Today, The Khronos Group has released the next big update the Vulkan graphics API specification with Vulkan 1.2 now available. This marks almost four years since 1.0 specification release.
Vulkan 1.2 pulls in 23 extensions into the core of the Vulkan API, bringing access to new hardware functionality, the possibility to improve performance and more. There's a lot of excitement around it, with multiple companies giving their support in the official press release here like Google for Stadia, Stardock Entertainment, NVIDIA, AMD, Arm, Intel and more.
"Vulkan 1.2 brings together nearly two dozen high-priority features developed over the past two years into one, unified core Vulkan standard, setting a cutting-edge bar for functionality in the industry’s only open GPU API for cross-platform 3D and compute acceleration," said Tom Olson, distinguished engineer at Arm, and Vulkan working group chair. "Khronos will continue delivering regular Vulkan ecosystem updates with this proven, developer-focused methodology to both meet the needs and expand the horizons of real-world applications."
Slides from their Launch Presentation.
The good news is that all existing GPUs that support Vulkan are capable of supporting Vulkan 1.2, ensuring no one gets left behind by it. The Khronos Group said that AMD, Arm, Imagination Technologies, Intel and NVIDIA all have Vulkan 1.2 implementations passing the Khronos conformance tests. You can follow their Vulkan 1.2 release tracker here.
NVIDIA, as expected, already have a brand new Vulkan Beta driver out for Linux at version 440.48.02 which pulls in Vulkan 1.2 support. This driver release also adds PRIME Synchronization support for Linux kernel 5.4 and newer.