The $120,000/year pledged by the GPU developer will fund Vulkan support in Blender.
AMD has joined NVIDIA and Epic Games as a patron of the Blender Development Fund. The CPU and GPU developer will pay $120,000/year, covering the salaries of a further two full-time Blender developers. As well as supporting for AMD's own technologies and paying for general development, the money will be used towards migrating the software to the cross-platform Vulkan graphics API.
A further boost for cross-platform graphics tools
AMD's sponsorship matches that of NVIDIA earlier this year, with the firm contributing $10,000/month to the Blender Development Fund. With the additional support from game developer Embark Studios announced earlier today, that takes the current total to €94,980/month ($109,227/month), just shy of the current "ultimate goal" of funding 20 full-time core Blender developers.
In its tweet announcing the deal, the firm commented: "AMD is proud to join the Blender ... Development Fund as a Patron, contributing to the success of Blender's excellent open source tools and keeping AMD technologies well supported for all users."
That phrase – keeping technologies "well supported" – is the same one used when NVIDIA backed the fund earlier this year, but in AMD's case, it probably also encompasses open standards.
A 'next gen' successor to OpenGL, the Vulkan API is seen as a possible solution to the problem posed by Apple deprecating support for OpenGL and OpenCL in macOS 10.14, making it possible to write tools that run on multiple manufacturers' hardware without using Apple's proprietary Metal API.
AMD has already introduced support for Vulkan in Radeon ProRender, its third-party rendering plugin for Blender and other DCC applications like 3ds Max and Maya.