Qualcomm shows up at the Vulkan party with the 820

Snapdragons with Adreno 4xx and 5xx are in the game now

Qualcomm Snapdragon logoQualcomm is a day late to the Vulkan party but today the Snapdragon 820 officially supports that API. Given that they have been showing SemiAccurate working demos since the 820 launch, and before, we forgive them.

Since Vulkan is supported on the Adreno 530 GPU which only comes in the Snapdragon 820, we can’t say the support is far and wide. Today. That said Qualcomm promised to support the API in all upcoming Adreno 5xx GPUs, none of which have been announced yet, so those will probably be compatible at launch. Better yet the SoC giant is going to be backporting Vulkan to existing Adreno 4xx GPUs in the near-ish future. Stay tuned for more on that one, but you can assume it will trickle down in short order.

This is impressive enough but better yet they are hinting that their tool suites for debugging and profiling are going to be Vulkan aware in short order. The exact date would be a real mystery if MWC weren’t beginning in less than a week. Place your bets now but don’t be shocked if it is days not weeks.

About the only thing missing is the OS list for Vulkan support, Android and Chrome are a given but what about others? Also on a technical note nowhere in the release is it stated that the Vulkan drivers are officially Khronos approved/compliant but since we have been playing with Vulkan on Qualcomm products for 6+ months, we are not worried about the paperwork. If it isn’t there already, it should be very shortly, it looks like Mantle-V is the de facto winner of the API wars.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate