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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 Guidelines.


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.

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

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 ISO/IEC JT

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.

The Virtual Learning Factory Toolkit (VLFT) project is a pioneering program commissioned by the European Union using virtual and augmented reality to enhance engineering education programs across Europe. Five EU partners make up the VLFT Consortium, including Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology, Hungary’s Institute for Computer Science and Control, Italy’s Politecnico di Milano, National Research Council of Italy, and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology. Using Khronos® standards, the VLFT consortium has created a suite of tools to gamify learning, strengthen information and communication technology (ICT) skills, and better prepare students for jobs in 21st century manufacturing.

The upcoming release of the Vulkan® SC™ 1.0 specification by Khronos will mark an important milestone in developing an open API standard that leverages the performance of modern GPUs to satisfy the graphics and compute needs of future safety critical systems. As the Vulkan SC Working Group continues to make significant progress, we take this opportunity to share some of the challenges that have been overcome on our journey to define a state-of-the-art API specifically designed to benefit the automotive and avionics industries.

The Khronos 3D Formats Working Group recently announced the ratification of three new Physically Based Rendering (PBR) extensions for the glTF 3D asset format: KHR_materials_volume, KHR_materials_ior, and KHR_materials_specular. The three new extensions build on and extend the existing glTF 2.0 PBR capabilities by adding volume-based absorption, refraction, and complex specular reflections. Some or all of these new extensions are already supported by rendering engines such as Babylon.js, Google’s Filament, and three.js, as well as applications including Adobe’s Substance 3D Stager, Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, DGG RapidCompact and UX3D’s Gestaltor. These extensions will grant artists control of photorealistic effects in glTF, enhancing the appearance of 3D assets. This blog will explore how these extensions are implemented and which variables will be available for artists to control.