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Vulkan tagged news

The new VK_EXT_descriptor_buffer extension will change how engines approach descriptors going forward. Descriptor sets are now backed by VkBuffer objects where you memcpy in descriptors. In the following blog, Hans-Kristian Arntzen, gives us an overview of the new extension including the history, reasoning, and how to implement.

New Features Added to All Vulkan SDKs include:

Two new and important features have been added to GFXReconstruct:

  • The “Virtual Swapchain” feature fixes incorrect screen output when swapchain image acquisition order or count is different on the target platform. Virtual Swapchain is enabled by default but can be disabled. See the GFXReconstruct documentation for more information.
  • The new gfxrecon-convert tool (a.k.a. gfxrecon.py convert) produces JSONlines output representing all the Vulkan commands in a GFXReconstruct capture. For more information, see the “JSON Lines Conversion” section of the GFXReconstruct documentation.

The Vulkan Configurator (vkconfig) has been updated to improve quality and stability. See the Vulkan Configurator documentation for more information.

The HW Capability viewer from GPUInfo.org is included in the SDK (with an option to auto-launch), and much more…

Venus is a virtual Vulkan driver based on the Virtio-GPU protocol. Effectively a protocol on top of another protocol, it defines the serialization of Vulkan commands between guest and host. This blog covers details of the Venus driver, its components, and their relations in the context of extensions.

MoltenVK 1.2 was tagged today and with this version there is now support for Vulkan 1.2. This MoltenVK 1.2 release is built against the Vulkan SDK 1.3.231 and also exposes SPIR-V 1.4 support, KHR_shader_float_controls, improves Vulkan semaphore functionality, memory leaks have been addressed, crash fixes, and a variety of other improvements for mapping Vulkan to Metal.

AMDVLK 2022.Q3.5 adds support for the VK_EXT_depth_clamp_zero_one extension, performance tuning for Doom Eternal and Yquake2 and other games, enables acquire-release barrier support, and enables MSAA anti-aliasing decompression using the compute engine. The driver has also been built against the Vulkan API 1.3.228 headers.

Recently the open-source AMD OpenGL driver “RadeonSI” enabled OpenGL threading by default for the “glthread” option that has long been opt-in on a per-game/app basis. Along with that has been a number of glthread-related improvements to this code that punts executing OpenGL calls to a separate CPU thread. The Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan driver has now unconditionally enabled OpenGL threading too.

The Vulkan Working Group has released the VK_EXT_mesh_shader extension that brings cross-vendor mesh shading to Vulkan and improves functional compatibility with DirectX 12. The new mesh shading pipeline with the task and mesh shading stages provides an alternative to the traditional vertex, tessellation, or geometry shader stages that feed into rasterization.

Mesh shaders provide greater flexibility to developers and enable a two-stage approach for efficient culling, level-of-detail management, and procedural generation of geometry. Compared to the traditional pipeline, mesh shaders enable easy access to the topology of generated primitives and developers are free to repurpose shader threads to perform both vertex shading and primitive shading workloads. Khronos will provide a mesh shader open-source sample to support and showcase the new VK_EXT_mesh_shader extension, and an updated shaderc library in the Vulkan SDK is coming soon.

For those that wish to try out the new mesh shader on their own GPU; NVIDIA is shipping the new extension in their beta Vulkan drivers today, and experimental support in the open source RADV and ANV drivers are now available.

For additional information developers are invited to:

Khronos has released three new samples for Vulkan. They include:

Imagination Technologies and The Khronos Group are holding the Khronos and Imagination Seminar in Shanghai, a developer event highlighting the rapidly evolving software-hardware ecosystem and the opportunities for GPU technology, open-source standards and open API interfaces across mobile gaming, automotive and cloud. Watch the Khronos and Imagination Seminar on-demand sessions and find out more about the PowerVR SDK. Learn more about Imagination Technologies and the Khronos Group.

London, England – 19th July 2022 – Imagination Technologies and The Khronos® Group are holding the Khronos and Imagination Seminar in Shanghai, a developer event highlighting the rapidly evolving software-hardware ecosystem and the opportunities for GPU technology, open-source standards and open API interfaces across mobile gaming, automotive and cloud. Watch the Khronos and Imagination Seminar on-demand sessions and find out more about the PowerVR SDK.