OnQ Blog

How to start using Adreno SDK for Vulkan

Jun 20, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Have you started working with Vulkan yet? Vulkan is the latest graphics API from Khronos and a major rethink for mobile developers about using the GPU. It addresses the growing demand for low-overhead APIs that provide developers with explicit control of the graphics and compute power on hardware like the Snapdragon Adreno GPU.

As the excitement builds over the release of the new Vulkan API, many developers are curious about getting started with it. Technical information on Vulkan is still limited at this early stage, so you may as well dig in. Writing and debugging real applications on real devices is a great way to learn this advanced approach to graphics programming.

Adreno SDK for Vulkan, plus videos

Our Adreno SDK for Vulkan contains several working samples covering Vulkan features. Regardless of your level of graphics experience, this SDK is the perfect introduction to the Vulkan API. You’ll find instructive and commented code samples on all the basic topics:

  • Initializing Vulkan
  • Setting up swap chains
  • Creating Vulkan devices and queues
  • Synchronizing the rendering steps
  • Drawing a simple triangle
  • Creating image processing effects
  • Rendering in multiple passes
  • Compiling SPIR-V shaders
  • Using compute shaders
  • Making use of push constants

The SDK also includes easy-to-read guides in areas like writing a simple triangle app and compiling shaders. The documentation will help you get up to speed quickly on the complete Vulkan development cycle.

Of course, you need to have a few things in place first, like Android Studio, the Android SDK and the Android NDK. We’ve covered these requirements in our Using the Adreno SDK Vulkan videos. The videos walk you through installation of the Android NDK and our Vulkan SDK, the complete contents of the SDK and step-by-step instructions on building and running your first Vulkan app on a mobile device using Android Studio. You’ll also find links to useful information from Khronos, the standards body behind Vulkan.

Your turn

We encourage you to download our Adreno SDK for Vulkan now and get started learning Vulkan development. You can develop and run your app on actual devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and our MDP (Mobile development Platform) 820, manufactured by Intrinsyc Technologies. As more devices become commercially available with Qualcomm’s Vulkan drivers, taking advantage of Vulkan’s efficient use of graphics hardware will allow your apps to perform at their very best.

Qualcomm Snapdragon and Qualcomm Adreno are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.