Khronos Drives Industry Support for Expanded 3D Features with Vulkan Roadmap 2024
Latest Vulkan Roadmap milestone defines the set of important shader and rasterization features that game and applications developers can rely on to be widely supported on mid-to-high-end GPUs starting this year.
Beaverton, OR – January 25, 2024 – Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announced the latest roadmap milestone for Vulkan®, the cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API. The Vulkan roadmap targets the “immersive graphics” market, made up of mid to high-end smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, and desktop devices. The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone captures a set of capabilities that are expected to be supported in new products for that market, beginning in 2024. The roadmap specification provides a significant increase in functionality for the targeted devices and sets the evolutionary direction of the API, including both new hardware capabilities and improvements to the programming model for Vulkan developers.
Vulkan Roadmap 2024 is the second milestone release on the Vulkan Roadmap. Products that support it must be Vulkan 1.3 conformant and support the extensions and capabilities defined in both the 2022 and 2024 Roadmap specifications. Vulkan roadmap specifications use the Vulkan Profile mechanism to help developers build portable Vulkan applications; roadmap requirements are expressed in machine-readable JSON files, and tooling in the Vulkan SDK auto-generates code that makes it easy for developers to query for and enable profile support in their applications.
The extensions and features required by Vulkan Roadmap 2024 include several newly released extensions, plus mandatory support for a number of previously optional features and increases in minimum hardware capabilities:
- Dynamic Rendering Local Read: The VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering_local_read extension adds support for framebuffer-local dependencies to dynamic rendering, allowing developers to fully move over to dynamic rendering on all GPUs. View Blog Post for details.
- Shader Maximal Reconvergence: The VK_KHR_shader_maximal_reconvergence extension defines the intuitive behavior of thread divergence in shaders, enabling advanced parallel algorithms to be developed.
- Shader Quad Control: The VK_KHR_shader_quad_control extension defines enhanced texturing operations in control flow, enabling performance and quality improvements. View the Maximal Reconvergence and Shader Quad Control blog for more details.
- Additional Features: The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone also requires support for shader half-float and 8/16-bit integer types, multi-draw indirect, shader draw parameters, push descriptors, and an increase to 7 Descriptor Sets and 8 Color Attachments (each up from 4).
Support for these new extensions will be included in the next Vulkan SDK release. Most Vulkan Adopters that support the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone are expected to offer conformant products starting in 2024.
“The release of the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone marks our second step along the path that we outlined with the release of Vulkan 1.3 and Vulkan Roadmap 2022. As we extend the Vulkan Roadmap further into the future, we are building momentum toward greater standardization and efficiency for the Vulkan ecosystem. The key features of the Roadmap 2024 specification include both widely requested quality-of-life improvements and some important novel features, and their presence in the Roadmap ensures that they will become standard across a wide range of hardware. That will make it easier to develop portable applications and allow developers to work more efficiently. We are not just building a graphics API here; we are laying a foundation for the future of immersive graphics, demonstrating the value of collaborative development and shared vision in the Vulkan community,” said Tom Olson, Vulkan Working Group Chair.
Developers are invited to attend Vulkanised 2024 (Sunnyvale, CA | Feb 7-9) for a chance to learn more about the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 and the Profiles Toolset, and to connect with peers and industry experts to explore the very latest Vulkan developments.
Vulkan Roadmap specifications expose advanced features initially found in higher-end GPUs, but will become widely available in mid-to-high-end GPUs during the lifetime of that specification. As these features also become common across mainstream GPUs, they become candidates for incorporation into future Vulkan core specifications.
Vulkan Roadmap specifications complement Vulkan core specifications by identifying functionality that is becoming widely supported in a specific market segment, and defining additional minimum limits for implementations to reduce fragmentation.
Call for Feedback
The Vulkan Working Group welcomes and encourages feedback on the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone to help define the next steps for Vulkan on GitHub Vulkan-Docs. Developers are also invited to join the Vulkan Discord channel, or any of the support forums available at vulkan.org
“The Vulkan 2024 milestone is an important step towards improving industry standardization, ensuring wider support for several features that developers want to be able to rely on. AMD’s Vulkan implementation already supports many of these features, and our AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition™ driver will soon be updated to include full support for this milestone on supporting hardware,” said Andrej Zdravkovic, senior vice president and chief software officer, AMD.
“The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 Milestone gives developers a solid foundation to build portable next-generation graphics and compute applications, and assurance that its features will become ubiquitous in new mid through to flagship mobile devices,” said Geraint North, vice president ecosystems and engineering, client line of business, Arm. “Features like the local read extension let developers access the bandwidth-saving potential of Arm GPUs, without sacrificing portability or the simplicity of dynamic rendering. We look forward to supporting Vulkan Roadmap 2024 in new Arm Immortalis and Arm Mali drivers for capable devices starting later this year.”
“Imagination is excited about the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone. It is an important achievement in Khronos’s effort to ensure standardization of a rich Vulkan feature set with a wide availability of supported devices. The roadmap will continue improving the experience for software developers and accelerate the pace of graphics innovation. Imagination is happy to contribute to the ecosystem by providing support for the 2024 Vulkan roadmap profile in our PowerVR™ drivers,” said Tim Mamtora, chief of innovation and engineering, Imagination Technologies.
“NVIDIA is at the forefront of creating innovative graphics technologies and their delivery to end-users. As a long-time supporter of Vulkan, NVIDIA is providing immediate support for the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone on our newest GPUs with support going back through the Volta architecture on Windows and Linux,” said Dwight Diercks, senior vice president of software engineering, NVIDIA.
Vulkan is an open, royalty-free API for high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs, with widespread adoption in leading engines, cutting-edge games, and demanding applications. Vulkan is supported in a diverse range of devices from Windows and Linux PCs, consoles, and the cloud, to mobile phones and embedded platforms.
The Khronos Group is an open, non-profit, member-driven consortium of over 200 industry-leading companies creating advanced, royalty-free, interoperability standards for 3D graphics, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, vision acceleration and machine learning. Khronos activities include 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, glTF™, Kamaros™, NNEF™, OpenCL™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenVG™, OpenVX™, OpenXR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, Vulkan®, and WebGL™. Khronos members drive the development and evolution of Khronos specifications and are able to accelerate the delivery of cutting-edge platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Khronos® and Vulkan® are registered trademarks, and 3D Commerce™, ANARI™, glTF™, KTX™, NNEF™, OpenVG™, OpenVX™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, Kamaros™, and WebGL™ are trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenXR™ is a trademark owned by The Khronos Group Inc. and is registered as a trademark in China, the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. OpenCL™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL® is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES™ and OpenGL SC™ logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
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