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Automotive HMI Graphics Need Vulkan

Distance Warning

By Sami Niska, Basemark’s COO | July 20, 2021

Automotive OEMs want to differentiate by offering high-quality in-cockpit experiences. The industry trend is to increase the size of the screens and the number of screens for instrument clusters, AR applications, and in-vehicle infotainment screens. Superior graphics is one of the key selling points.

That comes with a cost. More processing power is needed, which increases the cost and power consumption.

We believe there is quite much room to improve the performance without increasing cost and power consumption through the roof.

Most of the current automotive HMI graphics implementations are built of top OpenGL ES APIs which are not the latest and greatest graphics APIs anymore.

OpenGL is a widely used graphics rendering API, mainly due to accessibility, availability, and history.
OpenGL drivers often have a significant overhead that decreases the overall performance.

The graphics industry has created a better solution.

Vulkan is a modern, lower-level graphics API that achieves significantly better performance compared to OpenGL.

Based on our performance benchmarking Vulkan enables consistently more than 50% faster graphics performance compared to OpenGL ES on automotive graphics rendering use cases.

Vulkan vs OpenGL
Figure 1 Vulkan vs OpenGL ES performance on entry-level instrument cluster implementation

Vulkan is a lower-level API, which means that the work is offloaded to the graphics developers who require Vulkan expertise.

Currently, there are not many commercial Vulkan engines available, but Basemark offers the world’s leading graphics engine implementation for Vulkan – Rocksolid.

Rocksolid’s API abstracts away the complexities of Vulkan and enables HMI development teams to easily create high-performance applications which can be rendered using Vulkan but also OpenGL (ES,SC) or DirectX.

Contact us to learn more and start your evaluation.


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