Khronos Frequently Asked Questions


We are looking forward to implementing OpenMAX compliance of codecs. Will the implementers get Khronos SDKs? If so please provide me the necessary directions.

OpenMAX has 3 levels of APIs, with separate specifications: OpenMAX AL, OpenMAX IL and OpenMAX DL. Referring to a codec implementation, I suspect the specification you would like to implement is OpenMAX IL.

There is currently no SDK available for OpenMAX IL. An open source implementation called Bellagio exist on SourceForge, but this implementation is not maintained by Khronos and does not provide you with any guarantee your components will be conformant with the OpenMAX IL specification. As the original work (Bellagio) has not been tested for conformance, any derivative work based on it, unless submitted for conformance testing as a complete work, could not be declared conformant either as you cannot guarantee that the interface for the codec was conformant in the first place.

The correct way forward to ensure conformance would be to sign the Khronos Adopters Agreement, pay the associated Conformance Testing Fees, then access and run the Conformance Test associated with the specification. You will find all the necessary information on the Khronos adopter page.

What steps will the Khronos Group take to create strong positive reaction in the marketplace?

Wide acceptance is important. The Khronos Group intends to give the specification high visibility to create and build industry awareness. Each Khronos Group promoter will work to sign on contributors and adopters so that extensive distribution of the specification can occur. This direct evangelism to all major application and device vendors will promote acceptance and adoption of the specifications the Khronos Group creates. The OpenMAX WG is creating and maintining a web site, white papers, and collateral. Members will assist in placing articles for print and evaluating specialized advertising.

Who will define and maintain the OpenMAX specification?

The Khronos Group will retain this responsibility.

What interaction will OpenMAX have with international and industry standards bodies?

The various founders of OpenMAX WG are also members of organizations such as MIPI,  ISO/MPEG and 3GPP. The WG will maintain relationships with these and other industry groups where appropriate.

How can interested parties get involved with the OpenMAX specification?

Interested parties can contact any of the Khronos promoting members to inquire about contributing to the specification. To learn more about becoming a Contributor or Promoter to the OpenMAX specification, visit the Membership FAQ.

When will the OpenMAX specification be complete?

We anticipate that the first specification for OpenMAX will appear in the second quarter of 2005.

How does OpenMAX work with Operating Systems?

It is an important goal of the OpenMAX standard to complement the multimedia frameworks of popular industry Operating Systems. Specifically, OpenMAX co-exists with and is complementary to existing APIs and libraries, including those from the Khronos Group and those provided by OS vendors; it is designed to be used by developers of those libraries and will support a wide range of processor architectures and their tool chains.

Are wireless applications the main focus of the OpenMAX standard?

Mobile and wireless computing have some very specific challenges in terms of performance, battery life and time to market. The founders of OpenMAX were the first to see this requirement, but the technologies and concepts are applicable to all applications where multimedia and graphics performance are important.

What are the benefits of such an open standard to the industry?

In order to create compelling multimedia products such as smartphones, media players and games consoles, developers need optimized low-level code. Currently this code is written mostly in assembly language and has to be rewritten on every different hardware platform.  This is expensive and time consuming.  With the OpenMAX standard, developers will have this optimized low-level code provided to them with the hardware platform.  This allows the developer to focus on creating higher level functionality, getting to market sooner and supporting a broader range of hardware platforms.

What "critical need" is OpenMAX solving?

With the wide range of hardware platforms, a standards-based approach aids in solving the problems associated in porting and optimizing middleware applications such as multimedia codecs, and graphics libraries between these platforms.

What is the goal of the OpenMAX effort?

OpenMAX was founded to address the need to accelerate the growth of compelling multimedia platforms and hence end-user products.  The end result is to standardize a set of open APIs for a variety of multimedia applications, including smartphones, media players, games and graphics, thus reducing the cost and complexity of porting multimedia software to new processors and architectures thereby accelerating application development overall.

What does OpenMAX stand for?

Open Media Acceleration primitives.