Khronos Gears Up For A Busy GDC 2019 With Vulkan, OpenXR

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 24 January 2019 at 05:42 AM EST. 14 Comments
There still is two months to go until the annual Game Developers Conference kicks off in San Francisco while on Wednesday, The Khronos Group published their initial sessions for their developer day during the highly anticipated event.

To no surprise, The Khronos Group and their members will be having a large presence given the increasing trajector of Vulkan, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continuing to be very hot topics, and their other standards like glTF and WebGL also being well received by the game developer community.

Vulkan will be leading many sessions at GDC 2019, which runs from 18 to 22 March at the Moscone Center. There will be a Vulkan "state of the union" where they will cover many of the extensions introduced over the past year. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a minor/point release to Vulkan out ahead of GDC, but it's probably unlikely we will see any big Vulkan 1.2~2.0 release. It was during GDC 2018 when they introduced Vulkan 1.1 and since then they have introduced a number of new extensions ranging from new device memory features to the NVIDIA ray-tracing extension to transform feedback and much more. There's been no indications of a big Vulkan spec update being on the horizon and nothing really pressing comes to mind that would warrant an imminent big update over the current point releases.

So while I wouldn't anticipate any ground-breaking Vulkan news out of GDC 2019 unless some new game studios happen to jump on board with this graphics API or for MoltenVK on iOS, their other standards could be a different story. I would expect OpenXR will have a big presence at this year's Game Developers Conference. OpenXR was announced during GDC 2017 as the Khronos standard for AR/VR. The first release of the OpenXR API was supposed to be out in calendar year 2018, but that didn't happen. So more than likely I would place the bets on that initial OpenXR release happening during GDC 2019 along with the initial public implementations.

The Khronos schedule for GDC 2019 does indicate an OpenXR state of the union as well as an OpenXR table at VRDC.

Other interesting Khronos-related sessions will be NVIDIA talking about Vulkan ray-tracing, AMD talking GPU performance, and a lot of Vulkan on mobile happenings. The current Khronos + GDC 2019 line-up can be found at
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