Khronos announced that it has released the final versions of the set of Vulkan, GLSL, and SPIR-V extension specifications that seamlessly integrate ray tracing into the existing Vulkan framework.
The significance of this releaser is that it is the industry’s first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration. It can be deployed either using existing GPU compute or dedicated ray-tracing cores.
In addition to advanced functionality such as the ability to load balance ray tracing setup operations onto the host CPU, This specification will be familiar to anyone who has used DirectX Raytracing (DXR) in DirectX 12.
Ray tracing will be first deployed on Desktop systems, however these extensions have also been designed to enable and encourage ray tracing on mobile.
There will be subsequent releases to this specification with additional features such as shader toolchains and validation layers gaining Vulkan ray tracing functionality. This will culminate with the release of the Vulkan SDK (184.108.40.206 or later) in mid-December.
Drivers including the final extensions for NVIDIA GPUs can be found here. Initial drivers supporting these extensions for AMD GPUs can be found here. Read more about the Vulkan Ray Tracing final specification release here.