Monday, November 23rd 2020

Khronos Releases Vulkan Ray Tracing Final Specification

Today, Khronos has released the final versions of the set of Vulkan, GLSL and SPIR-V extension specifications that seamlessly integrate raytracing into the existing Vulkan framework. This is a significant milestone as it is the industry's first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for raytracing acceleration - and can be deployed either using existing GPU compute or dedicated raytracing cores. Vulkan Ray Tracing will be familiar to anyone who has used DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in DirectX 12, but also introduces advanced functionality such as the ability to load balance raytracing setup operations onto the host CPU. Although raytracing will be first deployed on desktop systems, these Vulkan extensions have been designed to enable and encourage raytracing to also be deployed on mobile.

These extensions were initially released as provisional versions in March 2020. Since that time, we have received and incorporated feedback from hardware vendors and software developers, both inside Khronos and from the wider industry, but the overall shape of the API and the functionality provided are fundamentally unchanged. Thank you to all who reviewed and used the provisional extensions and especially those who provided feedback.
Today's release of the extension specifications is just the start of the rollout of Vulkan Ray Tracing. Over the coming days and weeks, additional ecosystem components such as shader toolchains and validation layers will be updated with support for raytracing functionality to ensure developers can easily use these extensions in their applications. Progress on these ecosystem updates can be tracked in GitHub. This will culminate with the release of the Vulkan SDK (1.2.162.0 or later) with Khronos Vulkan Ray Tracing support in mid-December.

The overall functionality provided by the set of Vulkan Ray Tracing extensions is unchanged since their provisional versions. The final set of extensions released today is:
Vulkan extension specifications
  • VK_KHR_acceleration_structure
  • VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline
  • VK_KHR_ray_query
  • VK_KHR_pipeline_library
  • VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations
SPIR-V extensions specifications
  • SPV_KHR_ray_tracing
  • SPV_KHR_ray_query
GLSL extensions specifications
  • GLSL_EXT_ray_tracing
  • GLSL_EXT_ray_query
  • GLSL_EXT_ray_flags_primitive_culling
For more information, visit this page.
Add your own comment

3 Comments on Khronos Releases Vulkan Ray Tracing Final Specification

#1
z1n0x
Nice, let's hope for more open standards, and less closed proprietary crap.
Posted on Reply
#2
bug
z1n0x
Nice, let's hope for more open standards, and less closed proprietary crap.
Well, this is largely based on Nvidia's proprietary "crap". Just renamed from VK_NV_xxx to VK_KHR_xxx with minor changes.

I'm glad it exists, but make no mistake, adoption will be even slower than DX12's. Porting from DXR to Vulkan RT is easy though, Nvidia built them both to be mostly alike.
Posted on Reply
#3
DeathtoGnomes
z1n0x
Nice, let's hope for more open standards, and less closed proprietary crap.
Dont get your hopes to far up. Nvidia will always release new proprietary "crap" and only after an allotted amount of time, change them to adopt to open standards later.
Posted on Reply