Vulkan (API)

Vulkan is a low-overhead, cross-platform 3D graphics and computing API. Vulkan targets high-performance realtime 3D graphics applications such as video games and interactive media across all platforms. Compared to OpenGL and Direct3D 11, and like Direct3D 12 and Metal, Vulkan is intended to offer higher performance and more balanced CPU/GPU usage. Other major differences from Direct3D 11 (and prior) and OpenGL are Vulkan being a considerably lower-level API and offering parallel tasking. Vulkan also has the ability to render 2D graphics applications.[11] In addition to its lower CPU usage, Vulkan is also able to better distribute work among multiple CPU cores.[12]

Developer(s)Khronos Group
Initial releaseFebruary 16, 2016 (2016-02-16)[1]
Stable release1.1.130 (December 7, 2019 (2019-12-07)[2]) [±]
Written inC[3]
Operating systemAndroid, Linux, Windows, Nintendo Switch,[4][5][6] Stadia, Tizen,[7][8] macOS[9]
Type3D graphics and compute API[10]

Vulkan was first announced by the non-profit Khronos Group at GDC 2015.[10][13][14] The Vulkan API was initially referred to as the "next generation OpenGL initiative", or "OpenGL next"[15] by Khronos, but use of those names was discontinued when Vulkan was announced.[16] Vulkan is derived from and built upon components of AMD's Mantle API, which was donated by AMD to Khronos with the intent of giving Khronos a foundation on which to begin developing a low-level API that they could standardize across the industry.[17][10][18][19][20][21][22]


Vulkan is intended to provide a variety of advantages over other APIs as well as its predecessor, OpenGL. Vulkan offers lower overhead, more direct control over the GPU, and lower CPU usage.[14] The overall concept and feature set of Vulkan is similar to Direct3D 12, Metal and Mantle.

Intended advantages of Vulkan over previous-generation APIs include:

  • High-end graphics cards as well as for graphics hardware on mobile devices (OpenGL has a specific subset for mobile devices called OpenGL ES; it's still an alternative API in Vulkan supporting devices).
  • Availability on multiple modern operating systems in contrast to Direct3D 12; like OpenGL, the Vulkan API is not locked to a single OS or device form factor. As of release, Vulkan runs on Android, Linux, Tizen, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 (freely licensed[23][24][25] third-party support for iOS and macOS[26] is also available)
  • Reduced driver overhead, reducing CPU workloads.[27]
  • Reduced load on CPUs through the use of batching, leaving the CPU free to do more computation or rendering than otherwise.[28]
  • Better scaling on multi-core CPUs. Direct3D 11 and OpenGL 4 were initially designed for use with single-core CPUs and only received augmentation to be executed on multi-cores. Even when application developers use the augmentations, the API regularly does not scale well on multi-cores.[29]
  • OpenGL uses the high-level language GLSL for writing shaders which forces each OpenGL driver to implement its own compiler for GLSL that executes at application runtime to translate the program's shaders into the GPU's machine code. Instead, Vulkan drivers are supposed to ingest shaders already translated into an intermediate binary format called SPIR-V (Standard Portable Intermediate Representation), analogous to the binary format that HLSL shaders are compiled into in Direct3D. By allowing shader pre-compilation, application initialization speed is improved and a larger variety of shaders can be used per scene. A Vulkan driver only needs to do GPU specific optimization and code generation, resulting in easier driver maintenance, and eventually smaller driver packages (currently GPU vendors still have to include OpenGL/CL).[30]
  • Unified management of compute kernels and graphical shaders, eliminating the need to use a separate compute API in conjunction with a graphics API.
One single global state machineObject-based with no global state
State is tied to a single contextAll state concepts are localized to a command buffer
Operations can only be executed sequentiallyMulti-threaded programming is possible
GPU memory and synchronization are usually hiddenExplicit control over memory management and synchronization
Extensive error checkingVulkan drivers do no error checking at runtime;
there is a validation layer for developers

NVIDIA notes that OpenGL is still a great option for a lot of use cases, as it comes at a much lower complexity and maintenance burden than Vulkan, while in many cases still providing great overall performance.[32]

AMD says that Vulkan supports close-to-metal control, enabling faster performance and better image quality across Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Linux. No other graphics API offers the same powerful combination of OS compatibility, rendering features, and hardware efficiency.[33]

Vulkan 1.1

At SIGGRAPH 2016, Khronos announced that Vulkan would be getting support for automatic multi-GPU features, similar to what is offered by Direct3D 12.[34] Multi-GPU support included in-API removes the need for SLI or Crossfire which requires graphics cards to be of the same model. API multi-GPU instead allows the API to intelligently split the workload among two or more completely different GPUs.[35] For example, integrated GPUs included on the CPU can be used in conjunction with a high-end dedicated GPU for a slight performance boost.

On March 7, 2018, Vulkan 1.1 was released by the Khronos Group.[36] This first major update to the API standardized several extensions, such as multi-view, device groups, cross-process and cross-API sharing, advanced compute functionality, HLSL support, and YCbCr support.[37] At the same time, it also brought better compatibility with DirectX 12, explicit multi-GPU support, ray tracing support,[38][39] and laid the groundwork for the next generation of GPUs.[40] Alongside Vulkan 1.1, SPIR-V was updated to version 1.3.[37]

Planned features

When releasing OpenCL 2.2, the Khronos Group announced that OpenCL would converge where possible with Vulkan to enable OpenCL software deployment flexibility over both APIs.[41][42] This has been now demonstrated by Adobe's Premiere Rush using the clspv[43] open source compiler to compile significant amounts of OpenCL C kernel code to run on a Vulkan runtime for deployment on Android.[44]


The Khronos Group began a project to create a next generation graphics API in July 2014 with a kickoff meeting at Valve.[45] At SIGGRAPH 2014, the project was publicly announced with a call for participants.[10]

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark for Vulkan was filed on February 19, 2015.[46]

Vulkan was formally named and announced at Game Developers Conference 2015, although speculation and rumors centered around a new API existed beforehand and referred to it as "glNext".[47]


In early 2015, LunarG (funded by Valve) developed and showcased a Linux driver for Intel which enabled Vulkan compatibility on the HD 4000 series integrated graphics, despite the open-source Mesa drivers not being fully compatible with OpenGL 4.0 until later that year.[48][49] There is still the possibility[50] of Sandy Bridge support, since it supports compute through Direct3D11.

On August 10, 2015, Google announced that future versions of Android would support Vulkan.[51] Android 7.x "Nougat" launched support for Vulkan on August 22, 2016. Android 8.0 "Oreo" has full support, but there are no news on making Vulkan available on Android 6.0.1 "Marshmallow".

On December 18, 2015, the Khronos Group announced that the 1.0 version of the Vulkan specification was nearly complete and would be released when conforming drivers were available.[14]


The specification and the open-source Vulkan SDK were released on February 16, 2016.[1]

On December 15, 2016, Unity Technologies announced that version 5.6 of their game engine, Unity, would support the Vulkan API.[52]


On February 9, 2017, Croteam announced that it would be adopting the Vulkan API in its games and leveraging it to make their games more cross-platform friendly.[53]

On March 19, 2017, Cloud Imperium Games announced that Star Citizen would be using the Vulkan API instead of Direct3D.[54]

On July 25, 2017, Crytek released a preview of CryEngine 5.4 which added beta support for Vulkan.[55]



On February 26, 2018, Khronos Group announced that the Vulkan API became available to all on macOS and iOS through the MoltenVK library, which enables Vulkan to run on top of Metal.[56] Other new developments were shown at SIGGRAPH 2018.[57] Previously MoltenVK was a proprietary and commercially licensed solution, but Valve made an arrangement with developer Brenwill Workshop Ltd to open-source MoltenVK under the Apache 2.0 license and as a result the library is now available on GitHub. Valve also announced that Dota 2 can as of 26 February 2018 run on macOS using the Vulkan API, which is based on MoltenVK.[58]


On March 26, 2018, Khronos Group and GPUOpen announced project V-EZ. Short for "Easy Mode", it aims to reduce the complexity of the IDE syntax within the Vulkan API by implementing an additional library within the base SDK.[59] In August 2018, AMD made the library open source.[60]

GLOVE: OpenGL ES over Vulkan

Another middleware that allows legacy OpenGL ES applications to run on top of Vulkan was open-sourced by Think Silicon in August 2018. This software allows thinner Vulkan drivers to be used in the system instead of multiple OpenGL ES and Vulkan drivers. In addition with MoltenVK, GLOVE allows to use OpenGL ES on macOS/iOS devices.[61]

Vulkan 1.1

On March 7, 2018, Vulkan 1.1 was released by the Khronos Group.[36] This first major update to the API standardized several extensions, such as multi-view, device groups, cross-process and cross-API sharing, advanced compute functionality, HLSL support, and YCbCr support.[37] At the same time, it also brought better compatibility with DirectX 12, explicit multi-GPU support, ray tracing support,[38][39] and laid the groundwork for the next generation of GPUs.[40] And new functionality such as protected content and subgroup operations. Alongside Vulkan 1.1, SPIR-V was updated to version 1.3.[37]


Vulkan SC

On Feb 25, 2019, the Vulkan Safety Critical (SC) Working Group was announced to bring Vulkan GPU acceleration to safety critical industries.[62]


Google's Stadia streaming cloud gaming service uses Vulkan on Linux based servers with AMD GPUs.[63]

Software that supports Vulkan


Title Original release date Vulkan support since Developer(s) Publisher(s) Platform Notes
Windows Linux Android Other
Aerofly FS 2 November 20, 2017 June 6, 2018[64] IPACS IPACS Y Support added in an update
Astrokill May 27, 2016 October 23, 2017[65] Doomsday Games Doomsday Games Y Vulkan support available in the Linux version.[65]
Quake June 22, 1996 July 20, 2016 id Software GT Interactive Y Y Support added via vkQuake port.[66] Support for Windows added in vkQuake 0.20 on July 30, 2016[67]
Quake 2 December 9, 1997 December 20, 2018 id Software Activision Y Y MacOS Support added via vkQuake2 port.[68] Support for Windows added in the initial release. Support for Linux added on January 19, 2019.[69] Support for MacOS added on February 9, 2019.[70]
Quake II RTX December 9, 1997 June 6, 2019 id Software, Nvidia Lightspeed Studios, Bethesda Softworks Nvidia Y Y Support added via q2vkpt port with major additions from Nvidia. Requires VK_NV_ray_tracing extension.
Quake III Arena December 2, 1999 May 30, 2017[71] id Software Activision Y Y Support added in Kenny Edition project.[72]
Roblox 2006 March 15, 2017[73] Roblox Corporation Roblox Corporation Y Y Support added in an update
Dota 2 July 9, 2013 May 23, 2016[74][75] Valve Valve Y Y MacOS Support added in an update; macOS support added in 2018
The Talos Principle September 11, 2014 February 17, 2016[76] Croteam Devolver Digital Y Y Y The first game with Vulkan rendering support.[77] Support added in an update.
Vainglory November 16, 2014 August 20, 2016[78] Super Evil Megacorp Super Evil Megacorp Y
Score! Hero August 6, 2015[79] September 16, 2016[80] First Touch Games First Touch Games Y
Need for Speed: No Limits September 30, 2015 August 20, 2016[78] Firemonkeys Studios Electronic Arts Y
Heroes of Incredible Tales November 18, 2015 August 20, 2016[78][81] NAT Games Nexon Y
Dream League Soccer February 26, 2016 October 14, 2016[82] First Touch Games First Touch Games Y
Score! Match February 22, 2018 February 22, 2018[83] First Touch Games First Touch Games Y
Ashes of the Singularity March 31, 2016 August 31, 2017[84] Oxide Games, Stardock Entertainment Stardock Entertainment Y Support added in an update
Olympus Rising May 3, 2016 August 20, 2016[78] Flaregames Flaregames Y
Doom3 BFG October 2012 August 12, 2017[85] id Software Bethesda Softworks Y Support added via vkDOOM3 port.[86]
Doom May 13, 2016 July 11, 2016[87] id Software Bethesda Softworks Y Support added in an update
Mad Max October 20, 2016 March 30, 2017[88][89] Avalanche Studios, Feral Interactive Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Feral Interactive Y Support added in a public beta version of the game for Linux
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore December 8, 2016[90] May 18, 2017[91] Deep Silver Deep Silver Y Support added on Android release
Ballistic Overkill March 28, 2017 May 16, 2017[92] Aquiris Game Studio Aquiris Game Studio Y Y Support added in an update
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter March 30, 2017 February 8, 2017[93] Croteam VR Devolver Digital, Croteam Y Y Support since early access
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter April 4, 2017 February 8, 2017[93] Croteam VR Devolver Digital, Croteam Y Y Support since early access
Steel Rats November 7, 2018 March 1, 2019[94] Tate Multimedia Tate Multimedia Y Vulkan support is only in the Linux version.[94]
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III June 8, 2017 June 8, 2017[95] Relic Entertainment, Feral Interactive Sega Y
X Rebirth VR Edition July 27, 2017 July 27, 2017 Egosoft GmbH Egosoft GmbH Y Support since release
nGlide compatible games[96] November 7, 2009 December 14, 2017[97] Zeus Software Zeus Software Y 3Dfx Voodoo Glide wrapper
F1 2017 November 2, 2017 November 2, 2017 Codemasters, Feral Interactive Codemasters Y Vulkan-only Linux version by Feral Interactive[98][99]
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope September 20, 2017 May 17, 2017[100] Croteam VR Devolver Digital, Croteam Y Y Support since early access
Total War: Warhammer II September 28, 2017 November 20, 2018 Creative Assembly Sega Y Vulkan-only support in the Linux version.[101][102]
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus October 27, 2017[103] October 27, 2017 MachineGames Bethesda Softworks Y Vulkan exclusive[104][105]
Serious Sam Fusion 2017 2017 March 21, 2017[106][107] Croteam Devolver Digital Y Y Support since beta launch
Rise of the Tomb Raider February 9, 2016 April 19, 2018[108] Crystal Dynamics, Feral Interactive Square Enix, Feral Interactive Y Vulkan-only Linux version by Feral Interactive[109]
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia May 3, 2018 June 7, 2018[110] Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive Sega, Feral Interactive Y Vulkan-only Linux version by Feral Interactive[110]
Geocore August 1, 2015 June 1, 2017[111][112] Anarchy Interactive Anarchy Interactive Y Y Support added in an update
Doom Eternal March 20, 2020 March 20, 2020 id Software Bethesda Softworks Y [113]
Strange Brigade August 28, 2018 August 28, 2018[114] Rebellion Developments Rebellion Developments Y
X4: Foundations November 30, 2018 November 30, 2018 Egosoft GmbH Egosoft GmbH Y Y Exclusively supports Vulkan[115]
Artifact November 28, 2018 November 28, 2018[116] Valve Valve Y MacOS Vulkan exclusive on Linux, Vulkan through MoltenVK on macOS
Rage 2 May 14, 2019 May 14, 2019 id Software, Avalanche Studios Bethesda Softworks Y Exclusively supports Vulkan
Wolfenstein: Youngblood July 26, 2019 July 25, 2019[117] MachineGames,

Arkane Studios

Bethesda Softworks Y Exclusively supports Vulkan
The Surge 2 September 24, 2019 September 24, 2019 Deck13 Focus Home Interactive Y
No Man's Sky August 12, 2016 April 16, 2019 Hello Games Hello Games Y OpenGL was replaced by Vulkan[118]
World War Z April 16, 2019 April 16, 2019 Saber Interactive Mad Dog Games Y
Fortnite Battle Royale September 26, 2017 August 9, 2018 Epic Games Epic Games Y Vulkan support for limited devices
Hundred Soul November 7, 2018 November 7, 2018[119] Hound 13 LINE Games Y
Lineage 2 Revolution December 14, 2017 December 14, 2017[81] Netmarble Neo Netmarble Games Y
Traha April 18, 2019 April 18, 2019[119] Moai Games Nexon Y
Forsaken Remastered July 31, 2018 July 31, 2018[120]/September 12, 2018[121] Nightdive Studios Nightdive Studios Y Y MacOS Linux/macOS Vulkan support added in update
Crown Four Kingdoms August 15, 2017 May 10, 2018 X-Legend Entertainment X-Legend Entertainment Y Y Support added in an update
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War July 12, 2018 June 17, 2019 Slitherine Proxy Studios Y Y OpenGL was replaced by Vulkan
Aura Kingdom 2 August 25, 2019 August 25, 2019 X-Legend Entertainment X-Legend Entertainment Y Y Support since release
Red Dead Redemption 2 October 26, 2018 November 5, 2019 Rockstar Studios Rockstar Games Y Support since PC release

Game console emulators

Game engines

  • Source 2 – In March 2015, Valve announced the Source 2 engine, the successor engine to the original Source engine, would support Vulkan.[127][128]
  • Serious Engine 4 – In February 2016, Croteam announced that they were supporting Vulkan in their Serious Engine.[129]
  • Unreal Engine 4 – In February 2016, Epic Games announced Unreal Engine 4 support for Vulkan at Samsung's Galaxy S7 Unpacked event.[130][131]
  • Torque 3D – In April 2016, the developers community announced they will include Vulkan support.[132][133]
  • id Tech 3 – unofficial Vulkan support was added in May 2017.[134]
  • id Tech 4 – unofficial Vulkan support was added in August 2017.[135]
  • id Tech 6 – Vulkan support was added in July, 2016.[136]
  • id Tech 7 – uses Vulkan on PC exclusively.
  • Xenko – Vulkan support was added in July 2016.[137]
  • Unity – The engine has support for Vulkan since version 5.6.[138]
  • CryEngine – Support for Vulkan was added in the 5.4 release.[139]
  • Intrinsic – A free and open-source cross-platform game engine that supports Vulkan.[140]
  • Unigine – In April 2017, Unigine Corp announced that Vulkan support for Unigine is in the roadmap for 2017.[141]
  • Abyss Engine – In May 2017, Deep Silver FISHLABS released Galaxy on Fire 3 on Android with Vulkan support.[142]
  • Banshee 3D – A free and open-source cross-platform game engine that supports Vulkan.[143]
  • Godot – a 2D and 3D, cross-platform, free and open-source game engine. In late February 2018, the developers announced that they will shift their focus from solely using OpenGL ES 3 to target all platforms, to instead using a combination of OpenGL ES 2 and Vulkan.[144]
  • Flax Engine – Vulkan support was added in April 2019.[145]
  • Apex Game Engine (from Avalanche Studios) which was used in Rage 2 uses Vulkan for rendering.[146]
  • Messiah Game Engine – NetEase Games collaborated with Qualcomm to optimise their Messiah Game Engine for Vulkan[147]

Rendering engines

  • UX3D Engine – Vulkan support was added in September 2017.

Development tools

Wrapper libraries

OS components

The Vulkan Window System Integration (WSI) does for Vulkan what EGL does for OpenGL and OpenGL ES.[162] EGL is used by OpenGL and OpenGL ES programs to interface with the native platform windowing system. EGL handles context management, surface binding and rendering synchronization.


Initial specifications stated that Vulkan will work on hardware that currently supports OpenGL ES 3.1 or OpenGL 4.x and up.[163] As Vulkan support requires new graphics drivers, this does not necessarily imply that every existing device that supports OpenGL ES 3.1 or OpenGL 4.x will have Vulkan drivers available.

Vulkan 1.1 with higher efforts is supported by the newer lines in Hardware like Intel Skylake and higher, AMD GCN 3rd and higher, Nvidia Kepler and higher. AMD, Arm, Imagination Technologies, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm supports actual hardware since second half of 2018 Vulkan 1.1 with own drivers. Mesa 18.1 supports with RADV and ANVIL driver AMD and Intel hardware. Actual state in Mesa 3D of RADV and ANVIL see Mesamatrix.[164]

Android 7.0 Nougat supports Vulkan 1.0.[165] The software was released in August 2016.[166] Vulkan 1.1 is supported in Android 9.0 Pie.[167] Vulkan 1.1 support is mandatory for 64-bit devices running Android 10.[168]

Vulkan support for iOS and macOS has not been announced by Apple, but an open-source library exists which provides a Vulkan implementation that runs on top of Metal on iOS and macOS devices.[26]

Company Hardware Software support: Vulkan 1.0
Microarchitecture Available since GPUs (chips) Graphic cards / SoCs Android[lower-alpha 1] Linux Microsoft Windows[lower-alpha 2]
RDNA 1.0 July 2019 Navi 10, Navi 12, Navi 14 Radeon RX 5000 series N/A 1.0 and 1.1: AMDGPU PRO (Ubuntu & RHEL)[170][171]
& RADV in Mesa[172]
1.0 (1.1 GCN 2nd and higher) Radeon Software[173]
GCN 5th August 2017 Vega 10, Raven Ridge, Picasso Radeon RX Vega series,
GCN 4th June 2016 Polaris 10, Polaris 11, Polaris 12 Radeon RX 400 series, Radeon RX 500 series
GCN 3rd August 2014 Tonga, Fiji, Carrizo Radeon R9 Series and more
GCN 2nd March 2013 Bonaire, Hawaii, Kaveri, Kabini, Temash, Mullins, Beema, Carrizo-L Radeon HD 7790 and more, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Experimental 1.0 (GCN 1st and 2nd complete) and 1.1 (Partial Hardware dependent) with RADV in Mesa[174]
GCN 1st January 2012 Oland, Cape Verde, Pitcairn, Tahiti Radeon HD 77xx–7900 Series
TeraScale 3 December 2010 Cayman, Trinity/Richland Radeon HD 69xx Series, Radeon HD 7xxx–76xx Series not supported
TeraScale 2 September 2009 Cedar, Cypress, Juniper, Redwood, Palm, Sumo Radeon HD 5000 Series, Radeon HD 6350, Radeon HD 64xx–68xx Series
TeraScale 1 May 2007 R600, RV630, RV610, RV790, RV770, ... Radeon HD 2000 Series, HD 3000, HD 4000
Turing September 2018 TU10x, TU11x GeForce 20 series, GeForce 16 series 1.1: Nvidia GeForce driver 1.1: Nvidia GeForce driver
Volta December 2017 GV10x Nvidia Titan V 1.0 and 1.1: Nvidia GeForce driver 1.0 and 1.1: Nvidia GeForce driver
Pascal May 2016 GP10x GeForce 10 series, Tegra X2 Yes 1.0 and 1.1 Nvidia GeForce driver[175][176] 1.0 and 1.1: Nvidia GeForce driver[176]
Maxwell February 2014 GM10x, GM20x GeForce GTX 750 Ti, GTX 750, GTX 860M, GeForce 900 series, Tegra X1
Kepler March 2012 GK10x, GK110, GK208 GeForce 600 series, GeForce 700 series, Tegra K1
Fermi March 2010 GF10x, GF11x GeForce 400 series, GeForce 500 series not supported
Tesla November 2006 G8x, G9x, GT20x, GT21x GeForce 8 series, GeForce 9 series, GeForce 100 series, GeForce 200 series, GeForce 300 series
Intel Coffee Lake October 2017 Core i3-/i5-/i7-8000, Yes 1.0 and 1.1: Anvil in Mesa 18.1 Yes
Kaby Lake September 2016 Core i3-/i5-/i7-7000, Pentium xyz, Celeron xyz 1.0 Anvil in Mesa 17.1, 1.1 in Mesa 18.1[177] 1.0: Anvil in Mesa[178][179], 1.1 in Mesa 18.1 Intel Graphics driver[180]
Skylake August 2015 Core i3-/i5-/i7-6000, Core m3-/m5-/m7-6Yxx, Pentium G4xxx, Celeron G39xx
Broadwell September 2014 Core i3-/i5-/i7-5000, Core M-5Yxx 1.0 Anvil in Mesa 17.1[177] 1.0: Anvil in Mesa[178][179] not supported
Haswell June 2013 Core i3-/i5-/i7-4000, Pentium G3xxx, Celeron G18xx
Ivy Bridge April 2012 Core i3-/i5-/i7-3000, Pentium G2xxx, Celeron G16xx
Sandy Bridge January 2011 Core i3-/i5-/i7-2000, Pentium Gxxx, Celeron Gxxx not supported not supported
Westmere January 2010 Core i3-/i5-/i7-xxx, Pentium G69xx, Celeron G1101
Imagination Technologies
PowerVR Series 8 February 2016 GE8200, GE8300 PowerVR Graphics SDK v4.1[181]
PowerVR Series 7 November 2014 GE7400, GE7800, GT7200, GT7400, GT7600, GT7800, GT7900 Apple A9, A9X, A10 Fusion, Helio X30 (MT6799)
PowerVR Series 6 January 2012 G6100, G6200, G6230, G6400, G6430, G6630, RK3368, G6050, G6060, G6100 (XE), G6110, GX6240, GX6250, GX6450, GX6650 Apple A7, A8, A8X, MediaTek MT8173, MT8176, MediaTek MT6595M, MT6595T, MT6595M, MT6795, MT8135, Helio X10 (MT6795), LG H13, Atom Z3460, Z3480, Z3530, Z3560, Z3570, Z3580
PowerVR Series 5 January 2009 SGX543, SGX544, SGX554 Apple S1, A5, A5X, A6, A6X, NovaThor L8540, L8580, L9540, TI OMAP 4470, 5430, 5432, MediaTek MT5327, MT6589M, MT6589T, MT6589, MT8117, MT8121, MT8125, MT8389, Atom Z2460, Z2520, Z2560, Z2580, Z2760, Exynos 5410 not supported
Adreno 500 series Adreno 510, Adreno 530, Adreno 540

Adreno 512

Snapdragon 430, 625, 650, 652, 660,820, 821, 835 1.0[182]
Adreno 400 series Adreno 418,Adreno 420,Adreno 430 Snapdragon 415, 615, 616, 617, 805, 808, 810 1.0(Adreno 418,430)[183]
Adreno 300 series Snapdragon 200, 208, 210, 212, 400, 410, 412, 600, 800, 801 not supported
Bifrost[184] June 2016 Mali-G71, ... Kirin 960, 970, Exynos 8895, MediaTek Helio P23 (MT6763T), Helio P30 1.0[185]
Midgard 4th Q4 2015 Mali-T860, Mali-T830, Mali-T880 Exynos 8890, Exynos 7880, Exynos 7870, Kirin 950, 955, MediaTek MT6738, MT6750, Helio X20 (MT6797), X25 (MT6797T), P10 (MT6755), P20 (MT6757)
Midgard 3rd October 2013 Mali-T760, ... Exynos 7420, Exynos 5433, MT6752, MT6732, RK3288
Midgard 2nd August 2012 Mali-T600 series, T720 Exynos 5250, 5260, 5410, 5420, 5422, 5430, 5800, 7580, Mediatek MT6735, MT6753, Kirin 920, 925, 930, 935 not supported

See also

  • Direct3D 12 – main competitor of Vulkan
  • OpenGL – another graphics API by the Khronos Group
  • OpenCL – a heterogeneous computing framework by the Khronos Group
  • Mantle – a low-level graphics and compute API from AMD, the foundation of Vulkan
  • Metal – a low-level graphics and compute API for iOS and macOS
  • AMDGPU – AMD's fully open-source unified graphics driver for Linux


  1. For Android Nougat and later.[169]
  2. Drivers so far have supported Windows 7 and later.


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Further reading

  • Vulkan Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning Vulkan (OpenGL), Nov 10, 2016, by Graham Sellers and John Kessenich ISBN 978-0-1344-64541
  • Introduction to Computer Graphics and the Vulkan API, Jul 1, 2017, by Kenwright ISBN 978-1-5486-16175
  • Vulkan Cookbook, Apr 28, 2017, by Pawel Lapinski ISBN 978-1-7864-68154
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