Khronos Group releases OpenGL 3.2

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

San Francisco (CA) - The Khronos Group has released Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) 3.2. The updated standard features enhanced performance, increased visual quality, accelerated geometry processing and easier portability of Direct3D applications.

Khronos also announced the "evolution" of various other specifications, including OpenGL ES and WebGL 3D.

"OpenGL ES and WebGL is helping to push new functionality in MID's (mobile Internet devices)," Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and VP at NVIDIA, told TG Daily. "For example, the new iPhone 3GS offers advanced support for ES, which powers the 3GS user interface (UI). Developers are also using the specifications to accelerate flash-based apps, along with ported HTML rendering engines."

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In addition, Trevett explained that the evolution of OpenGL would help developers design console and PC games with "greater realism."

"The industry will see GPU's turning into running physics engines, creating gaming environments that are more realistic and responsive. Certain effects - such as swirling smoke and flowing water - will continue to improve with faster framerates for first-person shooters," said Trevett.

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According to Trevett, the Khronos Group planned to bring "revolutionary changes" to OpenGL via a rapid sequence of evolutionary updates.

"OpenGL 3.0 set the stage with new mechanisms to enable OpenGL to respond to diverse market needs, OpenGL 3.1 used those mechanisms to streamline the API while adding new functionality. Now we have OpenGL 3.2 that fully exposes state-of-the-art GPU capabilities in a form that meets the needs of both new and experienced OpenGL developers," added Trevett.

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Barthold Lichtenbelt, chair of the OpenGL ARB working group and OpenGL engineering manager at Nvidia, expressed similar sentiments.

"Nvidia is committed to the continued rapid evolution and adoption of OpenGL and we are proud to release our OpenGL 3.2 beta drivers on the same day as the specification itself is published," stated Lichtenbelt. "The OpenGL ARB is committed to providing top-notch graphics features while protecting investment in OpenGL code. We are listening carefully to developer feedback and will continue to rapidly evolve OpenGL to meet the needs of the industry."

OpenGL 3.2 is available for download on the OpenGL homepage.