Android released an updated version of the Android NDK bringing it to revision 7. "Android NDK r7 includes a number of build system improvements and bug fixes, but most importantly it gives you access to two new sets of APIs", wrote Xavier Ducrohet on the Android Developers Blog. The two new Khronos Group APIs are: OpenMAX AL 1.0.1 for Low-level streaming multimedia, which provides a direct, efficient path for low-level streaming multimedia; and OpenSL ES used for audio decoding into PCM. Release notes are available on the Android Developers website.
ARM announced the ARM Mali-T658 GPU, the latest member of the Midgard architecture-based GPU family targeting high performance devices, such as superphones, tablets and smart-TVs. The ARM Mali-T658 GPU supports a wide range of graphics and compute APIs, including OpenGL ES, OpenVG, OpenCL, Google Renderscript, Microsoft DirectX11 and Microsoft DirectCompute.
Hot on the heals of Android 4.0, Google released Ice Cream SDK. Bringing a slew of changes and improvements, including TextureView object. Developers can directly integrate OpenGL ES textures as rendering targets in a UI hierarchy, making it easy to embed camera preview, decoded video and OpenGL game scenes.TextureView can be viewed as a more powerful version of the existing SurfaceView object, since it offers the same benefits of access to a GL rendering surface, with the added advantage of having that surface participate fully in the normal view hierarchy. The camera also sees some improvements with the addition of high-performance transformation filters allowing developers to apply rich effects to any image passed as an OpenGL ES 2.0 texture.
AMD's new Radeon HD 6990M is based on the TeraScale 2 unified processor architecture and the Barts GPU core. This is a mobile equivalent to the company's high-end Radeon HD 6990 PCI Express graphics card design and features 1,120 stream processing units, 56 texture units, 128 Z/stencil ROP units, and 32 colour ROP units. AMD has included support for OpenGL 4.1, OpenCL 1.1 and MicroSoft's DirectX 11 and DirectCompute 11. There was no mention of the Thermal Design Point, so it is unclear how much power will be required to run this new chip.
WebGL pays strong attention to security - just as any web technology should. With growing recognition of WebGL in the press, we thought we would summarize Khronos' work and stance on this important topic.
Khronos agrees that security is a vitally important consideration for any web standard. WebGL was architected with security in mind from the ground up.
All WebGL implementations already necessarily contain safeguards which prevent out-of-range memory accesses during rendering operations and access of uninitialized memory; please see here and here. These safeguards are tested by the WebGL conformance suite.
Defense against denial of service attacks is still evolving in WebGL implementations. Khronos has specified an extension to OpenGL and OpenGL ES, GL_ARB_robustness, designed to prevent denial of service and out-of-range memory access attacks from WebGL content, preventing any possibility of using WebGL to execute malware on a user's machine.
GL_ARB_robustness has already been deployed by some GPU vendors and Khronos expects it to be deployed rapidly by others. Browsers can check for the presence of this extension before enabling WebGL content. This is likely to become the deployment mode for WebGL in the near future.
The ability to incorporate cross-domain images into WebGL scenes provides great utility to developers, but the WebGL working group is considering requiring Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) opt-in or other mechanisms to prevent possible future abuse of this capability.
The WebGL working group has been working closely with the GPU vendors in the Khronos group to make accelerated WebGL implementations secure and WebGL is influencing GPUs to provide even more flexible security options in the future.
There are no known WebGL exploits and Khronos will continue to place close attention to technical and ecosystem opportunities to ensure WebGL is a secure technology that can be used with confidence.
Jon Peddie Research has written up a great review of the Khronos Groups new StreamInput API. Kathleen Maher writes "There is a tipping point out there somewhere and it doesn’t seen too far away. The Internet of Things is practically building itself. Khronos’ first role will be to help developers take advantage of sensors for mobile and console devices, but the day is not far off when the applications for sensors broaden further into our everyday lives and capabilities."
Qualcomm has licensed SRS Labs’ industry-leading audio APIs, including SRS’ OpenSL ES and OpenAL audio API solutions for mobile devices. “This agreement with Qualcomm is a significant step forward in cementing our worldwide leadership in mobile audio enhancement solutions,” said Bob Lyle, managing director of global business development for SRS Labs, Inc.
GDC was a beehive of activity with companies madly competing for attention. The Khronos Group was no exception, as they had a large presence this year at GDC. GFXSpeak discusses the changing tide. "The mobile gaming market is growing fast, enabled by smart phones and devices that are getting smarter with every turn of the Moore’s Law crank. The new processors including Nvidia’s Tegra, the Imagination-fueled OMAP processors and Intel’s coming Medfield; Freescale, Marvell, and others all do 3D as a matter of course. There’s a sea change coming in the next 24 months as these new processors enable 3D content." Read the complete article at GFX Speak.