Today, The Khronos Group announced the latest roadmap milestone for the Vulkan API. The Vulkan roadmap targets the “immersive graphics” market, made up of mid- to high-end smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, and desktop devices. The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone captures a set of capabilities that are expected to be supported in new products for that market, beginning in 2024. The roadmap specification provides a significant increase in functionality for the targeted devices and sets the evolutionary direction of the API, including both new hardware capabilities and improvements to the programming model for Vulkan developers.
The extensions and features required by Vulkan Roadmap 2024 include several newly released extensions, plus mandatory support for a number of previously optional features and increases in minimum hardware capabilities:
- Dynamic Rendering Local Read: The VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering_local_read extension adds support for framebuffer-local dependencies to dynamic rendering, allowing developers to fully move over to dynamic rendering on all GPUs. View Blog Post for details.
- Shader Maximal Reconvergence: The VK_KHR_shader_maximal_reconvergence extension defines intuitive behavior of thread divergence in shaders, enabling advanced parallel algorithms to be developed.
- Shader Quad Control: The VK_KHR_shader_quad_control extension defines enhanced texturing operations in control flow, enabling performance and quality improvements. View the Maximal Reconvergence and Shader Quad Control blog for more details.
- Additional Features: The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone also requires support for shader half-float and 8/16-bit integer types, multi-draw indirect, shader draw parameters, push descriptors, and an increase to 7 Descriptor Sets and 8 Color Attachments (each up from 4).