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:

“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 ( 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

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


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.