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.
OpenXR development has been advancing quickly and is becoming the de-facto API for XR. Since the 1.0 version was released last year, there are now multiple conformant implementations from Microsoft and Oculus. Minecraft, Blender, Chromium, and Firefox Reality have also all embraced OpenXR.