used.

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