Khronos Invites Industry Participation to Create Safety Critical Graphics and Compute Standards

New ‘Safety Critical’ working group to adapt OpenGL ES and Vulkan APIs
for markets requiring system certification - including avionics and automotive

SIGGRAPH August 10th 2015 – Los Angeles, CA –The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced it is launching a new Safety Critical working group to develop open graphics and compute acceleration standards for markets that require system safety certification. Khronos previously developed the OpenGL® SC 1.0 specification that defined a safety critical subset of OpenGL ES 1.0. The new working group will adapt more recent Khronos standards including OpenGL ES with programmable shaders, and the new generation Vulkan™ API for high-efficiency graphics and compute. Work on detailed proposals is already underway, and companies interested to participate are welcome to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process.  More information on Khronos safety critical specifications and activities is available at: https://www.khronos.org/safetycritical.

“Visual computing acceleration will be a vital component of many emerging safety critical market opportunities including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles and new generation avionics systems,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA.  “The new Safety Critical working group will build on the experience of shipping OpenGL SC, but now can adapt the latest open standards in the Khronos ecosystem for markets with demanding system certification requirements.”

The new Safety Critical working group is an evolution of the OpenGL ES Safety Critical Working Group that released the OpenGL SC 1.0 specification in 2005 with a fixed function graphics pipeline, with minor updates to OpenGL SC 1.0.1 in 2009. The working group will use DO-178C Level A / EASA ED-12C Level A as the safety critical benchmark for the avionics industry and ISO 26262 certifability to satisfy the safety critical requirements of the automotive industry.  The working group is also working to align its specifications with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) consortium (www.opengroup.us/face) technical standard for graphics.

Industry Support

“Codeplay is excited to be contributing in this evolution of Khronos standards for safety critical solutions,” says Andrew Richards, CEO of Codeplay. “We are strongly involved in Khronos standards and the safety critical working groups will enable computer vision systems to prevent car accidents and save lives.”

“The development of a next generation Khronos graphics standard for safety critical systems is an important step to advance avionics, automotive, and other high reliability display systems,” says Steve Viggers, vice president of software at CoreAVI.

“KNU fully supports Khronos developing new graphics and computing API standards for safety critical applications,” says Nakhoon Baek, professor of Kyungpook National University.  “We expect that these new standard APIs will be widely used in safety-related applications by enabling the appropriate software quality certification process for each industry segment. As an academic organization, KNU will work to develop training programs, applications, tools and solutions using these new standard APIs.”

“Next generation automotive solutions call for advanced vision, rendering and compute capabilities in a high reliability system. Texas Instruments is focused on making cars safer and smarter through technology innovations and is excited to be participating in definition of Khronos standards for Safety Critical systems,” says Anand Balagopalakrishnan, architect, automotive graphics at Texas Instruments.

“It’s exciting to see the industry rally around building the next generation of Khronos safety critical APIs,” said Erik Noreke, technology visionary and Safety Critical working group chair. “As intelligent systems are being asked to take over more and more complex tasks, the need for safety critical standards for graphics, compute and vision processing is increasing at an astounding rate.”

3D Graphics API State of the Union BOF at SIGGRAPH 2015

Attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles are invited to the Khronos 3D Graphics API BOF at 5-7PM on Wednesday 15th at the JW Marriott LA Live in the Platinum Ballroom Salon F-I, immediately adjacent to the Convention Centre, to hear more details around the latest developments in the 3D ecosystem.  Full details of this and other Khronos-related SIGGRAPH sessions online at https://khr.io/sig2015.

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled 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.

###

Khronos, Vulkan, DevU, SPIR, SPIR-V, SYCL, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, EGL, glTF, OpenKCAM, StreamInput , OpenWF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc.  ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International 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 Expands Scope of 3D Open Standard Ecosystem

New generation Vulkan graphics and compute API supported by Android;
OpenGL ES 3.2 specification embraces AEP functionality for mobile;
Cutting edge desktop 3D hardware enabled with new OpenGL extensions

Download the Khronos Press Briefing slidedeck

SIGGRAPH August 10th 2015 – Los Angeles, CA –The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, today announced significantly expanded scope and momentum for its family of open standard 3D graphics APIs.  Vulkan™, the new generation API for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs, is on track for implementation and specifications later this year. It has received support from Android, SteamOS, Tizen, and multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu and Red Hat.   The new OpenGL® ES 3.2 specification absorbs AEP (Android Extension Pack) functionality to enhance pervasive graphics capabilities across mobile, consumer, and automotive devices.  A set of OpenGL extensions will also expose the very latest capabilities of desktop hardware.   More information on all Khronos specifications is available at: https://www.khronos.org.

About Vulkan

Vulkan gives applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability, and uses Khronos’ new SPIR-V™ intermediate language specification for shading language flexibility.  Vulkan minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded performance on mobile, desktop, console, and embedded platforms.  In parallel with finalizing the Vulkan specification, Khronos is working to drive an in-depth Vulkan ecosystem to:

  • Reach out to key non-Khronos developers for feedback during specification drafting;
  • Construct an open source Vulkan conformance test suite leveraging and merging with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) drawElements Quality Program (dEQP) framework to enable direct feedback and contributions from developers to resolve cross-vendor inconsistencies;
  • Develop a Vulkan tools architecture that can load code validation, debugging and profiling layers during development, without impacting production performance.  The first open source, cross-vendor Vulkan SDK is being developed by Valve working with LunarG;
  • Build key SPIR-V tools in open source, including translators from GLSL, OpenCL C and C++, a validator to check the correctness of any SPIR-V file and a SPIR-V assembler/disassembler.

“Hardware and software companies need an open 3D API to maximize market reach and minimize porting costs, and Vulkan is being forged by a broad consortium of industry leaders to do exactly that,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group. “Vulkan’s adoption and availability on platforms such as Android, Windows, Linux and SteamOS will ensure strong developer support - creating a wealth of high-quality content and applications for any platform that leverages this royalty-free standard.”

About OpenGL ES 3.2

The new OpenGL ES 3.2 and OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.20 specifications bring AEP, plus additional functionality, into core OpenGL ES.  AEP is a set of OpenGL ES extensions announced last year to bring console-class gaming to Android.  OpenGL ES 3.2 will drive the pervasive availability of advanced desktop-class graphics functionality on a large class of mobile, consumer and automotive hardware, and will be adopted by Android.  OpenGL ES 3.2 capabilities include:

  • Geometry and tessellation shaders to efficiently process complex scenes on the GPU;
  • Floating point render targets for increased flexibility in higher precision compute operations;
  • ASTC compression to reduce the memory footprint and bandwidth used to process textures;
  • Enhanced blending for sophisticated compositing and handling of multiple color attachments;
  • Advanced texture targets such as texture buffers, multisample 2D array and cube map arrays; 
  • Debug and robustness features for easier code development and secure execution.

About OpenGL Extensions

The OpenGL extensions released today expose cutting-edge desktop graphics capabilities and pave the way for new versions of OpenGL when this functionality is pervasively available, including:

  • Streamlined sparse texture functionality to more effectively manage multisample sparse textures and uncommitted and unpopulated texture areas;
  • Enhanced shader functionality including interlocks to efficiently ensure proper execution order for multi-pass algorithms, 64-bit integer handling, control of coverage results in sample masks for early fragment testing, enhanced atomic counter capabilities and a 64-bit monotonically incrementing counter to derive local timing information;
  • Control over the number of threads used to compile shaders to accelerate compilation time;
  • Modifiable locations of samples within a pixel to increase multisample antialiasing quality;

Lastly, the OpenGL ES 3.2 compatibility extension enables the use of desktop OpenGL to develop mobile applications.

Industry Support

“AMD is thrilled to see the adoption this low-level, high-performance graphics API into an industry standard such as Vulkan” said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, engineering, AMD.  “At AMD, we strive to deliver maximum performance and control into the talented hands of game and graphics application developers everywhere and we see Vulkan as an excellent step in that direction.”

“As a founding member of Khronos, ARM is fully supportive of the latest specification of open standard 3D graphics APIs,” said Jem Davies, vice president of technology, media processing group, ARM. “As the number of graphical devices in everyday life continues to grow, the new OpenGL ES and Vulkan APIs are important steps in enabling game and application developers to provide richer and more energy-efficient user experiences.”

“Intel is excited to be part of the continued rapid development of graphics APIs like Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.2 and to showcase these APIs running on our hardware at SIGGRAPH 2015,” said Aaron Coday, director of visual computing engineering, Intel. “We can't wait to see what application developers can do with the new features and performance benefits they offer on Intel Architecture.”

“Imagination is proud to contribute to the continued development of Khronos APIs for mobile graphics. We believe that the availability and continued development of cutting edge, cross platform, open APIs like OpenGL ES and Vulkan is essential for a vibrant, healthy graphics ecosystem,” said Peter McGuinness, director of multimedia technology marketing, Imagination Technologies.

“Graphics developers need the best tools and APIs, so today NVIDIA is releasing the new OpenGL extensions and OpenGL ES 3.2 on Windows XP through 8.1 and Linux*,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, senior director of Tegra graphics software at NVIDIA and chair of the OpenGL working group. “We welcome Vulkan’s adoption by Google, and will continue to work to ensure this new open standard enables amazing graphics across many platforms, including Android.” 

“Qualcomm Technologies has been a major contributor to the development of Vulkan which we intend to support with our upcoming Qualcomm Adreno™ GPUs for Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processors. We believe the Vulkan API will significantly reduce single-threaded overhead and increase multi-threaded efficiency, and consequently reduce power consumption for advanced mobile graphics applications,” said Avinash Seetharamaiah, senior director of engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “Furthermore, we think the advancements with the Vulkan API will help mobile game developers more easily and efficiently bring console game content to Snapdragon mobile devices. We look forward to the migration of efficiency improvements from Vulkan to the other widely used APIs from Khronos,” Seetharamaiah added. “We welcome the arrival of OpenGL ES 3.2, bringing features like hardware tessellation and geometry shaders to OpenGL ES, because providing console-class graphics features in the mobile space is a step we support wholeheartedly with our world class Adreno GPU solutions.”

“Samsung enhances consumer’s mobile experience through innovative technologies and we are convinced that Vulkan will enable highly improved gaming experiences to our users,” said Hyunho Park, senior vice president of the system software R&D team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung has been deeply engaged within Khronos to shape the Vulkan API – especially in the formation of the Window System Integration standard with broad platform support. We will rapidly drive adoption of the Vulkan to the mobile ecosystem to provide a high-performance, cross-platform graphics standards to game developers and consumers.”

3D Graphics API State of the Union BOF at SIGGRAPH 2015

Attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles are invited to the Khronos 3D Graphics API BOF at 5-7PM on Wednesday 15th at the JW Marriott LA Live in the Platinum Ballroom Salon F-I, immediately adjacent to the Convention Centre, to hear more details around the latest developments in the 3D ecosystem.  Full details of this and other Khronos-related SIGGRAPH sessions online: https://khr.io/sig2015

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices.  Khronos standards include Vulkan™, OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, EGL™, COLLADA™, and glTF™.  All Khronos members are enabled 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.

safety