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With the release of OpenCL™ 3.0 the OpenCL Working Group has made significant investments to improve the OpenCL developer experience. As part of those efforts, multiple parts of the OpenCL ecosystem received considerable updates and it is worthwhile to recap what's changed and what can be expected to improve in the future.
Khronos has introduced a new extension named VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library that allows for shaders to be compiled much earlier than at full Pipeline State Object (PSO) creation time. By leveraging this extension, I was able to avoid many causes of frame hitches due to PSOs being late-created at draw time in the Source 2 Vulkan renderer. Read on to learn more about VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library.
Demand for advanced GPU-accelerated graphics and compute is growing in a wide range of industries where safety is paramount, such as automotive and avionics. When a compute or display system failure would pose a significant safety risk it is vital that systems meet safety-critical standards such as ISO 26262.
Vulkan SC is a low-level, deterministic API that enables safety-critical system implementers to deploy state-of-the-art GPU graphics and compute acceleration by streamlining the system-level safety certification process. Vulkan SC can also be invaluable for real-time embedded applications, even if not formally safety certified.
Vulkan SC 1.0 is evolved from Vulkan 1.2 and includes the removal of runtime functionality that is not needed in safety-critical markets, an updated design to provide predictable execution times and results, and clarifications to remove potential ambiguity in its operation. The definitive list of changes and added functionality is documented in the Vulkan SC 1.0 Specification Appendix H: Vulkan SC Deviations from Base Vulkan.
This article provides a summary of the updates that have been made to create Vulkan SC 1.0, and explains how these new capabilities are typically used in applications. It is assumed that the reader has a reasonable understanding of the Vulkan API.
Esri is a member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®), and has been delivering geospatial solutions for over 5 decades, investing significant brain power to solve one vexing problem in the geospatial world: making massive geospatial content available across platforms and devices, including web browsers, mobile devices, and desktop applications. In response to that challenge, the Indexed 3D Scene Layer (I3S) specification was created about a decade ago. Esri worked with the community to release the specification under an Apache license in 2015. The OGC adopted I3S in 2017 as its first 3D streaming Community Standard.
One of the great headaches of developing interactive graphics applications for online deployment is covering every base. Your targets likely include a near-infinite combination of browser vendors, browser versions, and graphics hardware. The Khronos Group created WebGL to slice through this Gordian knot, rendering high-performance interactive graphics in any compatible browser, and on any graphics processing unit, without the need for plug-ins. Now, with support for WebGL 2.0 in Safari 15 for both macOS and iOS, we’re happy to report that “compatible browsers” includes pretty much all of them.
The Vulkan API is under constant development, with an ever-growing pool of extensions to solve problems and add valuable new features. However, extensions typically don't come with a deployment timeline or a guarantee of which devices will support them. As a result, it can be hard for developers to have a clear picture of when and where extensions will be supported, and what functionality can be relied on for current and future projects. This situation is even more complex for developers shipping applications across both mobile and desktop platforms. With Vulkan 1.3 and the new public roadmap, we’re taking a significant step to reduce feature fragmentation.
Community Populated Hardware Databases
GPUinfo.org enables the community to build extensive databases of Khronos® API driver capabilities by uploading reports from diverse end-user devices and platforms. With more than 20,000 device reports available for Vulkan®, OpenGL®, and OpenGL ES across Windows, Linux, Android, Mac OSX, and iOS, GPUInfo.org has become a widely used resource for developers to gain detailed insights into deployed
Rendering variability across multiple platforms has long been a pain point for content creators wishing to reliably represent 3D models, such as products on a 3D Commerce website. In June 2021 Khronos launched the 3D Viewer Certification Program to bring together artists, developers, and vendors to build industry consensus on best practices for testing the consistency of rendering glTF assets in 3D viewers. These viewers are used to drive a wide variety of 3D end user experiences including interactions on social, search, and advertising platforms.
The OpenCL™ working group today released the OpenCL 3.0.10 specification including the latest round of maintenance updates, clarifications and bug fixes - in many cases responding to issues and questions from the OpenCL developer community. This latest specification includes updates for readability and accessibility, such as improved syntax highlighting, as well as new and updated extensions which are outlined below.
The OpenCL™ working group at Khronos® continues to deepen our collaboration with the LLVM community, and we are pleased to share a number of exciting developments, many of which will be discussed at the upcoming LLVM Developers Meeting.
When we were designing Vulkan 1.0, we had an idea to embed a task-graph-like object into Vulkan in the form of the render pass object. We knew the first version would be kind of restricted because we had an API to ship, and not long to do the work - but we had plans to extend the initial version, and those extensions would eventually provide significant flexibility to the API. Eventually, render passes would support all kinds of bells and whistle
Following the release of OpenCL™ 3.0 in September 2020, The Khronos® Group continues to expand and grow the ecosystem of this open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming of diverse accelerators found in supercomputers, cloud servers, personal computers, mobile devices, and embedded platforms.
Interoperability specifications, such as Khronos open standards, can significantly widen their market recognition and adoption by becoming International Standards. International Standards are recognized throughout the world, and in many countries form the regulatory basis for public procurement of IT goods and services. An International Standard also provides important assurances of stability and longevity.
Working with ISO/IEC JTC 1
The field of 3D Computer graphics has grown from a niche technical curiosity in the mid-1970s to mass appeal and distribution via movies and games. We’ve seen applications grow from flying logos, to highly engaging real-time renderings in games, to synthetic humans and de-aged actors in movies finally crossing the “uncanny valley” to be nearly indistinguishable from reality. However, the creation of 3D assets - computer graphics objects and the worlds they inhabit - still requires highly skilled technicians and artists, presenting a bottleneck to more widespread applications, such as creating 3D graphics for websites and E-Commerce.