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Khronos releases Vulkan Ray Tracing provisional extensions for dev feedback

Khronos hopes the release will go some way towards establishing the "first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration."

The Khronos Group has publicly released a set of Vulkan Ray Tracing provisional extensions to enable the development community to provide feedback before the final specifications are locked in. 

Khronos hopes the release will go some way towards establishing the "first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration," while satisfying the desktop market's demand for real-time and offline rendering.

"There has been strong developer demand for a truly cross-platform ray tracing acceleration API and now Vulkan Ray Tracing is here to meet that industry need,” said Daniel Koch, senior graphics system software engineer at Nvidia and Vulkan Ray Tracing task sub group chair at Khronos. 

"The overall architecture of Vulkan Ray Tracing will be familiar to users of existing proprietary ray tracing APIs, which enables straightforward porting of existing ray traced content, but this framework also introduces new functionality and implementation flexibility."

Vulkan Ray Tracing consists of a number of Vulkan, SPIR-V, and GLSL extensions, and can be used to support acceleration structure building and management, ray tracing shader states and pipelines, and ray query intrinsics for all shader stages. 

Khronos will collect comments and feedback on the extensions through the Vulcan GitHub issues tracker and Khronos Developer Slack. Those interested can find out more about Vulkan Ray Tracing over by checking out  this unashamedly technical blog post.

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