Today, Khronos has released the final versions of the set of Vulkan, GLSL and SPIR-V extension specifications that seamlessly integrate ray tracing into the existing Vulkan framework. This is a significant milestone as it is the industry’s first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration - and can be deployed either using existing GPU compute or dedicated ray tracing cores. Vulkan Ray Tracing will be familiar to anyone who has used DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in DirectX 12, but also introduces advanced functionality such as the ability to load balance ray tracing setup operations onto the host CPU. Although ray tracing will be first deployed on desktop systems, these Vulkan extensions have been designed to enable and encourage ray tracing to also be deployed on mobile. Additionally, Khronos has posted a blog on “Vulkan Ray Tracing Best Practices for Hybrid Rendering” which explores ray tracing techniques in Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
Today, Nsight Graphics ships with support for the final version of the Khronos Vulkan Ray Tracing extensions; VK_KHR_acceleration_structure, VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations, VK_KHR_pipeline_library, VK_KHR_ray_query and VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline. This includes some additional GLSL and SPIR-V extensions.
The newly formed 3D Commerce Working Group is tasked with exploring the opportunity to accelerate the adoption of 3D experiences by establishing a set of universal standards for platform-agnostic 3D model creation and distribution.
Shrenik Sadalgi, Director of the Next R&D Group at Wayfair and Chair of the 3D Commerce Working Group, believes the industry needs standards and guidelines so that 3D content can be experienced consistently across a variety of platforms and on a variety of devices. Other challenges that standardization can help address include optimizing industry workflows to minimize cost, and bringing down barriers to entry for retailers and technologists. “Bringing this kind of radical change across the retail industry will require collaboration between many different retail and technology companies.”
The Khronos Group is a consortium of over 150 hardware and software companies who help define standards for various compute, graphics, and media APIs (e.g. if you’ve worked with computer graphics, then you’ve probably already come across one of their more familiar specifications), but the work of the Khronos Group goes well beyond graphics to include OpenXR, OpenCL, and several other active standards.
Creating open standards and specifications (i.e., cross-platform APIs) requires a breadth of knowledge to ensure they provide a rich set of functionality while allowing for future innovations. Thus, the importance of having a consortium with such a large number of members cannot be understated.
It’s been two years already since the release of the OpenMP 5.0 specification and the update released on Friday is quite a worthy update:
OpenMP 5.1 introduces a new interop construct for improving interoperability with non-OpenMP device execution contexts. This aims to improve the portability of OpenMP 5.1+ to non-native interfaces/accelerators. This interop construct is designed with NVIDIA CUDA, AMD ROCm/HIP, and OpenCL in mind. The interop construct is used for dealing with interoperability properties for one or more “foreign runtime environments”.
Microsoft has released a compatibility pack that allows you to run any OpenCL and OpenGL apps on a Windows 10 PC that doesn’t have OpenCL and OpenGL hardware drivers installed by default. If you have a DirectX 12 driver installed on your Windows 10 PC, supported apps will run with hardware acceleration for better performance.