Vulkan Graphics Available on Shield TV Developer Preview


The Vulkan Graphics API is going to be a significant change to gaming in the next couple years. Replacing the current OpenGL standard, graphics will take better advantage of the GPU and includes new features like threading. The API, developed by the open consortium Khronos, is now essentially complete and it is time for companies to start integrating Vulkan into their products.

Although Google has promised to integrate Vulkan into Android, they haven’t given a timeline of when that will happen. NVIDIA has taken it upon themselves to integrate the Vulkan standard into their Android devices: the Shield tablet and Shield TV.

These new APIs are being introduced along with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is rolling out “very soon”. It seems to be exclusive to NVIDIA’s products; stock Android does not have these graphic APIs included yet (that will likely come in Android N this summer). If you can’t wait, NVIDIA is allowing users to request access to a developer preview. This preview will give you immediate access to both Marshmallow as well as Vulkan.

Vulkan Sample

As part of promoting these APIs, NVIDIA has also added some code samples to help developers get started. As the OS update begins to roll out for more users, it is likely that NVIDIA will continue adding samples and documentation to help developers create high-quality and fast rendering graphics.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub ( Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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