Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

January 26, 2024

Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

Summary: The Khronos Group announced the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone, which includes new capabilities and extensions for the "immersive graphics" market, and invites feedback from developers through GitHub and other channels.

  • The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone brings significant enhancements to both hardware capabilities and the programming model for developers.
  • The roadmap specifications utilize the Vulkan Profile mechanism, making it easier for developers to build portable Vulkan applications.
  • The extensions and features introduced in the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 will improve performance and quality for developers, leading to more efficient and advanced graphics and compute applications.

In a recent announcement, The Khronos Group launched the latest milestone in the Vulkan roadmap, a cross-platform 3D graphics and compute API. The Vulkan roadmap is specifically targeting the “immersive graphics” market, which includes devices like smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, consoles, and desktops. The newly revealed Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone outlines a set of capabilities that will be supported in new products for this market starting in 2024. This milestone brings significant enhancements to both hardware capabilities and the programming model for developers.

The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 is the second milestone release, and products that support it must be Vulkan 1.3 conformant while also supporting the extensions and capabilities defined in both the 2022 and 2024 Roadmap specifications. To aid developers in building portable Vulkan applications, the roadmap specifications utilize the Vulkan Profile mechanism. These requirements are expressed in machine-readable JSON files, and the Vulkan SDK provides tools that auto-generate code to simplify the process of enabling profile support in applications.

The extensions and features introduced in the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 include the VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering_local_read extension, which enables framebuffer-local dependencies for dynamic rendering. This extension allows developers to fully transition to dynamic rendering on all GPUs. Another notable extension is the VK_KHR_shader_maximal_reconvergence, which defines the behavior of thread divergence in shaders, facilitating the development of advanced parallel algorithms. Additionally, the VK_KHR_shader_quad_control extension enhances texturing operations in control flow, leading to improved performance and quality.

The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 also mandates support for shader half-float and 8/16-bit integer types, multi-draw indirect, shader draw parameters, push descriptors, and an increase in Descriptor Sets and Color Attachments. These features will be included in the next release of the Vulkan SDK.

Tom Olson, the Vulkan Working Group Chair, emphasized the significance of the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone, stating that it paves the way for standardization and efficiency in the Vulkan ecosystem. Olson highlighted the value of collaborative development and shared vision within the Vulkan community, emphasizing that the roadmap aims to establish a foundation for the future of immersive graphics.

Developers interested in learning more about the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 and the Profiles Toolset are encouraged to attend Vulkanised 2024, a conference taking place in Sunnyvale, CA from February 7-9. The event offers an opportunity to connect with peers and industry experts to explore the latest developments in Vulkan.

The Vulkan Roadmap specifications play a crucial role in the evolution of Vulkan. They expose advanced features initially found in higher-end GPUs but aim to make them widely available in mid-to-high-end GPUs over time. As these features become commonplace across mainstream GPUs, they become candidates for inclusion in future Vulkan core specifications. The Vulkan Roadmap specifications complement the core specifications by identifying functionality that gains widespread support in specific market segments and defining additional minimum limits to reduce fragmentation.

The Vulkan Working Group invites feedback on the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone through GitHub Vulkan-Docs. Developers can also join the Vulkan Discord channel or access support forums on to contribute their thoughts.

Several industry leaders have expressed their support for the Vulkan 2024 milestone. AMD’s senior vice president and chief software officer, Andrej Zdravkovic, confirmed that AMD’s Vulkan implementation already supports many of these features, with full support for the milestone coming soon. Geraint North, vice president ecosystems and engineering at ARM, emphasized that the roadmap provides a solid foundation for developers to build portable next-generation graphics and compute applications. ARM plans to support Vulkan Roadmap 2024 in their upcoming drivers for capable devices. Imagination Technologies and nVidia also expressed their enthusiasm for the milestone, with both companies pledging support for the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 in their respective drivers.

Vulkan is an open, royalty-free API that enables high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs. It has gained widespread adoption in leading engines, games, and demanding applications. Vulkan is supported across various devices, including Windows and Linux PCs, consoles, the cloud, mobile phones, and embedded platforms.

The Khronos Group is a non-profit consortium consisting of over 200 industry-leading companies. Their mission is to create advanced, royalty-free interoperability standards for various domains, including 3D graphics, metaverse, augmented and virtual reality, parallel programming, vision acceleration, and machine learning. The group’s activities encompass a wide range of specifications such as glTF, OpenCL, OpenGL, OpenXR, SPIR-V, SYCL, and Vulkan. Khronos members actively contribute to the development and evolution of these specifications, ensuring platforms and applications can be delivered efficiently.Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities

Khronos introduces Vulkan Roadmap 2024, Showcasing Enhanced 3D Capabilities


Background Information

About AMD: AMD, a large player in the semiconductor industry is known for its powerful processors and graphic solutions, AMD has consistently pushed the boundaries of performance, efficiency, and user experience. With a customer-centric approach, the company has cultivated a reputation for delivering high-performance solutions that cater to the needs of gamers, professionals, and general users. AMD's Ryzen series of processors have redefined the landscape of desktop and laptop computing, offering impressive multi-core performance and competitive pricing that has challenged the dominance of its competitors. Complementing its processor expertise, AMD's Radeon graphics cards have also earned accolades for their efficiency and exceptional graphical capabilities, making them a favored choice among gamers and content creators. The company's commitment to innovation and technology continues to shape the client computing landscape, providing users with powerful tools to fuel their digital endeavors.

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About ARM: ARM, originally known as Acorn RISC Machine, is a British semiconductor and software design company that specializes in creating energy-efficient microprocessors, system-on-chip (SoC) designs, and related technologies. Founded in 1990, ARM has become a important player in the global semiconductor industry and is widely recognized for its contributions to mobile computing, embedded systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. ARM's microprocessor designs are based on the Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) architecture, which prioritizes simplicity and efficiency in instruction execution. This approach has enabled ARM to produce highly efficient and power-saving processors that are used in a vast array of devices, ranging from smartphones and tablets to IoT devices, smart TVs, and more. The company does not manufacture its own chips but licenses its processor designs and intellectual property to a wide range of manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and NVIDIA, who then integrate ARM's technology into their own SoCs. This licensing model has contributed to ARM's widespread adoption and influence across various industries.

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About nVidia: NVIDIA has firmly established itself as a leader in the realm of client computing, continuously pushing the boundaries of innovation in graphics and AI technologies. With a deep commitment to enhancing user experiences, NVIDIA's client computing business focuses on delivering solutions that power everything from gaming and creative workloads to enterprise applications. for its GeForce graphics cards, the company has redefined high-performance gaming, setting industry standards for realistic visuals, fluid frame rates, and immersive experiences. Complementing its gaming expertise, NVIDIA's Quadro and NVIDIA RTX graphics cards cater to professionals in design, content creation, and scientific fields, enabling real-time ray tracing and AI-driven workflows that elevate productivity and creativity to unprecedented heights. By seamlessly integrating graphics, AI, and software, NVIDIA continues to shape the landscape of client computing, fostering innovation and immersive interactions in a rapidly evolving digital world.

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Technology Explained

OpenGL: OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a cross-platform application programming interface (API) for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics. It is used in computer graphics, such as video games, virtual reality, and scientific visualization. OpenGL is used to create interactive 3D applications, such as video games, simulations, and virtual reality. It is also used in CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, such as AutoCAD, and in 3D animation software, such as Maya. OpenGL is widely used in the computer industry, as it is a powerful and efficient way to create interactive 3D applications. It is also used in the development of computer graphics hardware, such as GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). OpenGL is an important tool for developers, as it allows them to create high-quality graphics quickly and efficiently.

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