Vulkan SC 1.0 Coming For "Safety Critical" Graphics / Compute
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 18 August 2021 at 01:55 PM EDT. 19 Comments
VULKAN --
It's been over two years since The Khronos Group acknowledged they were working on safety critical Vulkan and now finally the 1.0 release is approaching for this graphics/compute interface suitable for safety critical systems.

Khronos had maintained OpenGL SC as a safety critical subset of the OpenGL API for use in avionics, military equipment, medical devices, and other environments demanding stringent standards around safety. OpenGL SC though was last updated five years ago when OpenGL SC 2.0 was released. Moving forward, Vulkan SC is coming for next-generation safety critical systems for not only graphics but also compute.

With the 1.0 spec coming soon, The Khronos Group opened up today with a few details on the changes coming. Vulkan SC 1.0 is adapting the upstream Vulkan 1.2 API for use in safety critical use-cases along similar lines to OpenGL SC.

Vulkan SC 1.0 provides greater determinism compared to Vulkan itself. Vulkan SC is adding "offline pipelines" to reduce deterministic uncertainty from online compilation. Offline Pipelines is one of the big design differences of Vulkan SC for statically defining the data-flow from the application to the GPU as well as between execution units.

Vulkan SC is also confirming to MISRA C requirements and using the CodeSonar tool to validate the Vulkan SC header files for MISRA C compliance.

Another important aspect of Vulkan SC is making the test suite even more rigid. The Vulkan Conformance Test Suite (CTS) is already quite verbose and much better than what was available with graphics API test suites from years ago, but the Vulkan SC 1.0 Conformance Test Suite will be even more robust and ensuring extensive coverage of API compatibility, safety certification compliance, and more that becomes necessary in safety critical environments.

More details on the Vulkan SC work can be found at Khronos.org.
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