The Raspberry Pi 4 has hit a major graphics milestone, adding support for a more modern Vulkan 3D APIa. Ars Technica reports: Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced the Pi 4’s Vulkan 1.2 conformance on Monday. Support isn’t available yet in downloadable Pi-friendly operating systems but should be coming soon. For most people using their Pi as a server, a DIY controller, or a light desktop, Vulkan 1.2 conformance won’t be noticeable. Desktop graphics on the standard Raspberry Pi OS are powered by OpenGL, the older graphics API that Vulkan is meant to replace. There is one group that benefits, says Upton: games and other 3D Android applications. Android uses Vulkan as its low-overhead graphics API.
As with most Raspberry Pi advancements, there could be unforeseen opportunities unleashed by this seemingly tiny change. Vulkan 1.2 support gives developers the same 3D-graphics interface (if not anywhere near the same power) as