The Khronos Group have just announced the release of Vulkan 1.2. Containing 23 extensions, there are plenty of quality of life improvements for Vulkan developers in the 1.2 release including HLSL support, the new timeline sempaphore, a formal memory model and more.
Details of the Vulkan 1.2 release:
Today, The Khronos® Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces the release of the Vulkan® 1.2 specification for GPU acceleration. This release integrates 23 proven extensions into the core Vulkan API, bringing significant developer-requested access to new hardware functionality, improved application performance, and enhanced API usability. Multiple GPU vendors have certified conformant implementations, and significant open source tooling is expected during January 2020.
Vulkan continues to evolve by listening to developer needs, shipping new functionality as extensions, and then consolidating extensions that receive positive developer feedback into a unified core API specification. Carefully selected API features are made optional to enable market-focused implementations. Many Vulkan 1.2 features were requested by developers to meet critical needs in their engines and applications, including: timeline semaphores for easily managed synchronization; a formal memory model to precisely define the semantics of synchronization and memory operations in different threads; descriptor indexing to enable reuse of descriptor layouts by multiple shaders; deeper support for shaders written in HLSL, and more.
All three major GPU providers support Vulkan 1.2 today, as well as Mesa drivers on AMD devices. If you are a developer looking to learn Vulkan Resources Page on GitHub is perhaps the best place to get started. If you want to learn more about Vulkan 1.2’s release be sure to check out the video below.