The open source Vulkan Hardware Capability Viewer version 3.28 released with added support for new Vulkan extensions, updates to the Vulkan profiles library and bug fixes. Click through for release notes.
Check out the LunarG’s progress report highlighting the Vulkan API ecosystem and SDK enhancements completed in 2022, prioritized from developer feedback from the December 2021 Vulkan SDK and Ecosystem survey.
In April 2021, the Vulkan® Working Group at Khronos® released a set of provisional extensions, collectively called ‘Vulkan Video’, for seamlessly integrating hardware-accelerated video compression and decompression into the Vulkan API. Today, Khronos is releasing finalized extensions that incorporate industry feedback and expose core and decode Vulkan Video functionality to provide fully accelerated H.264 and H.265 decode. Khronos will release an ongoing series of Vulkan Video extensions to enable additional codecs and accelerated encode as well as decode. This blog is a general overview of the Vulkan Video architecture and also provides details about the finalized extensions and links to important resources to help you create your first Vulkan Video applications.
LunarG has released new Windows, Linux, and macOS SDKs for Vulkan header 1.3.236, including new loader environment variables that support advanced debugging of layer and driver issues plus new extensions.
Portal with RTX reimagines Valve’s classic game with full Vulkan ray tracing. Building on NVIDIA’s previous upgrades to Quake II RTX and Minecraft with RTX, this new release has been created with the NVIDIA RTX Remix tool that enables modders to create ambitious remasters of classic games with NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex and advanced path-tracing that bounces light four times for improved light simulation—even casting through portals! Portal with RTX is freely downloadable from Steam for all Portal owners.
The recently released VK_EXT_surface_maintenance1 and VK_EXT_swapchain_maintenance1 extensions resolve a number of longstanding issues with Vulkan’s WSI extensions. These extensions will be ratified as KHR. Most importantly, it is now possible for applications to know when resources associated with a present operation can be destroyed, e.g. the semaphores provided in VkPresentInfoKHR::pWaitSemaphores. This is done by providing a fence in VkSwapchainPresentFenceInfoEXT that is chained to VkPresentInfoKHR. Once the fence is signaled, the application can destroy said semaphores. Additionally, with the outstanding present operations processed according to these fences, the application is able to safely destroy swapchains (retired or otherwise).
PoCL 3.1 provides compatibility with the LLVM/Clang 15.0 release, switches to using lowercase device names for the platform setup via the “POCL_DEVICES” environment variable, there has been a major rework to the custom device driver, much improved SPIR-V support, continued work towards implementing a Vulkan driver, and a basic OpenCL cl_khr_command_buffer implementation.
NVIDIA RTX™ IO is a suite of technologies that enables rapid GPU-based asset decompression and loading. NVIDIA’s GDeflate GPU decompression format delivers IO-saturating performance on modern NVMe devices. GDeflate is used in Microsoft’s DirectStorage API, and now NVIDIA is contributing the technology for consideration by the Vulkan working group at Khronos. Two new NVIDIA Vulkan extensions to accelerate RTX IO are were released in the Vulkan 1.3.233 update and are supported in the latest NVIDIA drivers on both Linux and Windows. VK_NV_memory_decompression handles decompressing assets on GPU, and VK_NV_copy_memory_indirect handles copying decompressed data to Vulkan buffers/images.
Two open-source Nintendo emulator projects recently posted updates on their success in shipping on macOS using the open source MoltenVK ‘Vulkan over Metal’ runtime library: Ryujinx Switch Emulator Uses MoltenVK to Ship on Mac “All in all, we’re pleased with what we’ve managed to accomplish. A barrier that many, including ourselves, originally thought unbreakable has been cracked wide open, and the best part is: this is just the beginning. With not only our own efforts to improve the core emulation, but upcoming updates to Metal 3 and the constantly improving MoltenVK, the experience is only going to get better” Dolphin GameCube and the Wii Emulator Compares Metal Native Backend and MoltenVK “We will be relying on MoltenVK to be the benchmark that we compare our native Metal backend against going forward. And it should perform that role excellently, as it is bringing our well tested Vulkan backend to macOS through a very well supported translation layer from a team that has earned our trust. So, while our new native Metal backend is faster, MoltenVK is here to stay. Together, they will help us deliver the most consistently reliable and performant experience that we can give to our macOS users”
Two emulators have recently added MoltenVK to their back-end for portability and benchmarking: Ryujinx Switch Emulator Uses Molten VK to Ship on Mac Dolphin Emulator Native Backend Versus MoltenVK