OpenGL 2.1 Specification Publicly Released

Increases power and flexibility of OpenGL’s programmable graphics pipeline;  Growing range of OpenGL development tools available;  gDEBugger Academic Program with Graphic Remedy provides free OpenGL debug tools to all academic users

2nd Wednesday, 2006 - SIGGRAPH, Boston, Massachusetts - The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that the OpenGL® 2.1 Specification has been approved by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) and publicly released today. Originally introduced in 1992, OpenGL is the industry’s most widely used and supported cross-platform 3D and 2D graphics API.  OpenGL 2.1 adds backwards compatible enhancements to OpenGL’s advanced programmable pipeline including: Pixel Buffer Objects for fast texture and pixel copies between frame buffer and buffer objects in GPU memory; texture images specified in standard sRGB color space for enhanced application color management flexibility; and numerous additions to increase the flexibility of shader programming including non-square matrix support, support for arrays as first-class objects, a fragment position query in shaders using Point Sprites and an invariant attribute for variables to enhance shader code reliability.  The OpenGL 2.1 specification may be downloaded at

OpenGL 2.1 maintains OpenGL’s consistent backwards compatibility to ensure that any application that has been coded to use any previous version of OpenGL will continue to run on an OpenGL 2.1 implementation.  The OpenGL ARB is also developing an OpenGL 2.1 SDK complete with reference documentation, sample code, tutorials, tools and utilities for release in 2006.

Following the transition of control of the OpenGL standard to the Khronos Group that was announced yesterday, Khronos will also ratify the OpenGL 2.1 specification and continue to drive the evolution of OpenGL and the ecosystem of OpenGL tools and developers, including continued support for - with enhanced industry participation and strong synergy with other Khronos standards.

Graphic Remedy Academic Program
Through a program sponsored by the OpenGL ARB, Graphic Remedy will offer a free one year license to its gDEBugger tool.  The Graphic Remedy Academic program will run for one year, during which time any OpenGL developer who is able to confirm they are in academia will receive an Academic gDEBugger License from Graphic Remedy at no cost. This license will be valid for one year and will include all gDEBugger software updates as they became available.  Academic licensees may also optionally decide to purchase a support contract for the software at the reduced rates of $45 or $950 for an Academic institute for the whole year.  For more Information please go to

gDEBugger is a powerful OpenGL and OpenGL ES debugger and profiler to deliver one of the most intuitive OpenGL development toolkits available for graphics application developers. gDEBugger saves developer’s precious debugging time and boosts application performance by tracing application activity on top of OpenGL to provide the needed information to find bugs and to optimize application rendering performance – for more information visit

Khronos at SIGGRAPH 2006, Boston, August 2nd to August 4th 2006
Members of the press and industry are invited to visit the Khronos Booth #611 to see demonstrations by Khronos Group members and to attend any Khronos-sponsored events:

  • Tech Talk: OpenGL ES, OpenVG & OpenKODE - Wednesday 2nd August 10AM-3:30PM, Room 206A
  • OpenGL BOF - Wednesday 2nd August 4-6PM Room 206A
  • COLLADA BOF & Social Event - Wednesday 2nd August 6-8PM Room 206A
  • OpenGL ES BOF - Thursday 3rd August 10AM-12PM Room 251
  • Tech Talk: COLLADA - Thursday 3rd August 12-2PM Room 251
  • More details at

About OpenGL
The OpenGL graphics system specification allows developers to incorporate a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other powerful visualization functions and provides a graphics pipeline that allows unfettered access to graphics hardware acceleration. Since its introduction by SGI in 1992, the OpenGL standard has become the industry’s most widely used and supported 3D and 2D graphics API. The OpenGL API is supported on all major computer platforms, including AIX®, HP-UX®, IRIX®, Linux®, Mac® OS X, Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and Windows® XP and Solaris™. With broad industry support, the OpenGL API is the vendor-neutral, graphics standard that enables 3D graphics on multiple platforms ranging from cell-phones to supercomputers. OpenGL’s It’s consistent backwards compatibility has created a stable foundation for sophisticated graphics on a wide variety of operating systems for over 10 years. The OpenGL specification is constantly evolving state-of-the-art functionality to efficiently support a wide array of applications from consumer games to professional design applications.

About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenML™ and COLLADA™ 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 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 for more information.


Khronos, OpenKODE, 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.