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Vulkan® 1.2 Released

Vulkan LogoToday, The Khronos® Group released Vulkan® 1.2 specification for GPU acceleration. This release integrates 23 proven extensions into the core Vulkan API, bringing significant developer-requested access to new hardware functionality, improved application performance, and enhanced API usability. Multiple GPU vendors have certified conformant implementations, and significant open source tooling is expected during January 2020. 

Vulkan continues to evolve by listening to developer needs, shipping new functionality as extensions, and then consolidating extensions that receive positive developer feedback into a unified core API specification. Carefully selected API features are made optional to enable market-focused implementations. Many Vulkan 1.2 features were requested by developers to meet critical needs in their engines and applications, including: timeline semaphores for easily managed synchronization; a formal memory model to precisely define the semantics of synchronization and memory operations in different threads; descriptor indexing to enable reuse of descriptor layouts by multiple shaders; deeper support for shaders written in HLSL, and more.

Read the full Press Release

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

Neil Trevett President KhronosWe had quite the year at The Khronos Group with significant Working Group advances in 2019:
  • glTF has become widely accepted as the equivalent of JPEG for 3D;
  • Vulkan has been adopted by even more platforms, including Google’s Stadia;
  • OpenXR 1.0 has shipped and is beginning to deliver on the promise of AR and VR portability;
  • OpenVX 1.3 has completed the transition of OpenVX from a traditional vision API to seamlessly integrating vision and inferencing;
  • SYCL has been adopted as a key technology in Intel’s oneAPI initiative.
Furthermore, as tech ecosystems become ever more complex, 2019 has shown us that our standards increasingly need to be used together to solve real-world problems:
  • SYCL provides C++-based heterogeneous acceleration, but relies on SPIR-V to underpin language compilation and uses OpenCL for hardware acceleration;
  • XR applications can use OpenXR for run-time portability, but also need glTF for portable 3D assets to feed those applications;
  • Machine learning systems need exchange formats such as NNEF to feed inferencing run-times such as OpenVX, being accelerated over APIs such as OpenCL.
Finally, 2019 has seen the ongoing advantages of cooperation encourage liaisons beyond Khronos into sister organizations as we build an industry-wide web of interconnected standards:
  • OGC and Khronos are working together to enable the widespread use of 3D in geospatial applications;
  • W3C is working with Khronos to build the next generation of 3D and XR in the Web and to leverage glTF as common format that all browsers can understand;
  • Khronos is working with many groups inside ISO, including enabling glTF to bring widely accessible 3D to PDF files.
To read more about 2019 and what is planned in 2020 and beyond, click here.

Khronos Liaison with W3C discussing SPIR-V use for WebGPU

W3C LogoA simple liaison between The Khronos Group and W3C was setup to coordinate on shared areas of interest. The GPU for W3C's Web Community Group is notably discussing possible use of SPIR-V as shading language for WebGPU with The Khronos Group through that liaison.


Current-Day Problems with Analytic Rendering: Why an Open Standard is Needed and What an API Design Could Look Like

Recent advances in rendering technology have dramatically improved data visualization, delivering imagery that is highly physically accurate and visual cues that allow users to intuitively understand complex data sets. Particularly, the introduction of real-time ray tracing has gone a long way to advance the technology. However, while these graphical techniques are, indeed, impressive, their application developments are intensely complex and often too expensive.



Vulkan Timeline Semaphores

Vulkan LogoThe original Vulkan synchronization APIs relied on two separate coarse-grained primitives: VkSemaphore and VkFence. Both of these were reusable binary-state objects with slightly different purposes and behavior. VkSemaphore allowed applications to synchronize operations across device queues. VkFence facilitated device to host synchronization. Together, they enabled applications to observe and control the execution of command buffers and other queue commands, but they inherited various limitations of the underlying OS and device mechanisms at the time which made them somewhat difficult to use.

The new timeline semaphore synchronization API shipping as VK_KHR_timeline_semaphore, and a core feature of Vulkan 1.2, defines a primitive containing a superset of both the original VkSemaphore and VkFence primitives, while simultaneously eliminating many of the most painful limitations of the previous APIs. In brief, timeline semaphores:
  • Are a synchronization primitive whose state consists of a monotonically increasing 64-bit integer value
  • Enable omnidirectional synchronization between device and host using a single primitive
  • Allow wait-before-signal submission order
  • Allow applications to ignore signal operations in certain cases
  • Eliminate the need to reset after a signal operation before reuse
  • Allow multiple wait operations per signal operation

Vulkan 1.2 Deepens HLSL Support

HLSL DiagramHLSL support in Vulkan has come a long way since its introduction. Over the past couple of years HLSL in Vulkan has made amazing strides to hit a critical maturation point and earned the coveted label of production ready. HLSL in Vulkan has been achieved through integrating a SPIR-V backend into DXC, Microsoft’s open source HLSL compiler (the encircled section in image), and Khronos’ glslang. It has been no small effort to bring it to the level of quality we enjoy today. Coordinated efforts and contributions of all sizes from IHVs, ISVs, independent developers, and of course Khronos came together to make it all happen.



MIT Reality Hack

January 17-21, 2020
MIT Media Lab
Cambridge, Massachusetts

MIT Media Lab LogoThe Khronos Group is a media sponsor of MIT's XR Hackathon. The expo will showcase the most cutting-edge developments in augmented reality and virtual reality created over a five day period by over 400 developers, designers, and AR/VR storytellers participating in the hackathon.

Everyone is welcome to come to the Public Expo on January 20 at 2PM free of charge. Click here to RSVP. Khronos will have a table at the event. 

Click here for more information.

Webinar: glTF Tools from Khronos

January 30, 2020
9:00am PST

glTF LogoThe Khronos webinar, glTF Tools from Khronos will be held January 30, 2020, where we will talk about the latest open source glTF tools from Khronos and Blender, including the Blender glTF I/O, glTF Compressonator, and glTF Sample Viewer. 

Register here...

Embedded World 2020

February 25-27, 2020
Exhibition Centre
Nuremberg, Germany

Embedded World LogoKhronos President, Neil Trevett, will be presenting "APIs for Accelerating Embedded Vision and Inferencing: and Industry Overview of Options and Trade-offs," on February 27th. 

Click here for more information.


Presentation from Embedded Vision Alliance Technical Forum is Available

Embedded Vision Alliance Logo

Neil Trevett presented at Embedded Vision Alliances Technical Forum. His presentation, "Current and Planned Standards for Computer Vision and Machine Learning," is available for download.


RECENT NEWS                                

Vulkan Memory Allocator 2.3.0 Released

AMD LogoVMA (Vulkan Memory Allocator) is our single-header, MIT-licensed, C++ library for easily and efficiently managing memory allocation for your Vulkan games and applications. You can get it now by going to VulkanMemoryAllocator Releases on GitHub and grabbing the latest v2.3.0. Read more...

JX3 is the First Vulkan Game in China to Support Ray TracingNVIDIA Logo

At GTC CHINA, Henrik Li from NVIDIA, and Ming Dong from Kingsoft, explained how JX3 Online is using ray tracing for the first time to deliver a top-tier visual experience. Read more... 

Epic Games LogoUnreal Engine 4.24 Offers OpenXR Support and glTF Fixes

Unreal has implemented an OpenXR plugin to provide support for the OpenXR 1.0 standard. In addition, there are multiple glTF fixes. Read more...

Google Releases GraphicsFuzz 1.3 for OpenGL®, OpenGL ES and SPIR-V

Google LogoGraphicsFuzz these days is no longer about just OpenGL / GLES and GLSL shaders but also operating on SPIR-V shaders for consumption by Vulkan drivers. There are also GLSL/SPIR-V shader reducers in addition to the fuzzer that relies upon randomized metamorphic testing. Read more...

Intel DNNL v2.0 Preview Release Adds SYCL API Extensions and Operability with SYCL Code

Intel LogoThe Intel Deep Neural Network Library (DNNL) just announced DNNL v2.0 preview release. New functionality includes SYCL API extensions and interoperability with SYCL code and Support for Intel DPC++ compiler and runtime. Also included are SYCL interoperability examples. Download on GitHub.

Automatic Creation of glTF with Quality Materials

migenius LogoCustomers of RealityServer are usually seeking out the highest quality visuals possible. However in many contexts it is not economical to provide this quality at all times. As a result, hybrid solutions using both WebGL and RealityServer have become popular. Here, WebGL is used during most of the interaction and RealityServer just at the end of the process for a final high quality image. The problem this creates is that you have to make the WebGL version of the content somehow, ideally without making your content twice. In this article we’ll see how glTF 2.0, MDL materials and distillation lets you re-purpose your content automatically.  Read more...

NVIDIA Design Works Updates Vulkan Samples

NVIDIA LogoNVIDIA has updated their sample framework and have added a plethora of new Vulkan content. There is a big focus on Raytracing for Vulkan and how to add that to OpenGL. Most samples now support loading glTF 2.0 models. Download on GitHub

Learn How OpenGL and OpenXR Help with Streaming Model for Field-of-Light Displays

OpenGL LogoOpen Standard for Display Agnostic 3D Streaming (DA3DS) project has taken the approach of transmitting not the images but the OpenGL primitive graphics calls over the network along with the data needed by the OpenGL calls. Learn how the DA3DS project is using OpenGL and how OpenXR plays a role. Read more...

New SDKs Available for Vulkan 1.1.130

LunarG LogoLunarG has released new Vulkan SDKs for Windows, Linux, and macOS based on the header. This release includes maintenance updates, the latest extensions, and a link to the new Vulkan License Registry. Read more...

For the latest Khronos news, visit the news archives

Copyright  2020 The Khronos Group Inc., All rights reserved.

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