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At the CELL presentation at GDC, Sony announced that the Playstation 3 will use the OpenGL ES 2.0 API for rendering of shaders using NVIDIA’s Cg. They also discussed C++ tools to make game development manageable and described the specs for the CELL processor (a 64-bit IBM Power processor and eight “synergistic processing units” capable of handling separate computing tasks).

Mobile gaming device vendor Gizmondo will launch its OpenGL ES accelerated device in the UK on March 19. OpenGL ES acceleration for 3D gaming is via the NVIDIA GoForce 3D 4500. The Gizmondo console has a GSM/GPRS handset built in, is a portable media player, offers head-to-head gaming over a Bluetooth link, has an integrated GPS antenna and delivers high-quality OpenGL ES-accelerated 3D gaming.

Qualcomm has added BREW publisher and developer support for the creation of wireless 3D games optimized for its multimedia platform chipsets. The MSM Enhanced Multimedia Platform chipset provides support for industry-standard OpenGL ES 3D APIs, enabling fully featured, high-performance 3D games for 3G CDMA2000 and W-CDMA devices. In late 2005 the first MSM6550-powered phones are expected to hit the market. Leading BREW publishers and developers that have announced their plans to support 3D gaming on the upcoming OpenGL ES-enabled MSM6550 chipset include: Activision, ATARI, Bandai, Capcom Entertainment, Com2uS, Digital Bridges, Digital Chocolate, Eidos, Fathammer, Gameloft, HI Corp, Hudson Entertainment, Ideaworks3D, iFone, Infospace Mobile, IN-FUSIO, JAMDAT, Konami Digital Entertainment, Machineworks Northwest, MFORMA, Mobliss, Namco America, Sandcastle Games, SkyZone Entertainment, Sony Pictures Mobile, Sorrent, Square Enix, Superscape PLC, TAITO CORPORATION, Tecmo Mobile, THQ Wireless, Upstart Games and Walt Disney Internet Group.

Falanx Microsystems, Inc. the developer of mobile graphics IP cores for System-on-Chip (SoC) semiconductor manufacturers, has submitted their Mali55 and Mali110 IP cores to the Khronos OpenGL ES conformance process. Falanx expects both products to successfully pass the conformance process for OpenGL ES 1.0 and OpenGL ES 1.1, making both Mali cores officially certified to use the OpenGL logo. OpenGL ES 1.1 certification means that SoC manufacturers will be assured seamless integration of components with the latest functionality to restrain costs and quicken time to market.

AT GDC Bitboys will demo their new
G12 vector graphics hardware accelerator
that renders SVG content through a prototype OpenVG 1.0 API. This demonstration will show SVG/OpenVG rendering with full anti-aliasing at 100 frames per second on QVGA resolution, offering a 100-fold speed improvement over software-based rendering. The G12 will also be shown at the
Developer University
on March 10.

Six companies - Atsana, Hantro, Infineon Technologies, QNX, Quantum3D and Sky Mobilemedia have recently become Khronos Contributing Members while
Freescale Semiconductor
has joined as a Promoting Member. The companies span the full range of consumer and industrial markets from cell phones to games consoles to automobiles and aircraft.

This year at GDC and
in San Francisco, OpenGL ES and OpenVG move from interesting APIs to real-world implementations with exciting content. On the consumer side there will be hot demos from ATI, NVIDIA, Hybrid, PowerVR, Bitboys, Falanx, TI, and FutureMark. On the Avionics side look for ALT Software, Seaweed Systems and Quantum3D. All of these names are recognizable from their work on desktop OpenGL. As OpenGL ES and OpenGL come closer together with
OpenGL ES 1.2 and 2.0
, the same level of high-quality visuals and content can be expressed on desktop, mobile, or embedded systems.

The OpenGL ES development team is accepting applications from qualified developers who wish to preview the upcoming OpenGL ES 1.2 and the OpenGL ES 2.0 Draft Specification. Khronos has adopted a
dual-track roadmap
for OpenGL ES as new-generation programmable graphics engines are being prepared to ship into embedded devices from games consoles to cell-phones. OpenGL ES 1.X specifications will continue to be evolved to support enable new generations of fixed function 3D accelerators while OpenGL ES 2.0 is the first embedded 3D API with full shading language programmability through the OpenGL ES Shading Language - a close derivative of the desktop OpenGL Shading Language. OpenGL ES 2.X specifications will be developed over time to expose the capabilities of evolving programmable hardware.
Read full press release

The January issue of Computer Graphics World talks about the growing market for 3D cell phone gaming and how 3D will take off simply because it makes visuals look better. Referring to the OpenGL ES accelerated
Swerve 3D
software, Superscape’s Beardow says “Games can have multiple cameras of different types and multiple light sources. Geometry and scene objects are only limited by available memory.” Combine this with the 3G networks (the cell phone equivalent of broadband) from carriers like Virgin and Vodafone, and OpenGL ES 3D technology will enable better-looking games with enhanced elements of play.

The PowerVR SDKs for PowerVR MBX development under OpenGL ES are available for download. The PC Emulation SDK is intended for developers who want to target OMAP and SH series processors but can write their 3D code using OpenGL ES on PCs with the PC Emulation SDK, which will allow content to port directly onto their target platforms. The PocketPC SDK (with support for the Dell Axim X50v) allows for immediate development and testing on supported PocketPC systems. The SDKs provide a set of documentation, source code example and tools that allows developers to create applications using the OpenGL ES API.


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