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The Khronos Group announced today that it is updating its Vulkan 3D graphics API to version 1.3. Key to this upgrade is the standardization of popular features that already exist as extensions for the graphics platform.

Those extensions include useful features like dynamic rendering, dynamic state, and a better synchronization API. But none of these are optional in the 1.3 update. This ensures consistent operation in all instances where a developer implements this new version of Vulkan.

“The Vulkan Working Group is taking significant steps to reduce fragmentation across the ecosystem and increase Vulkan’s value to the industry as a reliable cross-platform GPU API,” Vulkan Working Group chair Tom Olson said. “We continue to expose new hardware features as extensions while improving the API with new core versions that are portable to a wide range of devices.”

The Khronos Group, which comprises a number of key 3D-graphics companies, is also introducing a “Vulkan Roadmap.” Khronos Group wants hardware manufacturers to use this tool to release compatible hardware and software updates in a timely fashion.


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“With the Vulkan Roadmap, we are committing to enhanced transparency and communication to forge industry consensus on baseline functionality Profiles that best serve Vulkan’s key markets,” said Olson.

A number of companies, including AMD, are committing to this new standard.

“AMD is pleased to announce support for both Vulkan 1.3 and the [roadmap] profile on all AMD Radeon RX Vega Series and AMD RDNA architecture-enabled graphics cards,” AMD software development senior vice president Andrej Zdravkovic said. “Radeon Software beta drivers with this support are available for developers today, with support in the final drivers expected in the next few months. The Vulkan Working Group taking the initiative to standardize hardware features across devices is an important step towards providing consistent support for developers across key markets, and we believe this will ultimately translate to better developer and end-user experiences.”

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