Skip to main content

Press Release

Khronos Releases Finalized OpenGL ES 2.0 Specification

Royalty-free specification to enable new generation programmable mobile graphics; Complements widespread OpenGL ES 1.1 standard for fixed function graphics

5th March, 2007 - GDC, San Francisco, CA - The Khronos™ Group announced today that it has unanimously ratified and publicly released the finalized OpenGL® ES 2.0 specification for programmable 3D graphics that will significantly boost the functionality, flexibility and visual realism offered by a wide range of embedded and mobile devices. OpenGL ES 2.0 complements the widely deployed OpenGL ES 1.1 standard for fixed function graphics by defining the OpenGL ES Shading Language for programming vertex and fragment shaders and integrating it with a streamlined OpenGL ES 1.1-derived API. OpenGL ES 2.0 was previously released as a provisional specification to enable silicon vendors to initiate early silicon designs and for Khronos to fine-tune the specification as the industry gained silicon implementation experience of mobile programmable graphics. Multiple OpenGL ES 2.0 silicon devices are expected to commence shipment before the end of 2007. The OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 specifications are available for free download at

In order to minimize cost and power requirements of programmable graphics subsystems, OpenGL ES 2.0 eliminates from OpenGL ES 1.1 any fixed functionality that can be replaced by shader programs. For complete backwards compatibility, OpenGL ES 2.0 capable devices will typically ship with two drivers: OpenGL ES 2.0 drivers for visually advanced applications and OpenGL ES 1.1 drivers to support the growing number of native 3D applications coded to this widely adopted standard.

“The OpenGL ES Working Group has carefully balanced the introduction of cutting-edge programmable graphics capability with the commercial needs of the industry that has embraced OpenGL ES 1.1. OpenGL ES 2.0 hardware accelerators will provide the ultimate in graphics realism for the next generation of high-end mobile devices, while offering backward compatibility and a performance boost for older content via ES 1.1 drivers,” said Tom Olson, chairman of the OpenGL ES working group and a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments, Inc. “TI is excited to support OpenGL ES 2.0 with our OMAP™ 3 platform to bring programmable graphics technology to the handset, raise the bar for mobile graphics experiences, and pave the way for ever more compelling consumer entertainment.”

Khronos expects to release conformance tests for OpenGL ES 2.0 within six months, enabling interested companies to gain access to source code to test their implementations and use the OpenGL ES trademark on products that pass the defined testing criteria, ensuring that conformant OpenGL ES implementations provide a reliable, cross-platform graphics programming platform.

“OpenGL ES 2.0 leveraged the proven architectural foundation of desktop OpenGL 2.0 to create a coherent family of 3D APIs architected to meet the needs of diverse markets. With the recent merging of Khronos and the OpenGL ARB we are just at the beginning of a blossoming of synergistic innovation between the desktop and embedded working groups,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA has shipped multiple successful devices using OpenGL ES 1.1 and we are fully committed to integrating OpenGL ES 2.0 into upcoming GoForce mobile GPUs and application processors.”

“Futuremark is committed to delivering world leading performance measurement tools and services for all relevant APIs and platforms in mobile industry. Now we’re harnessing that expertise, rolling out the world’s premier 3D performance benchmark for the OpenGL ES 2.0 API at the same time that Khronos is publishing the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification itself,” said Petri Talala, vice president of Futuremark’s mobile business unit. “Every top mobile device vendor is currently implementing OpenGL ES 2.0 in their next generation product lines, proving the immediate need for 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 benchmarking product. The benchmark was highly anticipated and even today it is providing meaningful performance data for many Khronos members working on next generation mobile device 3D hardware.”

“OpenGL ES 2.0 will be a significant enabler of advanced graphics applications for future generations of mobile devices. Imagination Technologies is pleased to announce that it is showing initial OpenGL ES 2.0 silicon based on its PowerVR SGX IP at GDC 2007 and also releasing its PowerVR Insider OpenGL ES 2.0 SDK to developers at the show.”

About OpenGL ES
OpenGL ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems - including gaming consoles, mobile phones, appliances and vehicles. It consists of well-defined subsets of desktop OpenGL, creating a flexible and powerful low-level interface between software and graphics accelerator silicon. OpenGL ES 1.1 defines a fixed function 3D graphics pipeline which is widely adopted across multiple industries. OpenGL ES 2.0 complements OpenGL ES 1.1 by enabling fully programmable 3D graphics in a wide range of high-performance and small footprint devices.

About Khronos
The Khronos Group is a member-funded industry consortium focused on the creation of open standards such as OpenGL®, OpenKODE™, OpenGL® ES, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, 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 at


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.