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7. March 2018

The Khronos Group have just released the Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 specifications. Vulkan Vulkan is a low level cross platform graphics API, the successor to OpenGL offering easier driver development and potentially better performance.  SPIR-V is a binary intermediate language for shaders and computer tasks in Vulkan, OpenGL and OpenCL. 

Vulkan 1.1 includes several Vulkan 1.0 extensions as well as new Subgroup Operations.

Details from the Khronos press release:

New functionality in Vulkan 1.1 includes Subgroup Operations that enable highly-efficient sharing and manipulation of data between multiple tasks running in parallel on a GPU. Vulkan 1.1 also enables applications to perform rendering and display operations using resources that they cannot access or copy - for secure playback and display of protected multimedia content.

In addition, a wide range of Vulkan 1.0 extensions have been integrated, bringing significant proven functionality into core Vulkan 1.1, including: simultaneous rendering of multiple image views, use of multiple GPUs in a single system, and cross-process API interoperability for advanced rendering and compositing operations often used in demanding applications such as Virtual Reality. These core functionalities also include advanced compute with 16-bit memory access, and support for HLSL memory layouts, and display, processing and compositing of video streams, through direct sampling of YCbCr color formatted textures produced by many video codecs.

Integral to the release of Vulkan 1.1 is the new SPIR-V 1.3 specification that expands the capabilities of the Vulkan shader intermediate representation to support subgroup operations and enable enhanced compiler optimizations. The SPIR-V tools ecosystem continues to gain significant momentum with front-end compilers for both GLSL and HLSL, and to expand low-level tooling support from the open source SPIRV-Tools project.

In other recent Vulkan news, support for iOS and Mac OS was recently announced.

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