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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.