Khronos Releases OpenKODE 1.0 Royalty-Free Standard

Multiple conformant implementations shipping; Free development SDKs available; Support from Operators and Handset OEMs; Open source OpenKODE Project announced

February 11th 2008- Mobile World Congress - Barcelona, Spain – The Khronos™ Group announced today that it has publicly released the final OpenKODE™ 1.0 specification, a royalty-free, cross-platform open standard that bundles a set of native APIs to provide increased source portability for rich media and graphics applications. Khronos is also releasing a full conformance test suite for OpenKODE 1.0 to enable conformant implementations to use the OpenKODE trademark.  Multiple Khronos members are demonstrating fully conformant OpenKODE implementations at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and are offering free development SDKs. Khronos has also announced a supportive collaboration with the FreeKODE Project to create an open source version of OpenKODE.  An OpenKODE whitepaper and the OpenKODE 1.0 specification is available for download at www.khronos.org/openkode/.  The specification may be used royalty-free by implementers and developers.

Mobile developers routinely need to maintain hundreds of source versions for every application to handle functional differences between handsets, resulting in significantly increased porting and testing costs, and slowing innovation.  Additionally, the interaction between multiple graphics and media APIs is typically not defined, hindering the development of innovative mixed-media user interfaces and applications.  The bundle of native, royalty-free APIs in OpenKODE 1.0 helps solve these problems.

“The usability of the Apple iPhone has already had a major impact on the mobile industry, and now consumers demand compelling and highly functional user interfaces and applications which, in turn demand highly-integrated graphics acceleration architectures,” said analyst Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research. “Khronos is to be applauded for creating an open standard that not only tackles the problem of mobile platform fragmentation head on, but also delivers an open architecture that can provide a low-level media processing foundation for a wide range of software platforms such as Windows Mobile, Brew, Symbian UIQ, S60, Limo, Google Android and WIPI – all of which need to deliver stunning rich media in the palm of your hand.”

The new OpenKODE Core API is a small and light abstraction layer that will be familiar to POSIX and C programmers for accessing operating system resources while minimizing source changes when porting applications between Linux, Rex/Brew, Symbian, Windows Mobile, WIPI and RTOS-based platforms.  OpenKODE Core provides advanced functionality, such as multi-threading under an event-driven architecture; while being carefully designed to provide real-world portability to a wide variety of mobile platforms.  An OpenKODE Core library is typically under 100KB in size.

“OpenKODE will play a key role in the development of rich media applications and services in the Korean market, as this new standard is extremely complementary to WIPI-GIGA and other software platforms,” said Hoo-Jong Kim, Head of Mobile Device Development Team, SK Telecom. “As an operator and Khronos Board member, we strongly welcome the reduction in platform fragmentation and the increase in rich media acceleration that the OpenKODE standard provides.”

OpenKODE 1.0 also defines a state-of-the-art media-stack architecture by bringing together the Khronos OpenGL® ES and OpenVG™ media APIs through EGL 1.3 plus a set of EGL extensions for acceleration of mixed 3D and vector 2D graphics. OpenKODE will use upcoming versions of EGL to integrate synchronization and data processing of streaming media using the OpenSL ES™ and OpenMAX™ media APIs to provide accelerated video and audio functionality that is fully integrated with graphics processing; for accelerating a wide variety of software including 3D user interfaces and games, Flash and SVG players, TV and video applications and media players.  Through the relevant JSRs, OpenKODE can also provide acceleration for Java as well as native applications.

“OpenKODE Core has been designed by a group of companies within the Khronos Group that have the in-depth experience to provide state-of-the-art functionality in a way that is genuinely portable over a wide range of mobile platforms.  OpenKODE will protect developers from having to gain that same encyclopedic knowledge the hard way,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group, chairman of the OpenKODE working group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA.  “NVIDIA is using the OpenKODE standard to deliver the full power and flexibility of our new generation of application processors.  We are showing a fully conformant OpenKODE, including fully accelerated OpenGL ES and OpenVG seamlessly integrated through EGL, here in Barcelona on the new NVIDIA APX 2500.”

All APIs included in a conformant OpenKODE implementation must pass the individual conformance tests defined for that API – including OpenKODE Core.  In addition, OpenKODE defines a set of trans-API conformance tests to ensure that the media APIs and EGL correctly provide the specified mixed media functionality - an important factor in genuinely reducing platform fragmentation for application developers.  The OpenKODE conformance test suite has been created by Futuremark Corporation under contract to Khronos and is available through the Khronos Group OpenKODE Adopters program – more details here www.khronos.org/adopters/.

“OpenKODE is a significant advance for the handheld industry as it combines the Khronos industry-leading media APIs into a reliable set of functionality that can provide great native performance on mobile devices while reducing fragmentation from the software developers’ point of view,” said Tero Sarkkinen, CEO of Futuremark. “Futuremark has been delighted to play a key role in the industry roll-out of OpenKODE and to apply our considerable expertise in performance measurement software development and functionality testing to create the OpenKODE conformance tests.”

In a separate announcement today, Antix Labs announced an agreement with Motorola for its Game Player client for Motorola UIQ devices implementing the OpenKODE 1.0 specification.

“The fragmented, device-specific nature of native multimedia content has been destroying the mobile industry’s economics; OpenKODE takes major steps to reduce that fragmentation and encourages publishers and developers to improve and deploy more attractive services,” said Tim Renouf, OpenKODE specification editor and systems architect at Antix Labs. “The Antix Game Player, Antix’s cross-platform, binary portable, native solution for mobile gaming, supporting the OpenKODE specification, is being demonstrated at both Mobile World Congress and Game Developer Conference.”

Today Acrodea has announced it is releasing development versions of OpenKODE 1.0 for Windows and Mac OS X which are freely available for developers.  The implementations are available at
http://www.acrodea.co.jp/en/openkode.  Acrodea has also announced it is porting OpenKODE to the Brew platform.

“OpenKODE is a long-awaited solution that genuinely helps resolve problems such as platform fragmentation and media API interoperability among mobile platforms. Acrodea has actively participated in the OpenKODE standardization work from the very beginning and is extremely   pleased with the specification being now ratified and by being able to deliver one of the first, fully-conforming OpenKODE implementations to the market. By maximizing the usage of Khronos APIs, such as OpenKODE and OpenGL ES, Acrodea believes it can minimize time-to-market of its product portfolio and enable more sophisticated user experiences on all major mobile platforms,” said Yoshi Kuniyoshi, CTO and executive vice president of Acrodea.

OpenKODE will be a fertile foundation for innovative and differentiated solutions that go beyond the specification itself – such as middleware platforms that enable the distribution of a single binary across multiple handsets.

“Ideaworks3D has enormous experience in using smart technology to solve mobile fragmentation problems. We’ve offered Khronos strong support through the evolution of OpenKODE 1.0, and have been intimately involved in the design of the OpenKODE Core API. At Mobile World Congress this year we are proudly presenting Airplay 3.5, a single-binary native execution environment which is declared to be conformant with OpenKODE 1.0 on a huge number of platforms,” said Alex Caccia, CEO Ideaworks3D Ltd.

An independent initiative to implement a full open-source version of OpenKODE – FreeKODE - is underway on SourceForge http://sourceforge.net/projects/freekode/. Khronos supports and encourages open source projects based on its API specifications – including providing access to its conformance tests to enable conformant open source implementations.

“We see OpenKODE as an effort to close a critical gap in the consolidation of cross-platform native multimedia development. FreeKODE aims to provide free OpenKODE implementations for a variety of platforms with the help of the open-source community. Using FreeKODE, developers will soon be able to design and build native multimedia applications on the PC, taking advantage of mature development tools, while at the same time target all available OpenKODE compatible platforms,” said Diogo Teixeira, project manager for the FreeKODE Project.

“Some of the recent device launches have heightened consumer expectations for user experience, design, and advanced applications. By helping to reduce porting costs and enabling standardized access to a rich set of media and graphics APIs, OpenKODE provides developers the ability to bring these services and user experience much faster to the user,” says Ryu Koriyama, CEO of Aplix Corporation.  “Aplix is pleased to see the public release of the OpenKODE 1.0 specification. Aplix has been an active participant and contributor to the specification from a very early stage and we plan to integrate OpenKODE support into our product portfolio including the industry leading JBlend product which has been deployed in more than 397 million handsets.”

“As an active working group member, we are very excited to be a part of the announcement of the long-needed OpenKODE 1.0 specification.  We believe this innovative work will open the door wide for us to innovate next-generation applications and services for diverse mobile platforms with dramatically reduced porting costs,” said Hirotaka Suzuki, CTO of HI Corporation.

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenGL®, glFX™, OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenWF™, 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.  More information is available at www.khronos.org.

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Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenWF, glFX, 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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