Linux / Open SourceTechnology

Graphic API Vulkan Gets New Version at 1.2

The closer to metal open API standard for graphic which was initially revealed back in 2016 has a new release dubbed Vulkan 1.2 as announced by Khronos Group. This announcement comes just when everyone is waiting for new Game Consoles to be unveiled by Microsoft and Sony which also uses low overhead graphics API.

Vulkan 1.2 Functionality

Vulkan has added lots of extensions in the last 3 years and this release is nothing but additions of many extensions as core functionality, 23 to be exact. Thus no new hardware function is introduced with this release and every existing hardware complaint with Vulkan 1.1 should theoretically support Vulkan 1.2.

The major improvement is in the introduction of robust semaphore where a larger value is now supported i.e. 64 bit instead of 1. This results in less amount of work programmers have to do to synchronize parallel operations.

HLSL Support

The next major improvement is full-fledged support for HLSL. This High level shading language is Microsoft’s baby. However since Industry demands HLSL support, the same is now integrated into Vulkan. The open alternative, GLSL is still there for everyone to use. This could potentially help in porting Microsoft’s DirectX games easily to Vulkan.

Future Ready

Since this is Software Only update and requires to special hardware, Vulkan 1.2 conformance tests are already underway by Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Imagination and Arm. NVIDIA & AMD have gone ahead and published beta Vulkan 1.2 drivers.




Abhishek is a Finance Professional and has worked in multiple MNCs. However, he is also an avid tech reader and tinkerer with over 20 years of experience. His passions include 3D animation and drawing Illustrations. His creations can be viewed at

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