News Archives

Imagination showcases groundbreaking new OpenGL SC 2.0 driver

Imagination Technologies new OpenGL SC 2.0 safety critical driver development for its automotive GPUs enables automotive OEMs and Tier 1s to benefit from GPU acceleration in safety-critical applications. The OpenGL SC driver demo shows an advanced dashboard with safety-critical elements running on existing automotive silicon. More information can be found in the accompanying blog post. The OpenGL SC 2.0 driver is based on a published Khronos specification and is expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Process when available. Current conformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance.

Diligent Engine is a modern cross-platform low-level graphics library and rendering framework. In a recent release, Diligent Engine enabled support of Vulkan on Android to bring the full power of next-gen APIs to mobile platforms. It also added long-requested C API to better suit the needs of graphics software developers. Diligent Engine is free software and its full source code is available on GitHub.

Mesa 20.1 has landed a Vulkan device selection layer for choosing between multiple Vulkan-enabled GPUs on a given system as the default device. This Vulkan layer allows for picking the default GPU for X11/Wayland/device sessions, similar to DRI PRIME for OpenGL. This Vulkan layer first checks for the MESA_VK_DEVICE_SELECT= environment variable for being pointed towards the GPU/driver to be used, otherwise checks DRI_PRIME and tries to match it to a proper configuration. More details are available on phoronix.

To coincide with IWOCL and SYCLcon 2020 Codeplay is releasing ComputeCpp v2.0.0 which brings with it some changes to Codeplay’s practices and support as well as adding some new features. “Unified Shared Memory (USM)” aims to reduce the barrier to integrate SYCL code into existing C++ codebases by introducing new modes that reduce the amount of code that must be changed to interface the two codes. An “experimental” version of USM in ComputeCpp available in v2.0.0.

Khronos Group Releases OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications

The Khronos Group publicly releases the OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications. OpenCL 3.0 realigns the OpenCL roadmap to enable developer-requested functionality to be broadly deployed by hardware vendors, and it significantly increases deployment flexibility by empowering conformant OpenCL implementations to focus on functionality relevant to their target markets. OpenCL 3.0 also integrates subgroup functionality into the core specification, ships with a new OpenCL C 3.0 language specification, uses a new unified specification format, and introduces extensions for asynchronous data copies to enable a new class of embedded processors. The provisional OpenCL 3.0 specifications enable the developer community to provide feedback on GitHub before the specifications and conformance tests are finalized.

The 8th International Workshop on OpenCL, SYCL, Vulkan and SPIR-V starts today, April 27th 2020, and will be a digital only event. The complete conference program is online showing first up SYCL Tutorials with ‘An Introduction to SYCL’ presented by Codeplay, Heidelberg University, Intel and Xilinx. Registration is free. Listen now to Michael Wong, SYCL Working Group Chair give a SYCL State of the Union, with slides and video.

Khronos will soon be removing the automatically generated VK_*_BEGIN_RANGE, VK_*_END_RANGE, and VK_*_RANGE_SIZE tokens from the Vulkan headers. These tokens are currently defined for some enumerated types, but are explicitly not part of the Vulkan API. They existed only to support some Vulkan implementation internals, which no longer require them. We will be accepting comments on this topic in this issue, but we strongly suggest any external projects using these tokens immediately migrate away from them.

Codeplay has made significant contributions to enabling an open standard, cross-architecture interface for developers as part of the oneAPI industry initiative. Contributions outlined in this blog post, harnesses the cuBLAS library for NVIDIA GPUs and the open standard SYCL and DPC++ implementation as well as including performance improvements. This implementation uses oneAPI Math Kernel Library (oneMKL) APIs along with the cuBLAS library, which is optimized to bring native performance to developers using NVIDIA GPUs.

Leadwerks Software has announced version 5 of their 3D engine will rely on glTF as its main 3D model format. According to the company, the readability of glTF files, its widespread adoption, the well-defined PBR material system, and the availability of game-ready models in glTF format all influenced the decision to move away from custom file formats. glTF will function as a mechanism for getting content into the new engine, but will also serve as the final runtime format for published games, eliminating any conversion step in the new art pipeline. The company is advising partners to begin learning the glTF art pipeline for their 3D modeling package in preparation for the new software.

The Folding@Home non-profit organization has created the world’s fastest supercomputer from volunteers loaning spare time on their home PCs to fold proteins, a task that could prove instrumental in the fight against the coronavirus. Scientists are using this enormous amount of compute power to simulate viral proteins in an effort to reveal new coronavirus therapeutic treatments.

Folding@Home uses the Khronos OpenCL™ open standard for parallel programming to offload computations onto the GPUs contained in the networked home PCs that are often used for gaming – significantly boosting available compute power.

According to Folding@Home, the combined power of its network broke 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second – or one “exaflop” – on 25 March, making it the world’s fastest supercomputer. In fact, it is six times more powerful than the current world’s fastest traditional supercomputer, the IBM Summit, which is used for scientific research at the US’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. By April 13, it had more than doubled that, hitting a new record of 2.4 exaflops, faster than the top 500 traditional supercomputers combined, thanks to almost 1 million new members of the network (Source: The Guardian).

See more on the project on the Folding@Home Blog. If you’re interested in helping, find out how on the Folding@Home Forum.

In February 2020, Arm made its open source ASTC encoder available under the widely accepted Apache 2.0 license, enabling developers everywhere to easily generate ASTC textures during application development. Meanwhile, Khronos’ glTF™ 3D asset format standard, is adding ASTC support to enable glTF Universal Textures to be decoded into ASTC on the fly on the target system. With these recent developments we wanted to reach out to the developer community to explore how ASTC is being used, and whether there are remaining barriers to adoption that Khronos and Arm can help address. Consequently, Arm conducted a game developer survey to learn.

Laval Virtual asserts its expertise and its role as a facilitator in virtual reality with 6 conference cycles: VRtical, TransVRsal, ConVRgence, Virtual World, Art and Tech Talk. There will be two talks this year that are Khronos related:

  • Unifying Reality: Building Experiences with OpenXR - Ryan Pavlik (Collabora)
  • Building the Metaverse one open standard at a time – Khronos APIs and 3D asset formats for XR - Neil Trevett (President, The Khronos Group)

Learn more about this event and register.

April 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13’s historic space flight. Twenty years ago in 2000, AGI and noted space author Andrew Chaikin teamed up to tell a part of the story that they unearthed and validated with the help of original mission personnel. This video has been updated in 4K with glTF models.

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