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MoltenVK is a software library which allows Vulkan applications to run on top of Metal on Apple's macOS, iOS, and tvOS operating systems. It is the first software component to be released for the Vulkan Portability Initiative, a project to have a subset of Vulkan run on platforms lacking native Vulkan drivers.

There are some limitations compared with a native Vulkan implementation.[3]


MoltenVK was first released as a proprietary and commercially licensed product by The Brenwill Workshop on July 27, 2016.[4]

On July 31, 2017, Khronos announced the formation of the Vulkan Portability Technical Subgroup.[5]

Open Source

On February 26, 2018, Khronos announced that Vulkan became available on macOS and iOS products through the MoltenVK library.[6] Valve announced that Dota 2 will run on macOS using the Vulkan API with the aid of MoltenVK,[7] and that they had made an arrangement with developer The Brenwill Workshop Ltd to release MoltenVK as open-source software under the Apache License version 2.0.[8]

On May 30, 2018, Qt was updated with Vulkan for Qt on macOS using MoltenVK.[9] On May 31, 2018, optional Vulkan support for Dota 2 on macOS was released. Benchmarks for the game were available the following day, showing better performance using Vulkan and MoltenVK compared to OpenGL.[10] On July 20, 2018, Wine was updated with Vulkan support on macOS using MoltenVK.[11] On 29 July 2018, the first app using MoltenVK was accepted onto the App Store, after initially being rejected.[12] On 6 August 2018, Google open-sourced Filament, a crossplatform real-time physically based rendering engine with MoltenVK for macOS/iOS.[13] On November 28, 2018, Valve released Artifact, their first Vulkan-only game on macOS using MoltenVK.[14]

Version 1.0

On 29 January 2019, MoltenVK 1.0.32 was released with early prototype of Vulkan Portability Extensions. RPCS3 and Dolphin emulators were updated with Vulkan support on macOS using MoltenVK.[15] On 13 April 2019, MoltenVK 1.0.34 was released with support for tessellation. On July 30, 2019, MoltenVK 1.0.36 was released targeting Metal 3.0.[16] On July 31, 2020, MoltenVK 1.0.44 was released, adding support for the tvOS platform.[17] On January 23, 2020, MoltenVK was updated to support for some of the new features of Vulkan 1.2, as of Vulkan SDK 1.2.121.[18]

Version 1.1

On October 1, 2020, MoltenVK 1.1.0 was released, adding full support for Vulkan 1.1,[19] as of Vulkan SDK 1.2.154.[20]

On 9 December, version 1.1.1 was released, providing support for Vulkan on Apple silicon GPUs and support for the Mac Catalyst platform for porting iOS/PadOS apps to macOS.[21]


  1. ^ "Vulkan Applications Enabled on Apple Platforms". Khronos Group Press Release.
  2. ^ a b "MoltenVK is an implementation of the high-performance, industry-standard Vulkan graphics and compute API, that runs on Apple's Metal graphics framework, bringing Vulkan to iOS and macOS.: Khro." December 27, 2018 – via GitHub.
  3. ^ "MoltenVK Runtime User Guide". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ "MoltenVK brings Vulkan to iOS and macOS". The Brenwill Workshop Ltd. July 22, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Larabel, Michael (July 31, 2017). "No Vulkan 1.1 Today, But There Is A New Initiative That Could Help macOS See Vulkan". Phoronix. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Bright, Peter (February 26, 2018). "Vulkan is coming to macOS and iOS, but no thanks to Apple". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Larabel, Michael (February 26, 2018). "Vulkan Is Now Available On macOS/iOS By MoltenVK Being Open-Sourced, Vulkan SDK for Mac". Phoronix. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Free and Open-Source Vulkan on macOS and iOS". Valve. February 26, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ says, Luciano Moffatt (May 30, 2018). "Vulkan for Qt on macOS". Qt Blog. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Larabel, Michael (June 1, 2018). "Initial Vulkan Performance On macOS With Dota 2 Is Looking Very Good". Phoronix. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Wine 3.13 Released". WineHQ. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ "Apple Accepts Updated MoltenVK-Using App/Game For Vulkan API On iOS - Phoronix". Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ Sugandha Lahoti (August 6, 2018). "Google open sources Filament, a physically based rendering engine". Packt Hub. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Valve Releases Artifact As Its Cross-Platform, Vulkan-Powered Digital Card Game - Phoronix". Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ Olson, Tom (May 20, 2019). "Vulkan: The State of the Union" (PDF). Khronos Group.
  16. ^ "MoltenVK Now Supports More Vulkan Extensions, Begins Targeting Metal 3.0 - Phoronix". Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Vulkan 1.2 Comes To macOS / iOS Via Updated MoltenVK". Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Vulkan 1.2 Comes To macOS / iOS Via Updated MoltenVK". January 23, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  19. ^ "MoltenVK 1.1 Update Brings Big Improvements For Vulkan On macOS - Phoronix". September 29, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "Releases - KronosGroup MoltenVK". October 2, 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  21. ^ "Vulkan Comes To Apple Silicon GPUs / M1 By Means Of MoltenVK 1.1.1". December 10, 2020. Retrieved 2021.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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