Introduction to APIs and Arm

An Application Programming Interface (API) is defined as the way that applications interact with the main components of a computer system. There are many types of APIs but when it comes to GPUs, people will generally refer to them as a graphics API. 

In this section you will find resources, guides and information around three main APIs including Vulkan, Open GLES and OpenCL when working on Arm based designs.


Vulkan® is a powerful graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms.

OpenGL ES Logo


OpenGL® ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for rendering advanced 2D and 3D graphics on embedded and mobile systems - including consoles, phones, appliances and vehicles. 

OpenCL Logo

Open CL

OpenCL™ (Open Computing Language) is the open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of diverse processors found in personal computers, servers, mobile devices and embedded platforms.


What is an API?

A Techquickie video on APIs. They do a lot of important tasks behind the scenes in everything from graphics rendering to booking flights. But what exactly are they, and how do they work?

Full credit of this video goes to Techquickie - this video was not commissioned by Arm and is being used for education purposes only.

Watch on YouTube