Khronos Releases OpenGL ES 2.0 Specification Bringing Streamlined Shader Programming to Embedded Graphics

On-time delivery of four OpenGL ES specifications also provide enhanced 3D in fixed function hardware and safety critical markets

August 1st, 2005 – SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, California – The Khronos™ Group announced today that it has unanimously ratified and publicly released the OpenGL® ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.1 Extension Pack, EGL™ 1.2 and OpenGL ES-SC 1.0 specifications; meeting the Khronos Group’s commitment to provide updates to the industry-leading application programming interface (API) for embedded 3D graphics every 12 months.  The OpenGL ES standard is royalty-free and defines subset profiles of OpenGL® to enable small-footprint embedded applications with advanced graphics capabilities and has been widely adopted by the wireless and gaming industries.  All the OpenGL ES-related specifications are available for free download at http://www.khronos.org/opengles/.

The OpenGL ES 2.0 specification has been developed by the graphics industry leaders that are members of Khronos in close collaboration with the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB); the governing body for desktop OpenGL.  OpenGL ES 2.0 combines a version of the OpenGL Shading Language for programming vertex and fragment shaders that has been adapted for embedded platforms, together with a streamlined API from OpenGL ES 1.1 that has removed any fixed functionality that can be easily replaced by shader programs, to minimize the cost and power of advanced programmable graphics subsystems. The released specification is provisional, as Khronos will fine-tune the specification as the industry gains implementation experience of embedded programmable graphics over the next six months, and silicon vendors are enabled to immediately start processor designs.

The OpenGL ES 1.1 Extension Pack collects together a number of optional extensions in one specification to extend OpenGL ES functionality for fixed function hardware.  The Extension Pack also raises the baseline for visual configurations to reduce the number of variations that ISVs need to support – making porting OpenGL ES of applications across multiple platforms both easier and faster.  Industry feedback from OpenGL ES 1.1 and the Extension Pack will be incorporated into future versions of OpenGL 1.X for fixed function hardware. 

The latest version of the EGL library for interfacing with and controlling platform, memory and buffer resources – EGL 1.2 – has been extended to enable seamless rendering using both OpenGL ES and OpenVG™ - the new 2D vector graphics standards also announced by Khronos today - enabling high-performance, accelerated, mixed-mode 2D and 3D rendering.

“OpenGL ES 2.0 is a state-of-the-art programmable graphics API that reflects the experience and expertise of the world’s leading graphics companies that have designed it.  Not only does it encapsulate the very latest graphics technology for embedded markets – it is free for the industry to use,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group, chairman of the OpenGL ES Working Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA.  “The OpenGL ES Working Group is carefully balancing the introduction of leading-edge technology with the commercial needs of the industry.  OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenGL ES 1.1 Extension Pack will enable silicon design pipelines to be kept full – while not disrupting the market introduction of products using OpenGL ES 1.1 today.”

Khronos expects to update the OpenGL ES Adopter’s Program to provide conformance tests for OpenGL ES 2.0 within six months, enabling interested companies to gain access to source code for Conformance Tests and to use the OpenGL ES trademark on products that pass the defined testing procedure.  This ensures that conformant OpenGL ES implementations provide a reliable, cross-platform graphics programming platform.

“The OpenGL ES 2.0 API enables floating-point programmability on next-generation handheld devices and our Bitboys G40 hardware graphics processor fully supports the new API,” said Petri Nordlund, CTO of Bitboys. “The combination is a perfect engine for amazing next-generation mobile graphics.”

“OpenGL ES 2.0 marks a major shift in the mobile industry, allowing handheld graphics to mirror the visual effects of desktops today,” said Borgar Ljosland, CEO Falanx Microsystems. “Game developers and content creators will now have the ultimate freedom to develop to a truly multi-platform API – from mobile, to desktop, to game console, and our Mali200™ IP core will be there every step of the way.”

“With full support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 API and OpenGL 2.0 shaders, the highly programmable and scalable PowerVR SGX family presents a feature set capable of bringing very advanced content into the mobile space,” said Martin Ashton, general manager (PowerVR), Imagination Technologies.  “PowerVR is already the most widely adopted advanced 3D graphics processing technology for the mobile market and by advancing our feature set alongside that of OpenGL ES we’ll ensure that semiconductor and handset manufacturers have a compelling roadmap that will be able to capture the imagination of both content developers and end-users.”

Additionally, Khronos has announced today the release of the first version of the Safety Critical Profile for OpenGL ES.  OpenGL ES-SC 1.0 removes functionality from OpenGL ES 1.0 that is not required for safety-critical applications such as avionics and automotive instrumentation displays to minimize implementation and safety certification costs.  OpenGL ES–SC 1.0 also adds functionality, such as display lists, that are required to support legacy and auto-generated display applications in this specialized market segment.

“OpenGL ES-SC 1.0 enables the safety-critical graphics community to make use of an open standard API that is specifically aimed at satisfying the needs of their market. Any company that plans to address safety in their graphics design should get involved with Khronos to ensure that their future needs continue to be met as OpenGL ES-SC evolves,” said Robert Schulman, president, Seaweed Systems. “From Seaweed’s perspective, our commitment to OpenGL ES-SC is completely in line with our business focus as it protects our customers’ application investment and our SeaWind/178 product fully implements this important new standard.”


Presentations at SIGGRAPH 2005

OpenGL ES: “Birds of a Feather” Meeting
Tuesday August 2nd, 2-4pm.  Manhattan C, Sheraton Downtown 711 S Hope St, Los Angeles.  More information at: http://www.khronos.org/news/events/.

Developing Mobile 3D Applications with OpenGL ES and M3G: Taught by Khronos Members
August 2nd, 1:45 - 5:30 pm - LACC - Room 502A.  Level: Intermediate.  This course presents two new 3D graphics APIs for mobile platforms: OpenGL ES and M3G.  For more information, please visit: http://www.siggraph.org/s2005/main.php?f=conference&p=courses&s=35&PHPSESSID=aab6a7354db62e66c6793835716a5ceb.


About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standard APIs such as COLLADA™, OpenGL ES, OpenML™, OpenVG, and OpenSL™ ES and OpenMAX™ to enable the authoring and acceleration of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos API 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.  Please go to www.khronos.org for more information.

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Khronos, OpenVG, OpenMAX and OpenSL ES are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. used by permission by Khronos. OpenGL and OpenML are registered trademarks and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

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