Khronos Reveals API Updates & New Working Groups at GDC
Consortium releases Vulkan features, WebGL 2.0 and new OpenXR working group; group hosts series of events for the developer community
February 27, 2017 – 6:00 AM PT – Game Developers Conference, SAN FRANCISCO – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces key API updates and new working group at Game Developers Conference (GDC). With numerous Khronos-sponsored events throughout the week, The Khronos Group is accelerating the development and deployment of cross-platform APIs that bring the latest hardware capabilities to developers everywhere.
Continuing its commitment to creating a community for collaboration on open standards that are used extensively throughout the industry, Khronos announces recent API developments this week at GDC including:
- Adoption Grows for Vulkan®; New Features Released: Celebrating a successful first year, the Vulkan API is gaining tremendous momentum in high-fidelity gaming. Vulkan support appears in leading game engines such as Unity and Unreal, numerous game studios actively developing Vulkan titles, and a dozen Vulkan titles shipping including Doom, Quake, The Talos Principle and Dota 2. Vulkan drivers are also shipping from all of the major GPU manufacturers for desktop and mobile systems. Today, Khronos has released new Vulkan extensions for cross-platform access to Virtual Reality and multi-GPU functionality. Find out more about the updates and extensions here (PDF).
- Announcing OpenXR™: The Khronos Virtual Reality Initiative announced in December is making rapid progress in designing an open standard for portable Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality apps and devices. Today, Khronos releases the official name of the standard: OpenXR. The group is made up of a who’s-who of VR industry leaders working together to combat industry fragmentation in these markets. Any interested companies are invited to join Khronos to get involved and help steer the VR industry. Read more at: https://www.khronos.org/blog/the-openxr-working-group-is-here.
- WebGL™ 2.0 Specification Finalized and Shipping: Already supported by production browsers from Google and Mozilla, the WebGL 2.0 standard is final and now ready for developers to create the next wave of 3D web applications and engines. WebGL 2.0 exposes OpenGL ES 3.0-class functionality, bringing desktop-OpenGL capabilities to web developers everywhere. Additionally, Khronos has now started work on the next generation of WebGL to bring the power of the new generation of explicit 3D APIs to the Web. More information on WebGL 2.0 is available at https://www.khronos.org/blog/webgl-2.0-arrives.
- Final Call for Feedback on glTF™ 2.0: Khronos has released a developer preview version of glTF 2.0 that brings significant enhancements over glTF 1.0. For example, glTF 2.0 introduces physically-based rendering (PBR) for portable, high-quality materials - making glTF independent of the underlying 3D API. Khronos is seeking input and feedback from the industry via GitHub to help finalize glTF 2.0 in the next few weeks. Khronos has also today released a request for quotations on a funded project to bring glTF 2.0 export capability to the open-source Blender 3D Authoring Tool. Find out how to share feedback and get more details here: https://www.khronos.org/blog/call-for-feedback-on-gltf-2.0.
In addition to API updates, The Khronos Group is hosting educational sessions and networking events this week including a full-day developer conference and booth talks from various members. Below is a high-level look at Khronos talks and events taking place at GDC.
- Khronos GDC Booth – Visit the Khronos booth for hourly presentations on Khronos APIs as well as opportunities to talk with Khronos members and standards experts. Booth 2419, South Hall.
- Khronos discusses OpenXR at VRDC 2017: Monday and Tuesday, February 27 to 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., visit the Khronos table #TT06 in room 135 North Hall to talk to VR experts working on OpenXR and share feedback on this recently-announced initiative.
- Khronos 3D Graphics Developer Day Sessions on Vulkan, OpenXR, WebGL, glTF and more: On Tuesday, February 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., room 3022 in West Hall, Khronos will host one-hour educational sessions for developers.
- Khronos Meetup: To discuss WebGL, WebVR, glTF, mobile 3D and network with Khronos members and developers, join the group on Thursday, March 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Galvanize, San Francisco.
- Official GDC Sessions related to Khronos standards: Khronos members and developers will present on topics from Vulkan Lessons Learned to the Future of VR.
The full schedule of events is available at: https://www.khronos.org/news/events/gdc-2017.
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision and neural nets on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan®, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, COLLADA™, OpenXR™ and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Vulkan is a registered trademark of The Khronos Group. Khronos, OpenXR, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, NNEF and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
Khronos Places OpenGL and OpenGL ES Conformance Tests into Open Source
Developer community can contribute to test development and evolution;
Open source 3D API implementations can freely use tests to increase quality
January 24th 2017 – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced that it has placed conformance tests for the OpenGL® and OpenGL ES open standard APIs for 3D graphics into open source. Khronos has created a new GitHub source repository that will hold test sources for OpenGL and OpenGL ES as well the test suite for Vulkan® that was open sourced when Vulkan launched. The unified repository will encourage streamlined and accelerated development of tests for Khronos 3D APIs. The Khronos 3D API test sources are made available under the Apache 2.0 license at the repository available here.
“Following the lead of Vulkan, the OpenGL ES working group is excited to open our conformance tests to the public, increasing transparency and encouraging direct involvement from the development community to help improve test quality,” says Tobias Hector, chair of the OpenGL ES working group and leading software design engineer at Imagination Technologies Ltd.
Khronos will continue to invest significantly in the evolution of conformance tests for its family of 3D APIs, and in parallel will use GitHub to drive community input and engagement. Implementers of Vulkan, OpenGL and OpenGL ES that wish to use the API name and trademark, and enjoy the benefits of the Khronos IP framework, may become Adopters. Adopters gain access to formal conformance test suite packages, are enabled to submit the results from running the conformance tests to the Khronos Adopters web site for working group review, and for their implementations to subsequently become officially conformant. Along these lines, the OpenGL ES working group has released a new conformance package based on the open source repository, and Adopters are encouraged to submit against this new version 3.2.2 of the tests.
“Developers can now directly fix conformance bugs in place and contribute tests to make sure all vendors follow the OpenGL spec as closely as possible,” said Piers Daniell, chair of the OpenGL working group and principal engineer at NVIDIA. “A joint repository with OpenGL ES and Vulkan is an added bonus, as all three APIs can benefits from contributions to common code.”
“DMP has been a Khronos contributor for many years and developed GPU products as an adopter of the OpenGL ES API,” said Eisaku Ohbuchi, managing director and general manager of development at DMP. “We very much welcome this announcement, which will support the further dissemination and market expansion of Khronos APIs.”
“By growing support for Khronos’ open development of conformance tests, the Android ecosystem will be able to converge on a common set of automated tests for 3D rendering across the industry,” says Pyry Haulos, Khronos Vulkan conformance test lead and senior software engineer at Google.
“The members of the Mesa project are excited by this development. With public access to the test suite and the ability to contribute new tests, all OpenGL and Vulkan implementations will benefit. The quality and consistency of both open source and proprietary drivers will be better than ever,” said Brian Paul, founding contributor to the Mesa open-source OpenGL implementation.
“Complete and accurate conformance tests are critical to interoperability and portability of applications and tools across platforms,” said Robert Simpson, director, technical standards, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We believe open development of conformance tests for OpenGL and Vulkan is allowing the community to be more involved and responsive in the standards development process, reducing the time needed to bring new technologies to market at a higher quality.”
“The widespread adoption of the Khronos API standards has helped VeriSilicon to scale our GPU solutions to thousands of system integrators who have created more than a billion Vivante GPU powered devices in automotive, aviation, IoT and consumer products across the globe,” said Weijin Dai, chief strategy officer at VeriSilicon, Inc. "Placing these conformance tests in the public domain will empower the diverse user base VeriSilicon serves, and will further strengthen these Khronos APIs with community contributions and add value to these vital standards."
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision and neural nets on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan®, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Vulkan is a registered trademark and Khronos, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, NNEF and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
Khronos Announces VR Standards Initiative
Industry call to define common Virtual Reality APIs
December 6th 2016 – SIGGRAPH Asia - Macau – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced a call for participation in a new initiative to define a cross-vendor, royalty-free, open standard for access to modern virtual reality (VR) devices.
The rapid growth of the virtual reality market has led to platform fragmentation, forcing VR applications and engines to be ported and customized to run on multiple VR runtimes, and requiring VR sensors and displays to be integrated with multiple driver interfaces. This fragmentation slows the widespread availability of compelling VR experiences, creating added expense for developers wishing to support multiple VR devices, and hindering the adoption of innovative user interface technologies.
“Khronos has been on the forefront of advanced graphics and system APIs for over 15 years, and in keeping with that tradition and obligation to the industry at large has embarked on a new, vitally needed set of APIs and standards for the emerging VR market. We applaud the industry-leading companies that are coming together as Khronos members for this endeavor, and expect the whole industry will share our sentiment,” said Jon Peddie, President of JPR.
Key components of the new standard will include APIs for tracking of headsets, controllers and other objects, and for easily integrating devices into a VR runtime. This will enable applications to be portable to any VR system that conforms to the Khronos standard, significantly enhancing the end-user experience, and driving more choice of content to spur further growth in the VR market.
Fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs will start after an initial exploratory phase to define the standard’s scope and key objectives. Any company interested to participate is strongly encouraged to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process. Design contributions from any member are welcome. More information on this initiative and joining the Khronos Group is available at www.khronos.org/vr.
“The virtual reality industry has garnered massive attention and investment, resulting in validation of virtual reality technology. We believe continued growth will require standardization and AMD supports the Khronos initiative for an open standard,” said Daryl Sartain, director and worldwide head of VR at AMD.
“Virtual reality is driving the graphics industry forward with user experiences becoming so compelling they are transforming visual computing for people at home, work and in their leisure time,” said Jakub Lamik, VP Product Marketing, Media Processing Group, ARM. “The success and scaling of this market will be accelerated by industry standards, and Khronos is a pioneering leader in this area that we fully support.”
“With VR on the verge of rapid growth across all of the major platform families, this new Khronos open standards initiative is very timely. We at Epic Games will wholeheartedly contribute to the effort, and we'll adopt and support the resulting API in Unreal Engine,” said Tim Sweeney, founder & CEO, Epic Games.
“Open standards which allow developers to more easily create compelling, cross platform experiences will help bring the magic of VR to everyone. We look forward to working with our industry colleagues on this initiative,” said Mike Jazayeri, director product management, Google VR.
“The Immersive Technology Alliance's mission is long-term viability for technologies like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. We achieve this through a multifaceted approach, and truly open standards are a required pillar for this market to stand on. The alliance has collaborated with the Khronos Group for years, and we look forward to participating with this effort to help drive its success for the industry at large in tandem with other market-building initiatives within the ITA / ITA VR Council,” said Neil Schneider, executive director, The Immersive Technology Alliance.
“Virtual Reality represents a revolution to the computing interface,” said Kim Pallister, director of the VR Center of Excellence at Intel. ”We look forward to collaborating with Khronos contributors to deliver an open standard for VR and help accelerate innovation.”
“In this time of rapid growth of the Virtual Reality market, VR thought leaders are developing competing APIs in their quest to create solutions and bring them to market. Alignment on open standards for VR will help members of the VR ecosystem to efficiently develop API extensions, tools, drivers, and applications that are compatible and can be readily consumed by the community. We support Khronos in this effort,” said Karen Ghavam, CEO at LunarG.
“NVIDIA is excited to see the industry come together around an open standard for VR,” said Jason Paul, general manager for virtual reality at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA is fully engaged at Khronos on building a new standard that drives wider adoption and cross-platform content for VR.”
“Khronos’ open APIs have been immensely valuable to the industry, balancing the forces of differentiation and innovation against gratuitous vendor incompatibility. As virtual reality matures and the essential capabilities become clear in practice, a cooperatively developed open standard API is a natural and important milestone. Oculus is happy to contribute to this effort,” said John Carmack, CTO, Oculus VR.
“The Open Gaming Alliance (OGA) is focused on supporting the games industry. With games currently making up the largest market for virtual and augmented reality, game developers and publishers already have an infinite list of criteria for building games. Having standardized APIs will greatly aid the rate of innovation for games and other forms of immersive entertainment and experiences. The OGA looks forward working closely with Khronos Group to help with this important initiative,” said Wanda Meloni, executive director, The Open Gaming Alliance.
“Virtual reality’s success is dependent on a large thriving market of hardware where casual and professional consumers alike can take their pick without worry of fragmentation and incompatibility,” said Christopher Mitchell, OSVR business lead, Razer. “This has been OSVR’s vision from day one and we are thrilled to be a part of the Khronos Group in order to push standardization of interfaces across the industry.”
“When you buy a new printer, you don't have to upgrade your word processor. Through an open standard for VR and AR, users will enjoy the same ability to choose the best devices and peripherals - regardless of vendor - and have them work together well,” says Yuval Boger, CEO at Sensics. “Our team learned a lot while creating OSVR as well as during a decade of building HMDs. We are excited to bring this expertise in support of the Khronos open API initiative.”
“As a market leader in Eye tracking, Tobii has invested heavily in developing technologies for Eye tracking in VR and welcomes this VR standardization initiative at Khronos,” said Johan Hellqvist, vice president - Products and Integration, Tobii. “Foveated rendering and Gaze interaction is key for the VR experience and Khronos efforts in standardizing APIs for developers focusing on VR will ensure proliferation of content and richness of the VR ecosystem.”
“The number of VR systems on the market is growing rapidly. Most of these require separate API support from the developer, which is causing huge fragmentation for consumers,” said Gabe Newell of Valve. “Khronos’ work on a standard API to enable applications to target a wide variety of VR devices is an important step to counter that trend.”
“VR is a complex amalgam of almost everything in the modern day pixel pushing pipeline from powerful GPUs to machine vision processing to advanced display controller technology,” said Weijin Dai, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSilicon's Intellectual Property Division. “As a significant provider of these technologies we are thrilled that Khronos has taken on the task of creating a comprehensive VR standard and we intend to support this effort fully.”
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision and neural nets on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, SPIR-V™, OpenCL™, SYCL™, OpenVX™, NNEF™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, NNEF and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
Khronos Launches Dual Neural Network Standard InitiativesIndustry Call for Participation in new Neural Network Exchange Format working group; OpenVX standard for vision processing releases Neural Network extension
October 4th 2016 – San Francisco, CA – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the creation of two standardization initiatives to address the growing industry interest in the deployment and acceleration of neural network technology. Firstly, Khronos has formed a new working group to create an API independent standard file format for exchanging deep learning data between training systems and inference engines. Work on generating requirements and detailed design proposals for the Neural Network Exchange Format (NNEF™) is already underway, and companies interested in participating are welcome to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process. Secondly, the OpenVX™ working group has released an extension to enable Convolutional Neural Network topologies to be represented as OpenVX graphs and mixed with traditional vision functions.
Neural network technology has seen recent explosive progress in solving pattern matching tasks in computer vision such as object recognition, face identification, image search, and image to text, and is also playing a key part in enabling driver assistance and autonomous driving systems. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) are computationally intensive, and so many companies are actively developing mobile and embedded processor architectures to accelerate neural network-based inferencing at high speed and low power. As a result of such rapid progress, the market for embedded neural network processing is in danger of fragmenting, creating barriers for developers seeking to configure and accelerate inferencing engines across multiple platforms.
About the Neural Network Exchange Format (NNEF)
Today, most neural network toolkits and inference engines use proprietary formats to describe the trained network parameters, making it necessary to construct many proprietary importers and exporters to enable a trained network to be executed across multiple inference engines. The Khronos Neural Network Exchange Format (NNEF) is designed to simplify the process of using a tool to create a network, and running that trained network on other toolkits or inference engines. This can reduce deployment friction and encourage a richer mix of cross-platform deep learning tools, engines and applications.
The NNEF standard encapsulates neural network structure, data formats, commonly used operations (such as convolution, pooling, normalization, etc.) and formal network semantics. This enables the essentials of a trained network to be reliably exported and imported across tools and engines. NNEF is purely a data interchange format and deliberately does not prescribe how an exported network has been trained, or how an imported network is to be executed. This ensures that the data format does not hinder innovation and competition in this rapidly evolving domain. More information on the NNEF initiative is available at the NNEF Home Page.
About the OpenVX Neural Network Extension
The OpenVX Neural Network extension specifies an architecture for executing CNN-based inference in OpenVX graphs. The extension defines a multi-dimensional tensor object data structure which can be used to connect neural network layers, represented as OpenVX nodes, to create flexible CNN topologies. OpenVX neural network layer types include convolution, pooling, fully connected, normalization, soft-max and activation – with nine different activation functions. The extension enables neural network inferencing to be mixed with traditional vision processing operations in the same OpenVX graph.
Today, OpenVX has also released an Import/Export extension that complements the Neural Network extension by defining an API to import and export OpenVX objects, such as traditional computer vision nodes, data objects of a graph or partial graph, and CNN objects including network weights and biases or complete networks.
The high-level abstraction of OpenVX enables implementers to accelerate a dataflow graph of vision functions across a diverse array of hardware and software acceleration platforms. The inclusion of neural network inferencing functionality in OpenVX enables the same portable, processor-independent expression of functionality with significant freedom and flexibility in how that inferencing is actually accelerated. The OpenVX Neural Network extension is released in provisional form to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before finalization and industry feedback is welcomed at the OpenVX Forums. More details on OpenVX and the new extensions can be found at the OpenVX Home Page.
Khronos is coordinating its neural network activities, and expects that NNEF files will be able to represent all aspects of an OpenVX neural network graph, and that OpenVX will enable import of network topologies via NNEF files through the Import/Export extension, once the NEFF format definition is complete.
“AdasWorks initiated the creation of the NNEF working group as we saw the growing need for platform-independent neural network-based software solutions in the autonomous driving space. We cooperate closely with chip companies to help them build low-power, high-performance neural network hardware and believe firmly that an industry standard, which works across multiple platforms, will be beneficial for the whole market. We are happy to see numerous companies joining the initiative,” said Laszlo Kishonti, founder and CEO of AdasWorks.
“AMD fully supports the development of open standards, currently being the only company with an open source version of OpenVX. We support the creation of OpenVX extensions and data formats related to Neural Networks such as CNN in computer vision and related applications,” said Mike Mantor, corporate fellow and CTO, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD.
“Cadence has been investing heavily in tools for OpenVX and CNN programming to accelerate adoption of our market-leading Tensilica Vision DSPs,” said Dino Bekis, vice president of product marketing for the IP Group at Cadence. “Khronos’ efforts to standardize a universal CNN description exchange format will speed the availability of universal tools for converting trained CNNs to the inference domain. The extensions to OpenVX graph descriptions will enable more seamless deployment of both imaging and vision algorithms in deeply embedded devices.”
“As CNNs are becoming key to vision processing, Imagination is delighted to participate in Khronos’ neural net initiatives. Our PowerVR GPUs have supported OpenVX since its inception and we’ve already demonstrated CNNs running on PowerVR GPUs. The extension of OpenVX to support CNNs will provide a framework to make it easy for our customers to deploy vision applications using CNNs on new and existing PowerVR based SoCs,” said Chris Longstaff, Senior Director of Product and Technology Marketing, PowerVR, Imagination Technologies.
"Intel supports and welcomes the adoption of OpenVX and the OpenVX Neural Network Extension as an important element in proliferating computer vision deep learning usage models," said Ron Friedman, Intel Corporate vice president and general manager of IP Blocks and Technologies. "Khronos OpenVX Neural Network Extension brings algorithms tuned for deep learning to the embedded computer vision and machine intelligence hardware devices."
“We see increasingly more real life problems getting solved with neural network technologies”, said Victor Erukhimov, CEO of Itseez3D, Inc. and the chair of the OpenVX working group. “Efficient implementation of neural networks inference on embedded devices will enable a wide variety of applications for mobile phones, AR/VR and automotive safety.”
“We have seen a significant increase in the use of neural nets across a broad range of applications including vision processing for ADAS and financial market prediction. The introduction of Khronos APIs in this domain is a significant step towards standardization, bringing the technology to a wider developer community. Mobica is excited to be working with Khronos and other partners on this technological advance,” said Mobica's CTO, Jim Carroll.
“As an active working group member and one of the earliest OpenVX adopters, VeriSilicon is excited to see Khronos extend its support to deep learning and neural networks,” said Shanghung Lin, Vice President for Vision and Image Product Development at VeriSilicon. “Programmability and inter-operability between vision functions and the Neural Net extension makes OpenVX a perfect programming interface for VeriSilicon’s VIP8000 ultra-low-power, scalable vision processor solution, which combines neural network engines, OpenVX optimized shader programming engines, and a special interconnect logic called tensor processing fabric to allow collaborative computing for vision and neural net technology. VeriSilicon looks forward to participating in the Khronos NEFF working group to bridge the disparate market of deep learning frameworks and toolkits. A simple and standard neural net format is imperative to facilitate users choosing their favorite training tools and deploying the trained network to different inference engines in different applications.”
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision and neural nets on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenGL® SC, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge accelerated platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, NNEF and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
Khronos Establishes Advisory Panel to Create Design Guidelines for Safety Critical APIs
Targeted at markets such as automotive, robotics and avionics;
Open to Khronos members and invited experts
July 26th 2016 – SIGGRAPH, Anaheim, CA – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced the formation of a Safety Critical Advisory Panel to create guidelines for the design of safety critical graphics, compute and vision processing APIs. The Safety Critical Advisory Panel will be open to both Khronos members and invited experts from the industry. Markets such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles, robotics and avionics increasingly need advanced acceleration APIs that are designed to provide reliable operation and enable system safety certification. The guidelines will be openly published and adopted as part of Khronos’ proven API design process. Experienced practitioners in the field of safety critical system design are invited to apply for Advisory Panel membership, at no cost, with more details at the Khronos Safety Critical working group page.
“Visual computing acceleration will be a vital component of many emerging safety critical markets, and so the industry needs a new generation of hardware APIs that enable access to advanced silicon capabilities in certifiable systems,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “The Safety Critical Advisory Panel will build on the experience of creating the new generation OpenGL SC 2.0 API, plus we are inviting industry experts to assist in creating pragmatic guidelines to enable effective safety critical API design - both within Khronos and throughout the industry.”
In April 2016, Khronos released the OpenGL SC 2.0 API specification to address the unique and stringent requirements of high reliability display system markets, including FAA DO-178C and EASA ED-12C Level A for avionics, and ISO 26262 safety standards for automotive. OpenGL SC 2.0 enables high reliability system manufacturers to take advantage of modern graphics programmable shader engines while still achieving the highest levels of safety certification. Khronos expects that several additional Khronos working groups, including Vulkan, OpenCL and OpenVX will adopt the safety critical guidelines when designing future APIs that will enable similar levels of certification.
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Khronos Showcases Significant glTF Momentum for Efficient Transmission of 3D Scenes and Models
Open source glTF Validator and glTF 1.0.1 Specification released;
glTF MIME Type Approved by IANA; Multiple importers and translators available
July 22nd 2016 – Web3D Conference, Anaheim, CA – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced significant momentum behind the glTF™ (GL Transmission Format) royalty-free specification for the transmission and loading of 3D content. Since the launch of glTF 1.0 in September 2015, Khronos has released an open source glTF validator, commenced community review of the glTF 1.0.1 specification that incorporates industry feedback for enhanced interoperability, successfully registered glTF as a MIME type with IANA and has catalyzed a growing array of importers, translators and tools supporting the glTF standard. More information on glTF specifications and activities is available on the Khronos website.
“The world has long needed an efficient, usable standard for 3D scenes that sits at the level of common image, audio, video, and text formats. Not an authoring format, or necessarily a format you would use for a hyper optimized platform specific application, but something at home on the internet, capable of being directly created and consumed by many different applications,” said John Carmack, CTO of Oculus.
glTF is a vendor- and runtime-neutral asset delivery format that minimizes the size of 3D scenes and models, and optimizes runtime processing by interactive 3D applications using WebGL™ and other APIs. glTF creates a common publishing format for 3D content tools and services, analogous to the JPEG format for images. The format combines an easily parsable JSON scene and material description, which references binary geometry, textures, materials and animations. glTF is extensible to handle diverse use cases and already available extensions include binary scene descriptions and high precision rendering for geospatial applications.
glTF 1.0.1 tightens specification specificity to aid in asset validation to facilitate a robust and interoperable ecosystem. The changes include minor updates to corner cases for accessors, buffers, techniques, and other glTF properties. The released draft is for community review and will be finalized after implementation and industry feedback. For details and discussion on glTF 1.0.1, see the GitHub project page for glTF 1.0.1 discussions.
“glTF has been embraced by the industry as it fills a real and growing need to bring 3D assets quickly and efficiently to a wide variety of platforms and devices. Fast growing industries such as Augmented and Virtual Reality will use the foundation of a widely accepted 3D format to enable seamless content distribution and end-user experiences” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA and chair of the Khronos 3D Formats Working Group.
‘MIME types’ are used to identify the type of information that a file contains. Khronos’ successful registration of glTF as a MIME type at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a significant step in ensuring that glTF files may be reliably and correctly identified and recognized across diverse markets and ecosystems. Previous MIME types include image/jpeg, audio/mpeg, and video/mp4 – the new model/gltf+json MIME type finally recognizes 3D as widely usable class of content.
The glTF specification is being openly developed with the specification and source of multiple converters and loaders freely available on GitHub. Since glTF’s launch, the amount of industry support has grown significantly to include:
- Direct export from tools such as Blender;
- Translators from diverse formats such as FBX, COLLADA, OBJ, and OpenStreetMap;
- Support in the Open Asset Import Library (Assimp);
- Direct import into engines including three.js, Microsoft’s Babylon.js, Cesium, X3DOM, xeoEngine, PEX and the A-Frame framework for WebVR;
- A community-generated glTF Reference Card by Marco Hutter.
More details are on the GitHub project page for glTF tools.
Work is already underway to evolve and expand glTF’s capabilities. Extensions in development include sophisticated streaming of very large 3D CAD models from Fraunhofer IGD and advanced 3D mesh compression using 3DGC technology from the MPEG Consortium. Potential future core specification features include definition of physically based rendered (PBR) materials, morph targets and support for the upcoming WebGL 2.0 standard. Anyone is welcome to join the discussion on the GitHub project page for glTF.
“glTF is the result of a multi-year effort to design an open, interoperable format for sharing 3D graphics. The level of community effort and industry adoption we have seen in the few months since its initial ratification show the huge promise of an open format for sharing 3D everywhere,” said Tony Parisi, virtual reality pioneer and co-editor of the glTF specification.
glTF at Web3D and SIGGRAPH Conferences 22-28 July, Anaheim, CA
There are multiple presentations and demonstrations showcasing WebGL, glTF and other Khronos APIs between July 22nd-28th at the Web3D and SIGGRAPH Conferences in Anaheim, CA.
Industry Support for glTF
“glTF adds standardization and web portability for OpenGL-based viewing and processing tools, which overall makes sharing immersive digital experiences much easier,” said Stefano Corazza, senior principal scientist at Adobe.
“The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA) congratulates the Khronos group on the launch of glTF. The increasing momentum and acceptance of glTF is another important step in the development of the AR in Enterprise ecosystem and wider 3D industries,’ said Mark Sage, Executive Director of AREA.
“Unlocking 3D content from proprietary desktop applications to the cloud creates massive new opportunities for collaboration. Designers can share their work much earlier in the process, makers can show what their objects will look like before being printed, educators can incorporate interactive elements to the courses they produce, and much more. This future is so close we can feel it - the hardware is capable, the browsers are capable, now if only we could solve the content pipeline. Having an interoperable standard for tools manufacturers and engine developers to work against is a huge step - go glTF!,” said Ross McKegney , Platform @ Box.
“glTF has become the foundation for 3D geospatial visualization on the web, from SmartCities to flight simulators, and is a core component of 3D Tiles for streaming massive models,” said Patrick Cozzi, Principal Graphics Architect, Cesium.
“With the growing computational power of modern graphic cards and better approximations, physically-based rendering (PBR) are becoming an exciting trend in real time graphics. Now, the researchers of Fraunhofer IGD are bringing this new trend to the web — with glTF! The main goal behind PBR is to follow real physical laws, so materials will look accurate and consistent in all lighting conditions without changing an immense list of parameters and settings. glTF is the container for this new kind of web technologies,” said Johannes Behr, head of competence center Visual Computing System Technologies at Fraunhofer IGD.
“We clearly see a big momentum about glTF in the Babylon.js community. This is why we keep improving our glTF loader to be sure to respond to our user needs,” said David Catuhe, principal program manager at Microsoft and author of babylon.js.
“OTOY believes glTF will become the industry standard for compact and efficient 3D mesh transmission, much as JPEG has been for images. To that end, glTF, in tandem with Open Shader Language, will become core components in the ORBX scene interchange format, and fully supported in over 24 content creation tools and game engines powered by OctaneRender,” said Jules Urbach, Founder & CEO of OTOY.
"Web3D Consortium members look forward to continuing progress between Fraunhofer IGD's Shape Resource Container (SRC) compression and progressive-mesh streaming as an essential application of glTF capabilities. SRC is already a central aspect of Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics evolution for the Web. 3D Printing and 3D Scanning are opening up further domains for common improvement," said Don Brutzman, X3D working group co-chair.
About The Khronos GroupThe Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.
Khronos Releases OpenVX 1.1 Specification for High Performance, Low Power Computer Vision Acceleration
Expanded range of processing functions; Enhanced flexibility for data access and processing; Full conformance tests available; Safety Critical specification in development
May 2nd 2016 – Embedded Vision Summit, Santa Clara, CA – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces the immediate availability of the OpenVX™ 1.1 specification for cross platform acceleration of computer vision applications and libraries. OpenVX enables performance and power optimized computer vision algorithms for use cases such as face, body and gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, automatic driver assistance systems, object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics and more. Conformant OpenVX 1.0 implementations and tools are shipping from AMD, Imagination, Intel, NVIDIA, Synopsys and VeriSilicon. OpenVX 1.1 builds on this momentum by adding new processing functions for use cases such as computational photography, and enhances application control over how data is accessed and processed. An open source OpenVX 1.1 sample implementation and full conformance tests will be available in the first half of 2016. Details on the OpenVX specifications and Adopters Program are available at: www.khronos.org/openvx.
“More and more products are incorporating computer vision, and OpenVX addresses a critical need by making it easier for developers to harness heterogeneous processors for high performance, low power vision processing – without having to become processor experts,” said Jeff Bier, founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance. “This is essential for enabling the widespread deployment of visual intelligence in devices and applications.”
The precisely defined specification and conformance tests for OpenVX make it ideal for deployment in production systems where cross-vendor consistency and reliability are essential. Additionally, OpenVX is easily extensible to enable nodes to be deployed to meet customer needs, ahead of being integrated into the core specification.
The new OpenVX 1.1 specification is a significant expansion in the breadth and flexibility of vision processing functionality and the OpenVX graph framework:
- Definition and processing of Laplacian pyramids to support computational photography use cases;
- Median, erode and dilate image filters, including custom patterns;
- Easier and less error prone methods to read and write data to and from OpenVX objects;
- Targets - to control on which accelerator to run nodes in a heterogeneous device;
- More convenient and flexible API for extending OpenVX with user kernels;
- Many other improvements and clarifications to infrastructure functions and vision nodes.
“This is an important milestone towards widespread adoption of OpenVX in embedded platforms running computer vision algorithms,” said Victor Erukhimov, President, Itseez and chair of the OpenVX working group. “The new vision functions that we added enable exciting use cases, and refined infrastructure API gives developers more flexibility for creating advanced computer vision applications."
OpenVX abstracts a vision processing execution and memory model at a much higher level than general compute frameworks such as OpenCL, enabling significant implementation innovation and efficient execution on a wide range of architectures while maintaining performance portability and a consistent vision acceleration API for application development. An OpenVX developer expresses a connected graph of vision nodes that an implementer can execute and optimize through a wide variety of techniques such as: acceleration on CPUs, GPUs, DSPs or dedicated hardware, compiler optimizations, node coalescing, and tiled execution to keep sections of processed images in local memories. This architectural agility enables OpenVX applications on a diversity of systems optimized for different levels of power and performance, including very battery-sensitive, vision-enabled, wearable displays.
Future Safety Critical Standards
Vision processing will be a vital component of many emerging safety critical market opportunities including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles and medical and process control applications. The OpenVX working group is developing OpenVX SC, a safety critical version of OpenVX for to address the unique and stringent requirements of these high reliability markets. The Safety Critical working group at Khronos is building on the experience of shipping the OpenGL® SC 2.0 specification for high reliability use of modern graphics programmable shader engines, and is developing cross-API guidelines to aid in the development of open technology standards for safety critical systems. Any interested company is welcome to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in these development processes.
OpenVX and Khronos APIs at Embedded Vision Summit, 2-4 May, Santa Clara, CA
There are multiple presentations and workshops related to OpenVX and other Khronos APIs on May 2nd-4th at the Embedded Vision Summit in Santa Clara, CA, including:
- How Computer Vision Is Accelerating the Future of Virtual Reality at 3:30PM, Monday 2nd by AMD
- NVIDIA VisionWorks, a Toolkit for Computer Vision using OpenVX at 3:15PM, Tuesday 3rd by NVIDIA
- Using the OpenCL C Kernel Language for Embedded Vision Processors at 3:45PM, Tuesday 3rd by Synopsys
- The Vision API Maze: Options and Trade-offs at 4:30PM, Tuesday 3rd by Khronos
- Programming Embedded Vision Processors Using OpenVX at 5PM, Tuesday 3rd by Synopsys
- Whole day hand-on workshop Accelerate Your Vision Applications with OpenVX on Wednesday 4th
Details about the Embedded Visions Summit are here: www.embedded-vision.com/summit and specific details on the Khronos full day OpenVX tutorial including speakers from AMD, Intel, Imagination, NVIDIA, Synopsys and TI are here:
Industry Support for OpenVX 1.1
“AMD fully supports OpenVX with our open source release,” said Raja Koduri, senior VP and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. “We have enabled computer vision developers with access to OpenVX on the entire range of PC platforms, from embedded APUs to high-end workstation GPUs and the fully open source access also facilitates developers to port OpenVX to other platforms based on AMD GCN architecture easily.”
“OpenVX can be a valuable starting point for accelerating creation and adoption of vision applications, and can enable easier access to vision applications in safety-critical areas such as automotive and factory automation,” said Chris Longstaff, director of business development, Imagination Technologies. “Imagination is supporting OpenVX, development of the OpenVX SC specification and inclusion of important new features such as computational neural networks, across our PowerVR GPUs and vision IP offerings. These processors are at the heart of many of the world’s mobile, automotive and embedded devices, providing developers with ideal platforms to develop vision applications.”
“Vision processing is increasingly important for a range of real world applications. It is a fundamental technology for advanced driver assist systems and gesture recognition as a method of user interaction,” said Mobica's CTO, Jim Carroll. “Mobica is excited to be working on the development of such applications and enabling acceleration technology for OpenVX 1.1 - we anticipate that it will be a fundamental technology for many aspects of next generation computing devices.”
“OpenVX is a vital component of the VisionWorks SDK on the Jetson embedded platform,” said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager for Tegra at NVIDIA. “VisionWorks enables developers to quickly configure efficient GPU-based vision acceleration for their applications, and NVIDIA has extended the core OpenVX functionality to meet our customer’s needs.”
“As an early adopter of the OpenVX standard, VeriSilicon congratulates the Khronos Group on reaching this major milestone,” said Shanghung Lin, vice president for Vision Image Products at VeriSilicon. “Our customers have enthusiastically embraced OpenVX conformant solutions in our VIP (Vision Image Processor) line that being designed into silicon products for automotive, video surveillance and other IoT applications. OpenVX has been accelerating mass-market adoption of computer vision applications such as natural user interfaces, always-on cameras, and Automotive Driver Assistance Systems, and OpenVX 1.1 makes a significant step toward more flexible support for vision processing and computational photography. We are proud to support the OpenVX standard with our VIP, with a power/performance/area optimized architecture for novel vision processing use cases on mobile, home, automotive, and embedded platforms.”
About The Khronos Group
Khronos Releases OpenGL SC 2.0 for Shader Programmable Safety Critical Graphics
Streamlined API reduces certification costs for Avionics and Automotive Systems;
GLSL shaders provide enhanced graphics with increased performance and reduced power
April 20th 2016 – Aviation Electronics Europe, Munich – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces the immediate availability of the OpenGL® SC 2.0 specification for bringing programmable graphics to systems that require system safety certification. The OpenGL SC 2.0 API specification has been developed by the Khronos Safety Critical working group to address the unique and stringent requirements of high reliability display system markets, including FAA DO-178C and EASA ED-12C Level A for avionics, and ISO 26262 safety standards for automotive. Building on the large number of worldwide customer deployments and successful avionics certifications using OpenGL SC 1.0, OpenGL SC 2.0 enables high reliability system manufacturers to take advantage of modern graphics programmable shader engines while still achieving the highest levels of safety certification. More information on OpenGL SC 2.0 and Khronos safety critical specifications and activities is available at: http://www.khronos.org/safetycritical.
About OpenGL SC 2.0
OpenGL SC 1.0 defined a safety critical subset of the OpenGL ES™ 1.0 fixed function graphics pipeline. OpenGL SC 1.0 shipped in 2005, with minor updates to OpenGL SC 1.0.1 in 2009. OpenGL SC 2.0 is a subset of OpenGL ES 2.0 that includes GLSL-based programmable shaders to enable enhanced graphics functionality, with increased performance and reduced power. OpenGL SC 2.0 removes all debug functionality from OpenGL ES 2.0 but incorporates the OpenGL robustness extension into the core specification for scheduling and memory access integrity. OpenGL SC 2.0 is designed to be both deterministic and testable while retaining compatibility with existing OpenGL ES 2.0-capable silicon, enabling the immediate deployment of high-volume desktop, mobile and embedded silicon solutions.
"OpenGL SC 2.0 marks the start of a new era of Safety Critical standards by the Khronos group to address a growing industry need for safety critical technologies," says Erik Noreke Technology Visionary and chair of the Safety Critical working group. "With smart technologies becoming more and more prevalent in daily life with such things as autonomous vehicles and operator assistance, I am proud to be part of the Khronos effort to deliver the safety critical standards for not only high performance graphics, but also compute and vision."
See OpenGL SC 2.0 at Aviation Electronics Europe, Munich, (April 20-21)
OpenGL SC 2.0 implementations are already operational and are being publicly demonstrated:
- CoreAVI is demonstrating its OpenGL SC 2.0 graphics drivers* running on Curtiss Wright’s rugged VPX3-133 SBC (NXP QorIQ T2080) and VPX3-716 COTS graphics module executing Wind River VxWorks RTOS and Presagis’ VAPS XT HMI graphics development tool;
- Presagis is demonstrating CoreAVI’s OpenGL SC 2.0 graphics drivers* running on NXP QorIQ P3041 quad core processor with AMD’s Radeon E8860 GPU graphics processor executing Wind River VxWorks RTOS and Presagis’ VAPS XT HMI graphics development tool.
Future Safety Critical Standards
Visual computing acceleration will be a vital component of many emerging safety critical market opportunities including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles and new generation avionics systems. The Safety Critical working group at Khronos has a remit to develop safety critical versions of other Khronos specifications, including Vulkan™ for high-efficiency graphics and compute. The OpenVX™ working group at Khronos is also developing a safety critical version of this standard for low power vision processing. The Safety Critical working group will build on the experience of shipping OpenGL SC, but is also looking to develop cross-API guidelines to aid in the development of open technology standards for Safety Critical systems. Any interested company is welcome to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in this development process.
Industry Support for OpenGL SC 2.0
“OpenGL SC 2.0 enables avionics, automotive, and safety critical system manufacturers to unlock the power per watt performance capabilities of modern graphics processors utilizing programmable graphics pipelines,” says Steve Viggers, vice president of software at CoreAVI. “Available today, CoreAVI has delivered the industry’s first OpenGL SC 2.0 driver designed to achieve the most stringent safety certifications, including the FAA DO-178C Level A and ISO 26262 ASIL D standards.”
“Traditional safety critical software domains are opening up to the benefits offered by leading edge graphics technologies. Mobica are working on OpenGL SC 2.0 solutions with our automotive and semiconductor partners to build leading edge products such as in-car UIs,” says Jim Carroll, CTO of Mobica. The enhancements introduced in OpenGL SC 2.0 will enable the use of these technologies for a wider range of companies, market sectors and ultimately, end-users.”
“I am delighted that Presagis is at the forefront of this major change for the Embedded Graphics industry,” says Jean-Michel Brière, general manager at Presagis. “Using the power of GPU-based shaders opens immense possibilities in terms of HMI design and performance.’’
"Codeplay is excited to be part of the Safety Critical working group and involved in the development of open standards that will allow applications like self-driving cars to be developed in a standardized, safe, and secure way" says Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay.
About The Khronos Group
Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput, OpenWF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.
* Product 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.
Khronos Releases OpenCL 2.2 Provisional Specification with OpenCL C++ Kernel Language for Parallel Programming
SYCL 2.2 and SPIR-V 1.1 provisional specifications also released to complement and support OpenCL C++
April 18th 2016 – International Workshop on OpenCL, Vienna – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces the immediate availability of the OpenCL™ 2.2, SYCL™ 2.2 and SPIR-V™ 1.1 provisional specifications. OpenCL 2.2 incorporates the OpenCL C++ kernel language for significantly enhanced parallel programming productivity. SYCL 2.2 enables host and device code to be contained in a single source file, while leveraging the full power of OpenCL C++. SPIR-V 1.1 extends the intermediate representation defined by Khronos with native support for shader and compute kernel features to fully support the OpenCL C++ kernel language. These new specifications can be found at www.khronos.org and are released in provisional form to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before finalization, including at the Khronos forums.
“OpenCL 2.2 brings the most developer-requested feature into core – the OpenCL C++ kernel language,” said Neil Trevett, president of Khronos and chair of the OpenCL working group. “Overall, Khronos is releasing three specifications today in a coordinated push to increase parallel programming productivity: OpenCL 2.2 has been released in parallel with SPIR-V 1.1 which brings support for the OpenCL C++ kernel language into the Khronos-defined intermediate language, and SYCL 2.2 which leverages OpenCL 2.2 to provide the power of single source C++ programming.”
About OpenCL 2.2
OpenCL 2.2 defines the OpenCL C++ kernel language as a static subset of the C++14 standard. OpenCL C++ includes classes, templates, lambda expressions, function overloads and many other constructs to increase parallel programing productivity through generic and meta-programming.
OpenCL library functions can now take advantage of the C++ language to provide increased safety and reduced undefined behavior while accessing features such as atomics, iterators, images, samplers, pipes, and device queue built-in types and address spaces.
Pipe storage is new a device-side type in OpenCL 2.2 that is useful for FPGA implementations by making connectivity size and type known at compile time, enabling efficient device-scope communication between kernels.
OpenCL 2.2 also includes features for enhanced optimization of generated code: applications can provide the value of specialization constants at SPIR-V compilation time, a new query can detect non-trivial constructors and destructors of program scope global objects, and user callbacks can be set at program release time.
About SYCL 2.2
SYCL 2.2 enables the capabilities of OpenCL 2.2 to be leveraged while keeping host and device code in a single source file. SYCL aligns the hardware features of OpenCL with the direction of the C++ standard, so that developers can write C++ template libraries that exploit all the capabilities of compute devices, from the smallest OpenCL 1.2 embedded device to the most advanced OpenCL 2.2 accelerators, without writing proprietary or non-standard code. The open-source C++ 17 Parallel STL for SYCL, hosted by Khronos, enables the upcoming C++ standard to support OpenCL 2.2 features such as shared virtual memory, generic pointers and device-side enqueue.
OpenCL C++ and SYCL between them now provide developers the choice of two C++ approaches. For developers who want to separate their device-side kernel source code and their host code, the C++ kernel language can be the best option. This is the approach taken with OpenCL C today, as well as the widely-adopted approach taken by shaders in graphics software. The alternative approach, commonly called ‘single-source’ C++, is the approach taken by SYCL, OpenMP and the C++ 17 Parallel STL. By specifying both SYCL and the C++ kernel language, Khronos provides developers maximum choice, while aligning the two specifications so that code can be easily shared between these complementary approaches.
“Codeplay continues to support and drive these evolving open standards enabling advanced heterogeneous processor solutions,” says Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay and chair of the SYCL working group. “Accelerated vision processing applications in mobile, cloud, IoT and automotive ADAS benefit from improved Khronos open standards simplifying the overall parallel software development process.”
About SPIR-V 1.1
SPIR-V (Standard Portable Intermediate Representation) is the first open standard, cross-API intermediate language for natively representing parallel compute and graphics. SPIR-V 1.1 now supports all the kernel language features of OpenCL C++ in OpenCL 2.2, including initializer and finalizer function execution modes to support constructors and destructors. SPIR-V 1.1 also enhances the expressiveness of kernel programs by supporting named barriers, subgroup execution, and program scope pipes.
Specialization constants, previously available for Vulkan™ graphics shaders in SPIR-V 1.0, are now available to OpenCL kernel programs in SPIR-V 1.1. This feature allows a single SPIR-V module to express a family of parameterized OpenCL kernel programs by embedding compile-time settings that can be specialized at runtime. This eliminates the need to ship multiple variants of a device program, or recompiling them from source on-the-fly with different compilation settings, leading to massive savings in shipped program size or application startup time.
“OpenCL C++ is a plus-plus for the entire industry,” said AJ Guillon, founder and chief technical officer, YetiWare Inc. “The OpenCL working group, based on significant developer feedback, has committed to maintaining the idioms and style of C++ in OpenCL C++. This is a BIG deal for developers that want both maximum performance and code elegance, and something we will integrate in YetiWare’s OpenCL training programs immediately.”
About The Khronos Group
Khronos Releases Vulkan 1.0 Specification
Multiple Hardware Drivers and Developer SDKs Immediately Available
February 16th 2016 – San Francisco – The Khronos™ Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces the immediate availability of the Vulkan™ 1.0 royalty-free, open standard API specification. Vulkan provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms. This ground-up design, complementing the OpenGL® and OpenGL ES™ 3D APIs, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability with minimized CPU overhead and efficient multi-threaded performance. Multiple Vulkan 1.0 hardware drivers and SDKs are available immediately for developers to begin creating Vulkan applications and engines. More information on Vulkan is available at https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/.
“We are extremely pleased at the industry’s rapid execution on the Vulkan API initiative. Due to Vulkan’s cross platform availability, high performance and healthy open source ecosystem, we expect to see rapid uptake by software developers, far exceeding the adoption of similar APIs which are limited to specific operating systems,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director, Valve.
About Vulkan 1.0
Vulkan is the result of 18 months in an intense collaboration between leading hardware, game engine and platform vendors, built on significant contributions from multiple Khronos members. Vulkan is designed for portability across multiple platforms with desktop and mobile GPU architectures. Vulkan is available on multiple versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and has been adopted as a native rendering and compute API by platforms including Linux, SteamOS, Tizen and Android.
By placing an unprecedented collection of Vulkan-related materials into open source, including the full Vulkan conformance tests, the specification source, and a rich set of software tools, Khronos is enabling strong community participation to drive API consistency and ecosystem evolution. All Khronos open source projects are available here: https://github.com/KhronosGroup.
“Vulkan has a huge potential! We’re only scratching the surface of what can be done with it, and porting The Talos Principle to Vulkan should be seen as a proof of concept,” said Dean Sekulic graphics engine specialist at Croteam. “Vulkan in just one sentence? The endless war between performance and portability is finally over!”
Vulkan minimizes driver overhead for optimal graphics and compute performance and provides the direct GPU control demanded by sophisticated game engines, middleware and applications. Simpler, more predictable drivers provide performance and functional portability across a wide range of implementations. A key advantage of Vulkan over OpenGL is the ability to generate GPU work in parallel using many CPU cores, making Vulkan particularly useful for CPU-bound developers, eliminating a bottleneck in applications from diverse domains including games, computer-aided design and mobile apps. Vulkan complements the traditional OpenGL and OpenGL ES APIs that provide a higher level of abstraction to access GPU functionality, which may be more convenient for many developers. Khronos will continue to evolve OpenGL and OpenGL ES in parallel with Vulkan to meet market needs.
“The Vulkan working group has been driven by more positive developer energy than any other Khronos project, resulting in the release of specifications, conformance tests, and open source SDK and compiler components in just 18 months,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Vulkan does not replace traditional APIs, but it provides another choice for developers. In the right hands, Vulkan’s multi-threading and explicit resource management can enable a new class of smooth, high-performance engines and applications.”
Vulkan uses the Khronos SPIR-V™ intermediate representation defined by Khronos with native support for shader and compute kernel features. SPIR-V splits the compiler chain, enabling high-level language front-ends to emit programs in a standardized intermediate form to be ingested by Vulkan. Eliminating the need for a built-in high-level language source compiler significantly reduces GPU driver complexity and will enable a diversity of language front-ends. Additionally, a standardized IR provides a measure of shader IP protection, accelerated shader load times and enables developers to use a common language front-end, improving shader reliability and portability across multiple implementations.
Vulkan’s layered design enables a common, extensible architecture to install tool layers for code validation, debugging and profiling during development without impacting production performance. Khronos’ open source materials enable SDKs and tools to be built for any platform.
About the LunarG Vulkan SDK
LunarG has released the first Vulkan SDK for Windows and Linux concurrently with the Vulkan 1.0 specification. The SDK includes validation layers to ensure proper Vulkan API usage and improve portability across platforms and graphics hardware. Additional layers are available for taking screenshots, tracing API activity, and running other debugging tasks. The LunarG SDK contains sample programs and documentation to help developers accelerate application development. The LunarG SDK for Vulkan is open source and freely available from LunarXchange at vulkan.lunarg.com.
“Vulkan, by design, is a very low-level API that provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration with minimized CPU overhead and efficient multi-threaded performance,” says Karen Ghavam, CEO at LunarG Inc. “The SDK provides essential tools to aid application developers in developing to this lower level API.”
Industry Support for Vulkan 1.0
“The release of the Vulkan™ 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers. The Vulkan API, which was derived from Mantle, will bring the benefits of low-overhead high-performance Graphics API to the benefit of cross-platform and cross-vendor targeted applications,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “The promotion of open and scalable technologies continues to be the focus at AMD, as a pioneer in the low-overhead API space. As a member of the Khronos Group, AMD is proud to collaborate with hardware and software industry leaders to develop the Vulkan API to ignite the next evolution in PC game development.”
“Vulkan 1.0 gives graphics app designers efficient, flexible control of the GPU and allows them to take full advantage of multicore CPU and ARM® big.LITTLE™ configurations,” said Tom Olson, director of graphics research, ARM. “Developers want to enhance the user experience but they also need to preserve mobile device battery life. Vulkan helps achieve this by enabling a route to delivering rich ARM Mali™-based graphics experiences in a highly efficient way.”
“Vulkan takes cross-platform performance and control to the next level,” said Bill Hollings of The Brenwill Workshop. “We are excited to be working through Khronos, the forum for open industry standards, to bring Vulkan to iOS and OS X.”
“We are excited to be working closely with Vulkan, and contributing in our area of expertise,” said Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “Our teams are driving forward using Vulkan and SPIR-V to provide an implementation allowing industries to develop breakthrough technologies in machine vision, big data processing and mobile applications.”
“As one of the major manufacturers for digital automotive instrument clusters and infotainment systems, Continental is delighted Vulkan finally is about to be released. Vulkan will provide a big step forward - to us as well as to the graphics community,” said Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Kabatek, principal technical expert graphic systems & 3D visualization, Continental Automotive GmbH. “As an explicit API it will allow Continental for tailored, efficient and even more high-quality graphics systems with custom safety levels. We wish Vulkan a successful first release and we are looking forward to use it for our sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions of tomorrow.”
“Vulkan is an important milestone for the graphics industry, providing direct access to GPU acceleration that application developers have long demanded,” said Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager, Intel Open Source Technology Center. “Intel is proud to support this new technology by providing industry-certified drivers for three generations of Intel graphics platforms, all readily available to developers and end users, with more to come.”
“At Imagination we’re pleased to be a major contributor to the Vulkan project, and to have been among the first to demonstrate it on mobile platforms. Now that the specification is released, we feel that it is important to get it into the hands of developers as soon as possible,” said Peter McGuinness, director of multimedia technology marketing, Imagination Technologies. “We’re distributing a developer image for the readily available Nexus Player, which features a PowerVR Series6 GPU. Developers can also access examples and tutorials on our Vulkan resources page (https://imgtec.com/vulkan) and can look forward to Vulkan support being extended to all our tools in the very near future.”
“Linaro is deeply pleased to see the culmination of collaborative Khronos efforts to produce the Vulkan 1.0 spec. We are excited that across mobile platforms,” said Tom Gall, director, Linaro mobile group tech lead, graphics, GPGPU. “Vulkan will very quickly become an important foundation stone, as system providers and developers tune their efforts to take advantage of Vulkan’s significant advancement of the state of the art in graphics.”
“Mobica are excited by the opportunities for the graphics community with the release of Vulkan. The improved performance will deliver obvious benefits for end users. A unified API for mobile and desktop platforms will also accelerate the software development process,” said Jim Carroll, CTO at Mobica. “We are glad to have supported Khronos with the creation of this technology, and look forward to further contributions to this next key standard for graphics.”
“The Vulkan API enables developers to get the best from NVIDIA GPUs, and we are proud of our role in its development,” says Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology, NVIDIA. “We are making Vulkan drivers available for Windows, Linux, and Android platforms, on the same day as the specification launch, and we’ll continue our work within Khronos to ensure Vulkan evolves to meet industry needs.”
“Starbreeze would like to thank the Khronos Vulkan Working Group for delivering the Vulkan API to the development community,” said Emmanuel Marquez, Starbreeze CTO. “We believe the Vulkan API will set the foundation for next generation graphics for years to come for the PC gaming industry and are proud to be a part of the project with our industry peers.”
“We are pleased to have contributed to the definition of Khronos’ new Vulkan API. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. will be among the first to ship conformant Vulkan drivers, starting with our Qualcomm Snapdragon 820’s embedded Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, and subsequently with our Adreno 4xx series GPUs. Vulkan enables the next generation of graphics performance by adding multi-threaded command buffer generation and explicit control of advanced graphics capabilities within Adreno GPUs,” said Micah Knapp, director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We expect to support Vulkan in the Snapdragon developer tools including Snapdragon Profiler and the Adreno SDK, to help application developers take advantage of this outstanding new API when creating graphics and compute applications for smartphones, tablets, VR HMDs and a variety of other types of devices that use Snapdragon processors.”
“Samsung is excited about Vulkan’s launch today, which will help expand the gaming ecosystem across platforms,” said Tae-Yong Kim, vice president, mobile communication business, Samsung Electronics. “We have been working within Khronos to support an open standard that will enable high performance and cutting-edge technologies. Vulkan will provide a more exciting, immersive user experience for mobile gaming.”
“As a Khronos Promoter and active member of the Vulkan definition effort, VeriSilicon welcomes the introduction of the new industry standard low-level GPU API Vulkan 1.0. VeriSilicon will provide support for Vulkan 1.0 across a wide range of Vivante GPUs,” said Wei-Jin Dai, executive vice president of VeriSilicon’s IP Division. “We are excited to see this brand new API to unleash the tremendous performance potential of both new and existing GPU hardware for a new generation of applications on a broad range of embedded devices from power-sipping IoT clients to a new class of low cost mobile compute solutions. We are particularly excited about the opportunities our Vulkan implementation brings automotive customers to have far more granular control over graphics quality of service resulting in improved implementations of highly desired security levels and features.”
See Vulkan at GDC 2016
Vulkan work group members will hold sessions for the public 2:00-7:00 PM on Wednesday March 16 at “Green Space” located at 657 Mission Street Suite 200, in San Francisco. There are also a large number of Vulkan-related presentations and activities to be seen at the Game Developers Conference held in San Francisco on March 14-18th 2016. Details are on the Khronos event page.
About The Khronos Group