Silicon giant Intel has announced it now supports Vulkan, expanding the capabilities of Windows 10 PCs. Official support for Vulkan APIs has come to a number of the company's chip families, including Kaby Lake, Skylake, and Apollo Lake. This support will offer potential improvements in gaming and virtual reality.
Intel has brought support to its 7th Generation Kaby Lake chips, 6th Generation Skylake chips, and also the Apollo Lake HD Graphics 505 GPU Pentium silicon. The decision means virtual reality headsets could run applications written in Vulcan on Windows 10.
Vulcan is developed by Khronos and is a cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API that was launched at GDC 2015. Like DirectX 12, it can be written in many applications, but is focused on gaming and visual apps.
The support arrives at an ideal time for Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft is expanding the virtual reality capabilities of the platform. This starts with the Creators Update and will continue later in the year with OEM hardware. Partners such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo are launching virtual reality headsets for Windows 10 PCs.
Microsoft says these devices are not as expensive as rivals such as Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The company has also lowered the specification requirements for PCs, potentially making VR content and hardware more accessible. Microsoft will further its plans with the launch of a VR development kits for developers at GDC 2017. The event gets underway February 27.
Intel bringing support for Vulkan means the capabilities of the integrated Kaby Lake GPUs will be available. It is worth noting that Vulkan games on Windows 10 is nothing new. Titles written by the API are supported by NVidia and AMD processors. Intel is late to the party, but is a welcome addition considering the company supplies silicon for a lot of machines.
Intel Demoting PCs
Earlier today, we reported on Intel's decision to demote PCs as its chief business. The company announced that it will focus on data centers first. This means any new technology will go do cloud data centers as a priority. Previously, Intel would place its newest chips in PCs first, but a market decline has forced the company to change its strategy.