Khronos Blog

Announcements, articles, and blurbs from Khronos and Khronos members about Khronos tech, conformant products, and more. If you are a interested in submitting a blog post, please check out our Blog Guidlines.

Today, the Khronos Vulkan Working Group has released the final Vulkan Ray Tracing extensions that seamlessly integrate ray tracing functionality alongside Vulkan’s rasterization framework, making Vulkan the industry’s first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration. The final ray tracing functionality is defined by a set of 5 extensions, namely VK_KHR_acceleration_structure, VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline, VK_KHR_ray_query, VK_KHR_pipeline_library, and VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations. ISVs played a pivotal role in shaping the extension to enable hybrid rendering—where rasterization and ray tracing are used in tandem to achieve compelling levels of visual fidelity and interactivity.

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.

In the world of e-commerce, many products come in different options, or variants. When shopping online, for example, colors and materials of a brand of shoe might have an image representing each option. And now, in addition to using 2D images, more and more retailers are starting to use 3D and AR to merchandise products in online channels to enable customers to more fully experience products or view items in their environment in rich 3D. Each time a customer views a different colored shoe, there’s a good chance that another complete 3D model is being loaded just to display that color variant. This leads to increased download times and wasted bandwidth as the files contain a lot of redundant data, including downloading exactly the same geometry multiple times. In turn this causes increased memory usage on the device, and slower interactivity, resulting in a poor customer experience. Learn how the Khronos Group and the 3D Commerce working group is improving this.

The Vulkan Working Group has just released the VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate extension, which provides a new, flexible technique to control the fragment shading rate, enabling developers to perform shading at a lower resolution than the render targets. This fine level of control allows developers to focus shading resources where they are needed, which ultimately increases rendering performance and quality.

The Khronos 3D Commerce™ Working Group was established with the goal of spearheading industry alignment on the creation, management and display of 3D content for e-commerce—and since its formation, the use cases for 3D assets in e-commerce have rapidly expanded. In response, the 3D Commerce Working Group has today released V1.0 of its Realtime Asset Creation Guidelines for use by 3D artists who are familiar with 3D workflows, but new to creating e-commerce 3D assets for cross-platform delivery.

Over the last few years, providing the functionality of one graphics API by layering over another API has become increasingly popular. This post explores the value of layered implementations to the graphics community and provides details on a significant announcement from Khronos’ ongoing Vulkan® Portability™ initiative—the release of the provisional version of the Vulkan Portability extension with multiple shipping implemen

Correct synchronization is needed to ensure correct results from Vulkan operations (whether graphical or computational). Modern graphics hardware is both parallel and pipelined, with various operations happening simultaneously for performance reasons. Vulkan has a limited number of ordering guarantees but, for most operations, it is the application's responsibility to inform the implementation when ordering is required between operations. The ne

The Khronos ANARI™ (Analytic Rendering Interface) working group is defining an open, royalty-free API standard for cross-vendor access to state-of-the-art rendering engines. ANARI will enable experts in domains such as scientific visualization to leverage the latest rendering techniques without needing to use low-level rendering APIs. Graphics vendors will use the ANARI API to enable visualization engines, libraries, and applications with p

Over the past decade, the use of accelerator architectures and, in particular, GPUs, in high performance computing (HPC) has skyrocketed. Of the Top 500 list of supercomputers from June 2010, only three systems out of the top 50 used accelerator architectures. In the June 2020 list, the number has increased to 27. In addition to the largest supercomputers in the world embracing the performance and efficiency advantages of accelerators for many da

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Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) is an advanced lossy texture compression format, developed by Arm and AMD and released as royalty-free open standard by the Khronos Group. It supports a wide range of 2D and 3D color formats with a flexible choice of bitrates, enabling content creators to compress almost any texture asset, using a level of compression appropriate to their quality and performance requirements. ASTC is increasingly becom

In this guest blog, Norbert Nopper, Managing Director at UX3D, discusses editing glTF models and introduces a new visual glTF editor, Gestaltor. Norbert discusses how to directly edit glTF models and when that may lead to higher productivity when creating 3D models. Starting with a brief introduction to glTF and common workflows and discussing the possibilities and challenges involved in directly editing glTF asset files. Wrapping up with examples of how direct glTF editing may save you time production pipeline.