Vulkan 1.2 GPU Acceleration Spec Released by Khronos Group
January 23, 2020
23 API extensions in new version of the core specification improve GPU functionality and performance.
The Khronos Group has released version 1.2 of the open, royalty-free Vulkan 1.2 GPU acceleration spec. The latest version adds 23 extensions to the Vulkan API that provide access to new hardware functionality, increase application performance, and improve overall usability. All GPUs that support previous versions of Vulkan are compatible with Vulkan 1.2.
Significant features introduced in the release include:
- Timeline semaphores for managed synchronization
- Formal memory model that defines the semantics of synchronization and memory operations in different threads
- Descriptor indexing for reuse of descriptor layouts by multiple shaders
- Deeper support for HLSL shaders
A wide range of open-source compilers, debuggers, and tools will support Vulkan by the end of January, including the RenderDoc frame capture and debugging tool, the Vulkan SDK, and the Vulkan conformance test suite.
Currently, five GPU vendors have certified conformant Vulkan 1.2 implementations that have been verified through Khronos conformance, tests: AMD, Arm, Imagination Technologies, Intel, and NVIDIA. The open-source Mesa RADV driver for AMD also passed the conformance tests.
Additional driver and ecosystem release updates will be made available on the Vulkan Public Release Tracker.