Vulkan® SDK

LunarG: Creator and Curator of the Vulkan SDK

Vulkan is a new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern graphics processing units (GPUs), which are used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms. The Vulkan API was created by the Khronos Group, a consortium of technology hardware and software companies.

In addition to providing 3D graphics software solutions and consulting services, LunarG is also the creator and curator of the Vulkan software development kit (SDK). The Vulkan SDK is a collection of essential tools used by developers to assist in development and debugging of Vulkan applications. LunarG works closely with the Khronos Vulkan working group to provide ongoing enhancements to the Vulkan SDK components as the Vulkan API continues to evolve.

LunarG recently donated this open-source SDK, which is available for the Windows®, Linux, and macOS® operating systems, to the Khronos Group. The SDK is open source and freely available to all.

The Vulkan SDK Includes:

Vulkan Loader

The Vulkan SDK includes the Khronos‐branded Vulkan loader binary for Linux and macOS. On Windows, the Vulkan Loader is delivered with the hardware vendor driver update packages. The loader discovers and manages the Vulkan devices and layers available to the application.

Vulkan Application Developer Tools

The SDK provides you with tools to assist the developer during application development. Common tools are the Validation Layers, apidump, vulkaninfo, and capture/replay tools.

Vulkan Capture Tools

The capture and replay tools allow you to capture API calls in binary format and play them back. This is useful for sharing traces when debugging your applications with third parties (such as IHVs) without having to share the application. For application developers it can be useful to validate that the application is executing Vulkan API usage as expected.

SPIR‐V™ Tools

SPIR‐V is a new binary intermediate representation (IR) for graphical shaders and compute kernels. The Vulkan graphics API requires the SPIR‐V format for all shaders. To help you meet this requirement, the SDK includes tools for proper shader generation, GLSL and HLSL conversion, inspection, and compression improvement.

SDK Documentation

Each SDK is for a Vulkan header version. Online documentation for all the tools in the SDK is included as well as builds of the Vulkan specification for the header version.

Vulkan Samples and Tutorial

An online Vulkan tutorial is provided that will take the user through the steps to render a basic object on the screen. In addition, there are simple Vulkan samples that demonstrate the use of some of the Vulkan API calls.

Benefits of Using the SDK

  • Provides your developers with the essential tools needed for developing Vulkan applications
  • Streamlines the process of developing applications in Vulkan by delivering pre-built versions of key developer’s tools relative to the Vulkan header version

Our Work with the Khronos Group

LunarG has a long-standing partnership with the Khronos Group, a technology consortium that works to develop advanced, royalty-free, acceleration standards for 3D graphics. LunarG is also actively involved in influencing the Vulkan specification process, and in representing its clients’ needs at Vulkan Working Group meetings.

Vulkan SDK FAQ

Find answers to your most pressing questions about the Vulkan SDK.

Read FAQ
White Paper

Vulkan SDK Version Compatibility

Find out why there’s no longer a need for a Vulkan SDK based on 1.0 headers.

Download White Paper

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