Image: Khronos Group

We previously reported that everyone’s favorite open-source graphics API had added ray tracing extensions. Today, Khronos Group published the final specifications for Vulkan Ray Tracing, allowing developers to incorporate ray tracing into their projects.

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.


Image: Khronos Group

Ray tracing has steadily gained support over the last few years. Now that developers have open-source options, adoption rates will likely increase even further. It also helps that AMD and NVIDIA’s latest graphics cards are powerful enough to run games at higher frame rates with ray tracing enabled.

Peter Brosdahl

As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my...

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7 Comments

  1. am I the only one who, whenever I hear about the Khronos Group picture a bunch of Klingons sitting around a table? :p

    Now we can see if Nvidia’s claims that the only reason they had proprietary RTX extensions was because Vulkan’s implementation was not ready.

  2. am I the only one who, whenever I hear about the Khronos Group picture a bunch of Klingons sitting around a table? :p

    Now we can see if Nvidia’s claims that the only reason they had proprietary RTX extensions was because Vulkan’s implementation was not ready.

    What claims? It is a fact that Vulkan did not have native ray tracing built into the API when Turing launched more than 2 years ago. Vendor-specific extensions due to the lag of finalizing features among the Khronos Group and formerly ARB have historically been common in their open standard APIs.

  3. What claims? It is a fact that Vulkan did not have native ray tracing built into the API when Turing launched more than 2 years ago. Vendor-specific extensions due to the lag of finalizing features among the Khronos Group and formerly ARB have historically been common in their open standard APIs.

    They claimed it was the only reason they created custom extensions.

    If that is true, now that official RT extensions are available, lets see if they switch to them, or continue trying to push exclusives using their own extensions.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  4. They claimed it was the only reason they created custom extensions.

    If that is true, now that official RT extensions are available, lets see if they switch to them, or continue trying to push exclusives using their own extensions.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    The extensions used is dependent on how the game is programmed. If the programmers want to continue using the NVIDIA-specific extensions for NVIDIA video cards then that is up to them. Doesn’t mean developers will not support other video cards with the built-in functions now that they are finalized and in production. Look at OpenGL and Doom 3: It used NVIDIA-specific extensions when an NVIDIA graphic card was used and fell back to the standard ARB ones in OpenGL when a newer ATi card was present. Older, outdated hardware fell back to EXT.

  5. I think of Kevin Sorbo as HERCULES —- THE LEGEND CONTINUES

    Then I immediately think of Xena, Lesbian Princess. And I get stuck on that thought for a while.

  6. They claimed it was the only reason they created custom extensions.

    If that is true, now that official RT extensions are available, lets see if they switch to them, or continue trying to push exclusives using their own extensions.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    Well, they kept using their own OpenGL extensions, because they ran better on their hardware. So there’s a clue.

    Now lets see if AMD is going to support VulkanRT and how well will it run.

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