Khronos Vulkan cross-platform road map

An API for all client devices.

Jon Peddie

The Khronos Vulkan Roadmap 2024 targets the immersive graphics market, covering midrange to high-end devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, and desktops. Vulkan Roadmap 2024 includes extensions like dynamic rendering local read, shader maximal reconvergence, and shader quad control, along with additional features such as support for shader half-float and 8/16-bit integer types. The specifications aim to reduce fragmentation and are open for feedback on GitHub Vulkan-Docs and the Vulkan Discord channel.

Khronos Vulkan, a versatile 3D graphics and compute API, directs its road map towards the immersive graphics market, covering midlevel to high-end devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, and desktops. The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 delineates capabilities anticipated in new products for this market, beginning in 2024. This specification, says the developers,  significantly boosts functionality for targeted devices and outlines the API’s evolutionary path, encompassing new hardware capabilities and enhancements for Vulkan developers.

Vulkan Roadmap 2024 marks the second milestone release, and supporting products must adhere to Vulkan 1.3 standards, while accommodating the extensions and capabilities from both the 2022 and 2024 Roadmap specifications—those are the rules. Vulkan road map specifications utilize the Vulkan Profile mechanism, aiding developers in constructing portable Vulkan applications. Requirements are expressed in machine-readable JSON files, and the Vulkan SDK’s tooling autogenerates code for developers to easily query and enable profile support.

Figure 1. Vulkan road map. (Source: Khronos)
Figure 1. Vulkan road map. (Source: Khronos)

The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 introduces various extensions and features, incorporating newly released extensions alongside mandatory support for previously optional features and heightened minimum hardware capabilities including:

  1. Dynamic rendering local read: The VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering_local_read extension facilitates frame buffer local dependencies for dynamic rendering, enabling developers to transition fully to dynamic rendering across all GPUs.
  2. Shader maximal reconvergence: The VK_KHR_shader_maximal_reconvergence extension defines the intuitive behavior of thread divergence in shaders, facilitating the development of advanced parallel algorithms.
  3. Shader quad control: The VK_KHR_shader_quad_control extension defines enhanced texturing operations in control flow, contributing to performance and quality improvements. (More about shader quad control and shader maximal reconvergence can be found here.)
  4. Additional features: The Vulkan Roadmap 2024 mandates support for shader half-float and 8/16-bit integer types, multidraw indirect, shader draw parameters, push descriptors, and an increase in descriptor sets and color attachments to seven and eight, respectively (each up from four).

Khronos says the next Vulkan SDK release will encompass support for these new extensions. Most Vulkan adopters supporting the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone are anticipated to offer conformant products starting in 2024.

Vulkan Roadmap specifications bring forth advanced features initially present in higher-end GPUs but are expected to become widely accessible in midlevel to high-end GPUs during the specification’s life cycle. As these features proliferate across mainstream GPUs, they emerge as potential candidates for integration into future Vulkan core specifications.

Vulkan Roadmap specifications work in tandem with Vulkan core specifications by identifying functionality gaining broad support in a specific market segment. They also define additional minimum limits for implementations to mitigate fragmentation.

The Vulkan Working Group invites and encourages feedback on the Vulkan Roadmap 2024 milestone to shape the future steps for Vulkan. Developers can contribute on GitHub Vulkan-Docs, join the Vulkan Discord channel, or participate in support forums available at

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You are alone in a cave with perfectly flat, smooth, and polished floor, there are no weapons or tools near you, a faint green light is seen in the distance… you have entered the Vulaknize Zone.