NVIDIA 418.52.05 Linux Driver Brings Vulkan Ray-Tracing To Non-RTX GPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 20 April 2019 at 06:56 AM EDT. 40 Comments
NVIDIA --
As we've been expecting from NVIDIA's recent DXR ray-tracing support back-ported to Pascal/Volta GPUs, there's now a NVIDIA Linux driver beta that offers VK_NV_ray_tracing for pre-Turing graphics processors.

The NVIDIA 418.52.05 beta driver released on Friday now officially supports the company's Vulkan ray-tracing extension going back to GeForce GTX 1000 "Pascal" graphics cards. The line-up going back to the GeForce GTX 1060, including the Volta-based Titan V and Turing GTX 1600 series now has the ability to utilize Vulkan-powered ray-tracing. This is nice for developers though for Linux end-users/gamers there isn't any significant available yet utilizing Vulkan ray-tracing besides a few code samples and some early engine work for allowing the functionality; most of the ray-tracing activity has been on the Windows side and focused on DirectX 12, but hopefully that will change.

In addition to the Linux 418.52.05 driver having VK_NV_ray_tracing, it also sports a new VK_NV_coverage_reduction_mode extension. This VK_NV_coverage_reduction_mode has yet to be publicly documented by the Vulkan specification but presumably will come down with their next spec update.

Beyond the extension work, there are also various bug fixes and minor performance optimization work. Those wanting to try out this latest NVIDIA Vulkan beta driver can do so from developer.nvidia.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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