- After a long wait, the official open-source AMD Vulkan driver finally received hardware-based ray tracing support.
- This update will affect all of the RX 6000 series GPUs as well as other RDNA 2-based mobile GPUs and APUs.
- The update delivers some performance tuning for World War Z and Ashes of the Singularity games alongside some bug fixes.
While ray tracing is still a technology in progress, we might finally effectively take advantage of it with the upcoming Nvidia RTX 4000 and AMD RX 7000 series GPUs. Ray tracing is a lighting calculation system based on real-life physics, delivering much more realistic lighting in 3D environments. Currently, GPUs are not powerful enough to calculate those physics in real-time with high resolutions. But, as we said, this may change very soon.
Better late than never
Closed-source AMD Vulkan drivers introduced ray tracing support long ago. However, the open-source driver AMDVLK GPUOpen is just updated to deliver hardware-based ray tracing. This change will enable RX 6000 series GPUs as well as other RDNA 2-based mobile GPUs and APUs to deliver ray-traced illumination and shadow effects in the games, with the open-source driver.
The update was delivered with the changes in the GPURT (GPU Ray Tracing) library; which is now also compatible with DirectX 12 DXR. The changes of the AMDVLK GPUOpen 2022.Q3.4 are summarized as follows:
- Add 64bit ray tracing support for Navi2x
- Update Vulkan Headers to 1.3.225
- Performance tuning for games: World War Z, Ashes Of The Singularity
There are some bug fixes in the newest version as well, which can be seen below:
- New version CTS failure in dEQP-VK.api.copy_and_blit..resolve_image.whole_copy_before_resolving_transfer
- CTS warning in dEQP-VK.pipeline.creation_cache_control.*
- VulkanInfo crash with pipeline cache disabled
- RGP test kit failure on RX 6800
- Firefox corruption on Ubuntu 22.04
You can download and install the driver to your system; it requires CMake (3.15 or newer version) and Ninja. You can find the instructions on the AMDVLK GPUOpen GitHub page.