New white paper examines how GPGPUs and OpenCL can be used for improved performance in Natural User Interfaces

Barcelona, Spain – February 28, 2012 – YOUi Labs (www.youilabs.com), experts in developing Natural User Interfaces (NUI) for embedded platforms, examines in a new white paper how both General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPU) and The Khronos Group’s OpenCL specification can be used in a NUI engine to best utilize the available hardware for efficiency and improved user experience.

“We are excited to harness the power of GPGPU Chips using the OpenCL specification for embedded platforms to enable us to design and develop richer natural user experiences,” said YOUi Labs CEO Jason Flick.

NUIs must perform without hesitation and require more graphical processing power than traditional UIs. Unlike video games, however, a NUI’s content is not predictable and can not be cached or pre-processed. Due to this real-time content requirement, both CPU and GPU utilization must be carefully balanced to maximize NUI performance.

“The adoption of GPGPU and the Khronos OpenCL specification will enable us to offload precious CPU cycles traditionally required to perform real-time calculation on larger data sets to more efficient GPGPU cores speeding up the UI and saving power,” said YOUi Labs CTO Stuart Russell.

YOUi Labs is deep into the implementation of the strategies discussed in this white paper and will publish the technical results for performance benchmarks and power usage in the coming months.

The “Levering GPGPU and OpenCL Technologies for Natural User Interfaces” white paper is available as a public download from the YOUi Labs website (www.youilabs.com) as well as The Khronos Group website http://www.khronos.org.

About YOUi Labs
  When art meets science, something great happens. We live at that intersection. We’re a unique blend of math and physics engineers, visual artists and interaction designers who understand the true value of a great user experience. YOUi Labs (www.youilabs.com) exists to teach device manufacturers the new rules governing intimate user interfaces so they can swiftly meet – even exceed – their customers’ new expectations. We build the products that do that.

About The Khronos Group
  The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of graphics, parallel computing, dynamic media and sensor processing on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL, OpenGL ES, WebGL, WebCL, OpenCL, OpenMAX, OpenVG, OpenSL ES, OpenKODE, StreamInput and COLLADA. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

(YOUi Labs is a registered trade mark of YOUi Labs Inc. Other names used here may be registered trademarks of their respective owners.)

The white paper is available here.

Khronos Group Announces the KITE Initiative to Connect Industry to Education

KITE to catalyze cooperation between Khronos Members and the educational community teaching Khronos APIs

17th February, 2012 – Taipei, Taiwan – The Khronos™ Group, an industry consortium creating open standards for the acceleration of graphics, parallel computing, dynamic media and sensor processing, today announced the launch of the KITE™ (Khronos Institute for Training and Education) Program.  KITE is a community-based, cooperative effort between the Khronos Group organization, its individual members, and the worldwide educational community; to encourage the wide availability of courses and a consistently high-level of quality in education regarding Khronos open standard APIs, such as OpenGL™ ES.  The KITE web-site is now available for educators and students to enroll and share courseware: http://www.khronos.org/kite/en/

The KITE Program is designed to enhance and support the efforts of educators teaching Khronos APIs, and provides a wide variety of opportunities for peer communication among educators and facilitates cooperation and collaboration between educators, students, researchers and Khronos Group members including:

     
  • an openly available KITE Community web-site to host forums, Khronos Educator Guidelines, open courseware and an ecosystem hub to act as central clearing house for SDKs, sample source and other resources relating to Khronos APIs;
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  • KITE Chapters to enable regional discussions, meet-ups, and action in the local educational community;
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  • the KITE Colleague program that enables accredited educators to sign up for direct communication with Khronos working groups for industry expert review of courseware and input to the Khronos educational guidelines;
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  • optional KITE Certification for educators, institutes and companies undertaking training that enables use of Khronos and KITE trademarks and logos on promotional materials and courseware.

“KITE is a much-needed initiative to bridge the gap between industry and academia. The value proposition of Khronos API standards to industry has been well-documented. With KITE, academic and research institutions now have the opportunity to train their students and better prepare them for industry by leveraging the work done within the Khronos working groups. For Khronos, this collaboration with educators will encourage the availability of the skilled workforce needed to drive continued innovation in product development and deployment.  KITE is a win-win collaboration for everyone involved,” said Neil Trevett, president of Khronos and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA.

Korea has taken a leading role in defining and catalyzing the creation of the KITE Program with regular meetings to discuss how Khronos and the academic community can most effectively work together, resulting in the Korean government committing significant financial resources and support KITE in Korea.

“The Khronos KITE program will be essential for effectively teaching Khronos APIs in Korea and we hope that KITE will be an opportunity for academic participants to contribute to standardization in Korea and Khronos,” said Professor Nakhoon Baek at KNU.

The Khronos executive team, numerous work group chairs and Khronos members from Japan and Korea have also visited Taiwan this week to meet with industry, academic and government officials to work together to cooperatively define and respond to the needs of the local education community.

“I am excited and honored to be the first Taipei Chapter Chair for the new Khronos KITE educational program, and I look forward to coordinating the offer of support and assistance from Khronos with other ongoing programs between industry and the educational community here in Taiwan,” said Dr. Jenq-Kuen Lee, Director MOE Embedded Software Consortium and Professor at Department of Computer Science at National Tsing Hua University.  “We are using Khronos standards such as OpenCL and we look forward to creating a productive liaison between key Khronos industry members and educators here in Taiwan for the benefit of local and international markets.  I think it will be very good for us to train students and engineers to meet international standards.”

“Khronos open standards, such as OpenGL ES, have become ubiquitous in the embedded and mobile markets and so are very significant to the Taiwanese industry. The KITE announcement is very welcome as it will enable a close collaboration between Khronos and the educational community in Taiwan.  This will ensure Taiwanese educational programs contain the very latest information about these important international standards,” said Dr. Ouhyoung, National Taiwan University.

Many of the original ideas about the formation and structure of KITE came from Khronos’ discussions with Professor Mike Bailey at Oregon State University.  “I am pleased to see KITE gain significant momentum.  The number of regional KITE chapters is already growing and the result will be a strong collaborative educational environment,” said Professor Mike Bailey, Oregon State University.  “As a teacher of Khronos APIs, I believe that bringing course material, educators and students together in this way will provide companies around the world with highly skilled candidates better prepared for work in innovative environments.”

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of graphics, parallel computing, dynamic media and sensor processing on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, WebCL, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, StreamInput and COLLADA™. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, StreamInput, WebGL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenWF, OpenSL ES, OpenMAX, OpenMAX AL, OpenMAX IL and OpenMAX DL are trademarks and WebCL is a certification mark of the Khronos Group Inc.  OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos.  All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Group Releases OpenMAX IL 1.2 Provisional Specification

OpenMAX IL VP8 and WebP Codec Component Extensions and Content Pipe 1.0 specification also publicly released today

14th February, 2012 – Beaverton, OR – The Khronos™ Group today announced the release of OpenMAX™ IL 1.2 as a provisional specification. OpenMAX IL is a royalty-free, cross-platform C-language API for integration of multimedia components into media frameworks to simplify deployment of audio/video encoders/decoders, camera control, and audio, video and image processing algorithms across diverse platforms. OpenMAX IL 1.2 is a backward compatible upgrade that includes dynamic buffer allocation, improved media graph management, in-band signaling, enhanced audio video synchronization, a wider range of standard components and enhanced camera control capabilities together with many other improvements and clarifications to increase interoperability between media processing components. The specification has been released in provisional form to enable developers and implementers to provide feedback before specification finalization. The OpenMAX IL 1.2 provisional specification is available for immediate download.

OpenMAX IL is the integration layer of the OpenMAX family of APIs for multimedia acceleration and application development. Khronos also provides the OpenMAX AL (Application Layer) API for object oriented access to rich media acceleration, and OpenSL ES for advanced audio capabilities. OpenMAX IL is well suited to provide the base graph building infrastructure for such higher-level APIs. A discussion forum for feedback on the OpenMAX IL specification is available online.

“The mobile market is constantly evolving and demanding ever increasing multimedia functionality and performance. The OpenMAX IL specification enables chipset vendors to take best advantage of their acceleration capabilities and is a key element of the overall Khronos solution for accelerated multimedia. This release is an important milestone, proposing an up-to date version of the specification to implementers, and is a strong base of work for future innovation,” said Thierry Vuillaume, standardization manager at ST-Ericsson CTO Office, and chair of the OpenMAX IL Working Group.

Khronos also today released a VP8 and WebP Codec Component extension for OpenMAX IL 1.1.2, enabling integration of encoders and decoders for VP8, the video codec used in WebM media format, and WebP image encoders and decoders, in existing OpenMAX IL implementations. The VP8 and WebP Codec Component extension is available online.

“OpenMAX IL support offers a straightforward, standardized method for device manufacturers to enable WebM hardware acceleration for playback or recording applications in leading mobile platforms,” commented Aki Kuusela, engineering manager for the WebM Project.

Also today, Khronos released the Content Pipe 1.0 specification. Previously part of OpenMAX 1.1.2, it is now presented as a standalone specification for use in conjunction with OpenMAX IL, OpenSL ES or OpenMAX AL. The Content Pipe specification abstracts data access to streamline media data transfer, enabling a multimedia system to be built for an arbitrary delivery method without having to deal with the specifics of the delivery details. In addition, the Content Pipe specification allows an application to preprocess the data before sending it to the underlying multimedia framework, such as in the case of proprietary delivery methods of premium media content. The Content Pipe specification is available for download online.

OpenMAX IL 1.2 Capabilities

The new OpenMAX IL 1.2 provisional specification includes the following improvements:

  • The introduction of dynamic buffer allocation, in addition to statically pre-announced buffers, to enable the usage of OpenMAX IL in a wider range of frameworks;
  • Improvements in robustness of the graph management, such as the elimination of possible race conditions, and the ability to cancel pending commands to avoid deadlocks;
  • Additional in-band signaling, and event types, ensuring more efficient integration;
  • The ability to group and commit multiple configuration settings atomically to ensure change of configuration without visible glitches;
  • Enhanced reference clock selections, and media time notification mechanism for better audio / video synchronization.

The new OpenMAX IL 1.2 specification also widens the number of standard components to include audio and video technologies such as:

  • 3D Audio Mixers;
  • AMR WB+ Decoder\Encoder;
  • Extended WMA and AMR formats;
  • VC1 Video Decoder\Encoder;
  • VP8 Video Decoder\Encoder;
  • NAL Format support.

The OpenMAX IL 1.2 camera component is also updated with the following advanced capabilities:

  • Enhanced Focus Range, Region and Status support;
  • Field of View controls;
  • Flash status reporting;
  • ND Filter support;
  • Assistant Light Control support;
  • Flicker Rejection support;
  • Histogram information;
  • Sharpness control;
  • Ability to synchronize shutter opening and closing events with audio playback.

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of graphics, parallel computing, dynamic media and sensor processing on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, WebCL, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenKODE™, StreamInput and COLLADA™. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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