Khronos Launches Initiative to Create Open Royalty Free Standard for Accelerated 3D on the Web

Open call for industry participation and contributions; Project initiated by Mozilla

24th March, 2009 – GDC, San Francisco, CA – The Khronos™ Group today announced an initiative to create an open, royalty-free standard for bringing accelerated 3D graphics to the Web.  In response to a proposal from Mozilla, Khronos has created an ‘Accelerated 3D on Web’ working group that Mozilla has offered to chair.  This royalty-free standard will be developed under the proven Khronos development process with a target of a first public release within 12 months.  Any interested company is welcome to join Khronos to make contributions, stand for chair, influence the direction of the specification and gain early access to draft specifications before public release.  The working group will consider various approaches including exposing OpenGL and OpenGL ES 2.0 capabilities within ECMAScript.  The Khronos Accelerated 3D on Web working group will commence work during April 2009.  More details on joining Khronos can be found at http://www.khronos.org/members/ or emailing info@khronos.org.

With increasing performance, JavaScript is positioned to be a viable programming language for classes of applications currently written in C and C++.  Graphics developers targeting large audiences through web applications would be well-served by bringing additional graphics capabilities the web platform, particularly the ability to work with 3D.  OpenGL is available on every desktop operating system and a significant and growing percentage of embedded platforms have adopted OpenGL ES as their native graphics API.  As OpenGL is familiar to application developers, the fusion of OpenGL and OpenGL ES capabilities with the web platform holds great promise.  Mozilla has proposed exposing the OpenGL ES 2.0 API and capabilities to an ECMAScript container such as a web browser to enable the development of cross-platform 3D-capable web applications.  The working group will consider this and other proposals and any contributions from other working group members.

“With more and more content moving to the web and JavaScript getting faster every day, the time is right to create an open, general purpose API for accelerated 3D graphics on the web.  Google looks forward to offering its expertise in graphics and web development to this discussion,” said Matt Papakipos, engineering director at Google Inc.

“The industry has been searching for a way to bring dynamic 3D content to everyone’s web browser for many years,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group.  “The convergence of increasing JavaScript performance and pervasive access to accelerated OpenGL and OpenGL ES presents a potentially historic opportunity to make open, general purpose 3D capabilities available to web developers and web browsers everywhere.  We warmly invite any interested company to join Khronos and become involved in this exciting initiative.”

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, 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 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, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics Inc. used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Group Releases OpenSL ES 1.0 Specification for Portable Mobile and Embedded Audio Processing

Extensive Audio Functionality now Portable to any Platform and Operating System;
Enhances Audio Capability in the Khronos Mobile Media API Ecosystem

24th March, 2009 – GDC, San Francisco, CA – The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that it has today publicly released the OpenSL ES™ 1.0 specification, a royalty-free, cross-platform C-language API for high-performance, low-latency audio functionality on mobile and embedded devices. The OpenSL ES standard simplifies deployment of hardware and software audio capabilities across any platform or operating system and provides broad audio portability for application developers. The specifications are immediately available for download at http://www.khronos.org/opensles/ and may be used royalty-free by implementers and developers. An Adopters Program for OpenSL ES including extensive conformance tests to ensure cross-implementation consistency and trademark usage by conformant implementations will be released by Khronos during April 2009.

The audio API space is highly fragmented and developers are forced to constantly port their audio code across proprietary or platform-specific APIs as even just playing a simple sound requires different code on different platforms. OpenSL ES fills a void in the audio API arena by enabling standardized, cross-platform access to a native platform’s audio capabilities – not something that APIs such as OpenAL or ALSA were designed to do. OpenSL ES defines standardized access to both basic and advanced features such as MIDI playback and 3D positional audio on any device and operating system and is extensible by implementers to take advantage of emerging audio capabilities. OpenSL ES also provides a portable foundation for implementing the audio portions of higher-level APIs such as JSR 135 and JSR 234.

“As strong proponents of open standards, we expect that OpenSL ES will drive the evolution of enhanced audio in embedded devices with the same impact that the Khronos graphics APIs have driven advanced video and imaging,” said Jörgen Lantto, CTO of ST-Ericsson. “OpenSL ES will open up the handheld market for game developers, and consumers will benefit from a broader and richer gaming experience in their mobile devices.”

“As a founding member of Khronos we have been at the forefront of media API development and have long recognized the importance of open APIs for developers,” said Tim Lewis, director of marketing, ZiiLABS. “OpenSL ES provides a cross-platform foundation to rationalize the wide variety of closed audio development libraries in embedded markets, providing developers and hardware vendors a stable standard to build the market for audio applications and accelerators.”

About OpenSL ES
OpenSL ES is a fully-featured audio API that enables application developers take full control of advanced audio functionality in a device while being isolated from platform specifics, enabling applications to run on a multitude of hardware accelerated and software-based audio solutions. OpenSL ES has been designed by many of the leading industry audio experts to provide access to a broad range of audio functionality:

  • Playback of PCM and encoded content, MIDI ringtones and UI sounds, as well as extraction of content metadata;
  • General audio controls such as volume, rate, and pitch; music player effects such as equalizer, bass boost, preset reverberation and stereo widening; as well as advanced 3D effects such as Doppler, environmental reverberation, and virtualization;
  • Advanced MIDI including SP-MIDI, mobile DLS, mobile XMF, MIDI messages, and the ability to use the output of the MIDI engine as a 3D sound source;
  • Full 3D positional audio including grouping of 3D sound sources;
  • Audio recording in PCM as well as non-PCM formats from a microphone, line-in jack;
  • Optional support for LED and vibrator control, 3D macroscopic control, and audio recording.

Due to the broad range of audio functionality, OpenSL ES defines three overlapping profiles allowing implementers to select the features required by a particular device while preserving application portability by implementing one or more profiles on a device:

  • The Phone profile provides playback controls and volume controls, sound prioritization and MIDI as well as the ability to direct sound to multiple simultaneous outputs;
  • The Music profile provides balance and pan controls, sound prioritization and audio effects such as virtualization, preset reverberation and equalizer controls;
  • The Game profile provides buffer queues, pitch and playback rate control, environmental reverberation and extensive positional 3D audio controls that complements the use of OpenGL ES for 3D graphics in sophisticated mobile applications.

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, 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 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, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics Inc. used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.

Khronos Releases Streamlined OpenGL 3.1 Specification

Rapid nine month development cycle since OpenGL 3.0; Adds cutting edge GPU functionality and streamlines API; Accelerates convergence with OpenGL ES

24th March, 2009 – GDC, San Francisco, CA – The Khronos™ Group announced today it has publicly released the OpenGL® 3.1 specification that modernizes and streamlines the cross-platform, royalty-free API for 3D graphics. OpenGL 3.1 includes GLSL™ 1.40, a new version of the OpenGL shading language, and provides enhanced access to the latest generation of programmable graphics hardware through improved programmability, more efficient vertex processing, expanded texturing functionality and increased buffer management flexibility. OpenGL 3.1 implementations are expected shortly from multiple vendors. The new OpenGL 3.1 specification and more details are available at www.khronos.org/opengl.

OpenGL 3.1 leverages the evolutionary model introduced in OpenGL 3.0 to dramatically streamline the API for simpler and more efficient software development, and accelerates the ongoing convergence with the widely available OpenGL ES mobile and embedded 3D API to unify application development. The OpenGL 3.1 specification enables developers to leverage state-of-the-art graphics hardware available on a significant number of installed GPUs across all desktop operating systems. According to Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, a leading graphics market analyst in California, the installed base of graphics hardware that will support OpenGL 3.1 exceeds 100 million units. OpenGL 3.0 drivers are already shipping on AMD, NVIDIA and S3 GPUs.

Concurrently with the release of the OpenGL 3.1 specification, the OpenGL ARB has released an optional compatibility extension that enables application developers to access the OpenGL 1.X/2.X functionality removed in OpenGL 3.1, ensuring full backwards compatibility for applications that require it.

“The rapid nine month development of OpenGL 3.1 demonstrates the schedule-driven approach to the standard that is enabling and inspiring cutting edge, cross-platform GPU functionality,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, chair of the OpenGL ARB working group at Khronos. “OpenGL 3.1 answers the requests from the developer community to streamline and modernize the OpenGL API. The OpenGL ARB will continue to leverage the unique evolutionary model introduced in OpenGL 3.0 to drive the ongoing revolution in OpenGL while ensuring backwards compatibility where it is needed.”

OpenGL 3.1 introduces a broad range of significant new features including:

  • Texture Buffer Objects - a new texture type that holds a one-dimensional array of texels of a specified format, enabling extremely large arrays to be accessed by a shader, vital for a wide variety of GPU compute applications;
  • Signed Normalized Textures – new integer texture formats that represent a value in the range [-1.0,1.0];
  • Uniform Buffer Objects - enables rapid swapping of blocks of uniforms for flexible pipeline control, rapid updating of uniform values and sharing of uniform values across program objects;
  • More samplers – now at least 16 texture image units must be accessible to vertex shaders in addition to the 16 already guaranteed to be accessible to fragment shaders;
  • Primitive Restart – to easily restart an executing primitive, useful for efficiently drawing a mesh with many triangle strips, for example;
  • Instancing - the ability to draw objects multiple times by re-using vertex data to reduce duplicated data and number of API calls;
  • CopyBuffer API – accelerated copies from one buffer object to another, useful for many applications including those that share buffers with OpenCL™ 1.0 for advanced visual computing applications.

Member Quotes
“AMD will support OpenGL 3.1 in the upcoming driver release for the Radeon and FirePro products, and is fully supportive of the OpenGL API,” said Suki Samra, director of OpenGL at AMD.

“NVIDIA is committed to the rapid adoption of OpenGL 3.1 and we are proud to release our beta drivers on the same day as the specification itself,” said Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing at NVIDIA.  “OpenGL 3.1 marks over 15 years of tradition in advancing the state-of-the-art for graphics developers.”

About OpenGL
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 X. Overseen 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 parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, 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 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, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc., COLLADA is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics Inc. used under license 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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