Khronos Group Releases Vulkan Ray Tracing

March 17, 2020 Perry Cohen

The Khronos Group, an open consortium of companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announced the ratification and public release of the Vulkan Ray Tracing provisional extensions. Per the group, this is the industry’s first open, cross-vendor, cross-platform standard for ray tracing acceleration.

Ray tracing is a way of rendering that shows how light rays intersect and interact with geometry, materials, and light sources to create photorealistic imagery.

Vulkan Ray Tracing consists of a number of Vulkan, SPIR-V, and GLSL extensions. However, some extensions are optional. VK_KHR, which is the primary extension, supports acceleration structure building, management, ray tracing shader stages, pipelines, and ray query intrinsics.

The VK_KHR pipeline library provides shaders that can be linked into ray tracing pipelines. Additionally, VK_KHR deferred host operations enables driver operations, including ray tracing pipeline compilation, or CPU-based acceleration structure construction, to be offloaded to application-managed CPU thread pools.

For more information, visit

About the Author

Perry Cohen

Perry Cohen, associate editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content editing and creation in addition to podcast production. He also assists with the publication’s social media efforts which include strategic posting, follower engagement, and social media analysis. Before joining the ECD editorial team, Perry has been published on both local and national news platforms including (Phoenix), (Phoenix),, Cronkite News, and MLB/MiLB among others. Perry received a BA in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State university. He can be reached by email at <a href=""></a>. Follow Perry’s work and ECD content on his twitter account @pcohen21.

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