Open-Source Vulkan Driver Coming to the Raspberry Pi

Vulkan from Khronos comes to the Pi!
Ash Ash (362)

Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi Ltd. CEO, announced the development of an open-source Vulkan driver on the official Raspberry Pi blog this week. The new driver is in production by a team from an open-source consultancy known as Igalia. The new graphics driver isn't available yet, but the progress is easy to see.

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Vulkan is a graphics and compute API developed by Khronos. According to the official website, it "provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs." Vulkan is supported on many different devices including PCs, cell phones, consoles, and more.

The latest Vulkan release is known as Vulkan 1.2, officially going live on January 15th, 2020. This new release integrates 23 extensions into the core Vulkan API. You can read more about version 1.2 specifications in the official press release.

Raspberry Pis use a mobile multimedia processor known as VideoCore, owned by Broadcom. The VideoCore dev team has a small tradition of rendering an RGB triangle when developing new projects. The new Vulkan driver for the Pi is no exception!

The driver might not be available yet, but the Igalia team has made some serious progress. A screenshot posted by Eben Upton on January 31st shows the perfectly rendered RGB triangle created with VideoCore VI Vulkan.

The development process is still in the early stages. As exciting as it is to see progress, it may be a while before you can download Vulkan for your Raspberry Pi. Eben Upton said in his blog post, "Igalia has only been working on this new driver for a few weeks, and we still have a very long development roadmap ahead of us before we can put an actual driver in the hands of our users."