Khronos Releases OpenGL 3.0 Specification Supporting Latest Generation Programmable Graphic Hardware
Strong industry support for state-of-the-art OpenGL 3.0 API and GLSL 1.30 shading language specifications on all major platforms; OpenGL evolutionary model to accelerate development of standard; Interoperability with OpenCL being defined
11th August, 2008 – SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, CA The Khronos™ Group announced today it has released the OpenGL® 3.0 specification with strong industry support to bring significant new functionality to the open, cross-platform standard for 3D graphics acceleration. OpenGL 3.0 includes GLSL™ 1.30, a new version of the OpenGL shading language, and provides comprehensive access to the functionality of the latest generations of programmable graphics hardware. The OpenGL working group has also defined a set of OpenGL 3.0 extensions that expose potential new functionality for the next version of OpenGL that is targeted for release in less than 12 months, and a set of extensions for OpenGL 2.1 to enable much of the new OpenGL functionality on older hardware. Additionally, OpenGL 3.0 introduces an evolutionary model to assist in streamlining the specification and to enable rapid development of the standard to address diverse markets. Finally, the OpenGL working group has announced that it is working closely with the emerging OpenCL standard to create a revolutionary pairing of compute and graphics programming capabilities. The new OpenGL 3.0 specifications are freely available at www.khronos.org/opengl.
The OpenGL 3.0 specification enables developers to leverage state-of-the-art graphics hardware, including many of the graphics accelerators shipped in the last two years both on Windows XP and Windows Vista as well as Mac OS and Linux. According to Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, a leading graphics market analyst based in California, the installed base of graphics hardware that will support OpenGL 3.0 exceeds 60 million units. AMD, Intel and NVIDIA have made major contributions to the design of OpenGL 3.0 and today all three companies announced their intent to provide full implementations within their product families. Additionally, the OpenGL working group includes the active participation of leading developers such as Blizzard Entertainment and TransGaming that have played a vital role in ensuring that the specification meets the genuine needs of the software community.
“We are very pleased to see the release of OpenGL 3.0, which includes numerous features and extensions that will help us and other ISVs bring amazing gaming content to OpenGL-based platforms,” commented Gavriel State, founder & CTO of TransGaming, Inc.
OpenGL 3.0 introduces dozens of new features including:
- Vertex Array Objects to encapsulate vertex array state for easier programming and increased throughput;
- non-blocking access to Vertex Buffer Objects with the ability to update and flush a sub-range for enhanced performance;
- full framebuffer object functionality including multi-sample buffers, blitting to and from framebuffer objects, rendering to one and two-channel data, and flexible mixing of buffer sizes and formats when rendering to a framebuffer object;
- 32-bit floating-point textures and render buffers for increased precision and dynamic range in visual and computational operations;
- conditional rendering based on occlusion queries for increased performance;
- compact half-float vertex and pixel data to save memory and bandwidth;
- transform feedback to capture geometry data after vertex transformations into a buffer object to drive additional compute and rendering passes;
- four new texture compression schemes for one and two channel textures providing a factor of 2-to-1 storage savings over uncompressed data;
- rendering and blending into sRGB framebuffers to enable faithful color reproduction for OpenGL applications without adjusting the monitor's gamma correction;
- texture arrays to provide efficient indexed access into a set of textures;
- 32-bit floating-point depth buffer support.
The new version of the OpenGL Shading Language, GLSL 1.30, provides front-to-back native integer operations including full integer-based texturing, integer input and outputs for vertex and fragment shaders and a full set of integer bitwise operators. It also improves compatibility with OpenGL ES, adds new interpolation modes, includes new forms of explicit control over texturing operations, provides additional built-in functions for manipulating floating-point numbers and introduces switch statements for enhanced flow control within shader programs.
The OpenGL working group has also released a set of extensions to OpenGL 3.0 that can be immediately used by developers and, after industry feedback, will potentially be included in the next generation of OpenGL targeted for release in less than 12 months. These extensions include geometry shaders, further instancing support, and texture buffer objects.
Khronos today also released a number of extensions to OpenGL 2.1 which enables some of the new features in OpenGL 3.0 to be used on older generations of hardware. These extensions include enhanced VBOs, full framebuffer object functionality, half float vertices, compressed textures, vertex array objects and sRGB framebuffers.
Additionally, OpenGL 3.0 defines an evolutionary process for OpenGL that will accelerate market-driven updates to the specification. The new OpenGL API supports the future creation of profiles to enable products to support specific market needs while not burdening every implementation with unnecessary costs. To avoid fragmentation, the core OpenGL specification will contain all defined functionality in an architecturally coherent whole, with profiles tightly specifying segment-relevant subsets. OpenGL 3.0 also introduces a deprecation model to enable the API to be streamlined while providing full visibility to the application developer community, enabling the API to be optimized for current and future 3D graphics architectures.
Finally, the OpenGL working group is working closely with the newly announced OpenCL working group at Khronos to define full interoperability between the two open standards. OpenCL is an emerging royalty-free standard focused on programming the emerging intersection of GPU and multi-core CPU compute through a C-based language forheterogeneous data and task parallel computing. The two APIs together will provide a powerful open standards-based visual computing platform with OpenCL’s general purpose compute capabilities intimately combined with the full power of OpenGL.
“OpenGL 3.0 is a significant evolutionary step that integrates new functionality to ensure that OpenGL is a truly state-of-the-art graphics API while supporting a broad swathe of existing hardware,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, chair of the OpenGL working group at Khronos. “Just as importantly, OpenGL 3.0 sets the stage for a revolution to come – we now have the roadmap machinery and momentum in place to rapidly and reliably develop OpenGL - and are working closely with OpenCL to ensure that OpenGL plays a pivotal role in the ongoing revolution in programmable visual computing.”More details on OpenGL 3.0 will be discussed at the OpenGL “Birds of a Feather” meeting at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles at 6PM on Wednesday August 13th at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. More details at http://www.khronos.org/news/events/detail/siggraph_2008_los_angeles_california/.
The OpenGL specification enables developers to incorporate a broad set of programmable 3D and 2D graphics rendering and visualization functions, and provides unfettered access to graphics hardware acceleration. Since its introduction by SGI in 1992, OpenGL has become the industry’s most widely used and supported programming interface and is available on all major computer platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Controlled by the Khronos Group since 2006, and with broad industry support, OpenGL is a vendor-neutral, multiplatform graphics standard that is uniquely positioned to leverage and drive the continuing evolution of graphics hardware.
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and can 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.
Khronos, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenMAX, OpenSL ES and OpenWF 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.
Khronos Releases COLLADA 1.5.0 Specification with New Automation, Kinematics, and Geospatial Functio
COLLADA expands into new markets and widens adoption among leading content-creation software packages; Support for COLLADA 1.4 continues in parallel with COLLADA 1.5 development
5th August, 2008 – Beaverton, ORThe Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that it has released the new COLLADA™ 1.5.0 specification, which includes significant new functionality to further broaden the applicability of this leading standard for 3D digital asset exchange. The expanded functionality includes B-reps (boundary representations) and kinematics for CAD, automation, and interactive entertainment applications, and georeferencing of geospatial assets for GIS and mapping software. Following the lead of early adopters like SOFTIMAGE®|XSI®, Google SketchUp, and NVIDIA FX Composer 2, many authoring packages have now added support for importing and exporting COLLADA assets, including Autodesk® 3ds Max® and Maya®, Crytek CryENGINE® 2, AMD RenderMonkey™, Adobe® Photoshop® CS3 Extended, Harris Inscriber® G7™, and virtual world applications including Vivaty and SceneCaster. Khronos has also released the COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition specification and is planning a Conformance suite for COLLADA 1.4 for release in 2008. The new COLLADA specifications are publicly available at www.khronos.org/collada.
The new B-rep and kinematics functionality in COLLADA 1.5 is unprecedented in a royalty-free standard and enables COLLADA to be adopted by the AutomationML group, a consortium of automotive industry leaders that includes Daimler and ABB, as the intermediate language for CAD automation work flows. COLLADA 1.5 also provides a new OpenGL® ES 2.0 effects profile and enhanced support for external shader effects systems, enabling a wider range of content authoring tools for game developers using frameworks such as Microsoft® XNA™ with DirectX®.
Additionally, for important disciplines such as GIS, COLLADA now supports accurate geo-referencing of geospatially defined assets for those who wish to blend real and virtual 3D assets. With Google's participation in the COLLADA working group, a new file format extension called .zae (Zipped Asset Exchange) has been introduced in COLLADA 1.5. This archive format extension was motivated by Google to include zipped COLLADA models and their assets in the Google 3D Warehouse, often created in their popular SketchUp 3D modeling tool. Says Mark Limber of Google, "as more applications support COLLADA the world of 3D content is becoming more open and accessible, and Google is pleased to support this effort."
Khronos will continue to support COLLADA 1.4 for existing users while developing the COLLADA 1.5 XML schema features for new markets. Consequently, the Khronos Group also today announced the availability of the COLLADA 1.4.1 2nd Edition specification. This updated specification release includes corrections, clarifications, and minor additions to the documentation for the widely used COLLADA 1.4 standard. The updated specification includes enhanced explanations for transparency, animation, lighting, splines, and skinning.
The COLLADA working group is planning a fourth-quarter release of the Conformance Test Suite for COLLADA 1.4 that comprises a complete GUI and scripting framework that integrates testing methodology with authoring tools and rendering applications and contains up to 500 COLLADA-based content test cases.
“As more and more applications support COLLADA, the world of 3D content is becoming more open and accessible,” said Mark Limber, SketchUp product manager at Google. “Google is pleased to participate in and support this important effort.”
“Softimage is dedicated to cutting edge technology that leverages open source standards to bring complete solutions to customer problems,” said Marc Stevens, general manager of Softimage, and vice president of AVID Technology, Inc. “As such, we see COLLADA as a key strategic component of our future. COLLADA is the only true open format that facilitates 3D data interchange. The latest release adds many features, including a referenced texture archive and support for real-time shaders—exemplifying how COLLADA is leading the way in open workflows. Softimage recently implemented a rich content pipeline to the Crytek, CryENGINE®2, based completely on a COLLADA interchange; we’re fully committed to supporting the advancement of the COLLADA standard, which delivers the most productive work-flows for our SOFTIMAGE|XSI customers.”
“COLLADA 1.5 is a very significant release as it contains new functionality that enables completely new industries to use COLLADA – as well as expanding the use of this widely used standard in its traditional content-creation markets,” said Neil Trevett, President of Khronos. “The industry momentum of COLLADA has now reached a critical tipping point – it has become a genuine lingua franca for 3D designers everywhere.”
See COLLADA at SIGGRAPH 2008, Los Angeles
SIGGRAPH 2008 | Thursday, 14 August | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm | LACC - Room 511A
This year’s COLLADA BOF (Birds of a Feather) offers an exciting array of speakers who will talk about their work in gaming and visualization, demonstrate some cool new content creation tools, and even show COLLADA used for communicating with 3D digital printers for the first time! Expect to hear almost a dozen presenters at the Siggraph COLLADA BOF. Sign up to attend at: http://www.khronos.org/news/events/detail/siggraph_2008_los_angeles_california/
COLLADA is an XML-based schema for digital asset exchange that enables the use of diverse digital-content-creation tools to author sophisticated assets for use by 3D applications, including graphics, animation, kinematics, physics, and shader effects. COLLADA represents authored data in multiple forms, enabling the transformation of assets as they journey from content tools that use high-level descriptions to run-time applications that require optimized, platform-specific representations. The COLLADA specification, documentation, and sample code is available at the Khronos.org website at www.khronos.org/collada.
About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenKODE™, and COLLADA™. All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and can 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.
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.