Khronos Group Releases Specifications for Vulkan 1.1

It was February 2016 when the Khronos Group released the specs for version 1.0 of Vulkan. The goal was to help developers utilize multiple core processors better. This can mean a huge improvement as high-end smartphones are shipping with 8 CPU cores these days. As the successor to OpenGL, it has slowly made its way into various applications and game engines as well. Today, the Khronos Group announced the release of Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 specifications.

The overall goal of Vulkan 1.1 is to expand the core functionality with developer-requested features. This makes a lot of sense as we’ve seen Vulkan implemented into various applications and games, but some developers felt version 1.0 missed out on a lot. A big new feature with version 1.1 is the addition of Subgroup Operations. With this feature added it enables highly-efficient sharing and manipulation of data between a number of tasks that are running in parallel on a GPU.

The new update also adds the ability for applications to perform rendering and display operations using resources they are unable to access or copy. A great example of this in action is for secure playback and display of protected multimedia content. Vulkan 1.1 also integrates some of the more popular 1.0 extensions. This includes features such as the simultaneous rendering of multiple image views, the use of multiple GPUs in a single system, and also cross-process API interoperability, which is used for advanced rendering and compositing operations.

Along with the release of the Vulkan 1.1 specifications, we have the new SPIR-V 1.3 specifications as well. This new update expands the capabilities of the Vulkan shader intermediate representation to support subgroup operations and enable enhanced compiler optimizations. The SPIR-V tools ecosystem has continued to gain momentum with the addition of front-end compilers for both GLSL and HLSL, as well as expanding the low-level tooling support from the open source SPIRV-Tools project.

For those interested in using Vulkan for development, the LunarG Vulkan SDK and tools layers have been upgraded to support 1.1. Hardware makers and game engines will need to update their drivers/code to support the new spec.

Source: PR Newswire