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[Sticky] Upgrade of APP to use the Vulkan (Khronos) and Metal (MacOS) APIs  


Quasar Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 2127
April 1, 2019 21:21  

Hi all,

Due to

  • several outstanding issues with OpenGL on all 3 platforms (Linux, MacOS & Windows)
  • and the fact that Apple (MacOS) will probably soon stop support for OpenGL

we will start work with high priority to upgrade APP to use the cross-platform Vulkan API from the Khronos group


for both

  • the graphics (showing your images) in APP and also
  • for performing parallel calculations on the GPU.



In addition, APPLE has already stopped support for OpenCL with MacOS Mojave. OpenCL is a language for performing calculations directly on the GPU, which I have been testing for some months now. The testing has made very clear that we need to start using the GPU as much as we can to speed up processing significantly in APP in all tasks that can be separated in multiple tasks to be performed in parallel.

In complicated calculations, using a GPU, can drastically increase performance when compared to performing the calculation on the CPU, even with multiple CPU threads.

The speed increase can be a factor of 20x-100x faster, depending on the actual calculation, when compared to 1 single AMD Threadripper 1950X cpu thread versus using a quite regular GPU like the Nvidia Dual GTX1060 6GB which I was using in testing.

So even with a cpu thread monster like the AMD Threadrippers, using a strong GPU or multiple GPUs  will clearly increase performance.



The good news now is, that we will start using Vulkan as well for GPU calculations besides the image drawing in the image viewer window.

And with Vulkan and the MoltenVK layer provided by Khronos, we will be able to use the Metal framework on MacOS as well, also for both graphics, as well as calculations using the GPU.

So by upgrading to

  • the cross-platform Vulkan API  and
  • the MoltenVK/Metal APIs for MacOS

we can upgrade APP to use the latest technologies for both image drawing and parallel calculations using the GPU, which

  • should make APP much ! faster
  • and should make APP ready for the future

Kind regards,


Main developer of Astro Pixel Processor and owner of Aries Productions