Vulkan Khronos Group API

Khronos officially releases Vulkan RT production drivers SDK and Dev tools

With Khronos releasing the Ray-Tracing support on its Vulkan RT API and the required SDK and dev tools, it officially provides full support for in-game ray tracing support. The Khronos Group is a consortium of companies and released LunarG which is its RT SDK kit Ver 1.2.162. This includes the whole RT extension, including validation layers, GLSL, HLSL and SPIR-V shader.

The group did release RT extension during November 2020. With this release, the production driver for AMD and Nvidia will be officially released.

Microsoft’s DXR and the Khronos Vulkan RT

Contrary to how Nvidia makes it look like to the mainstream audience, the GeForce RTX uses Microsoft’s DXR. Khronos also has its own API but with the release of its RT API, respective game developers can do either one or both API support. Both the DXR and the Vulkan Ray Tracing is available for all respective graphics card makers which provide in-game RTX support.

Nvidia is the first to enable this support and even enabled it on the Quake II RTX. The Quake II RTX will support both DirectX Ray Tracing and Vulkan RT API, but only on the Nvidia GeForce graphics cards. It is the first game to include this RT API support. But current and upcoming games would adopt Khronos’ option as well.

Response from respective partners

Vulkan API is widely adopted by respective game developers and RT graphics cards. In this press release, a wide range of hardware and gaming industry leaders commented positively towards the new support. Intel also commented, saying that its upcoming Xe-HPG architecture will be available in 2021. Furthermore, it will support in-game raytracing, including Vulkan RT. Intel assures the supported drives with it.

Avalanche Studios mentioned this API and it said it gave them great flexibility for Rage 2 and other games. The Apex engine will be included the Vulkan RT support. Basemark and Blender said it will include RT support. I/O Interactive mentioned Vulkan RT support on Hitman via Stadia.

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