Khronos Releases OpenGL 4.3 Specification with Major Enhancements

Full backwards compatibility maintained; API specification and reference documentation available now

August 6th, 2012 – Los Angeles, SIGGRAPH 2012 – The Khronos™ Group today announced the immediate release of the OpenGL® 4.3 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). OpenGL 4.3 integrates developer feedback and continues the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification while maintaining full backwards compatibility, enabling applications to incrementally use new features while portably accessing state-of-the-art graphics processing unit (GPU) functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms. The OpenGL 4.3 specification contains new features that extend functionality available to developers and enables increased application performance. The full specification is available for immediate download at http://www.opengl.org/registry.

Twenty years since the release of the original OpenGL 1.0, the new OpenGL 4.3 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.30 update to the OpenGL Shading Language.

New functionality in the OpenGL 4.3 specification includes:

  • compute shaders that harness GPU parallelism for advanced computation such as image, volume, and geometry processing within the context of the graphics pipeline;
  • shader storage buffer objects that enable vertex, tessellation, geometry, fragment and compute shaders to read and write large amounts of data and pass significant data between shader stages;
  • texture parameter queries to discover actual supported texture parameter limits on the current platform;
  • high quality ETC2 / EAC texture compression as a standard feature, eliminating the need for a different set of textures for each platform;
  • debug capability to receive debugging messages during application development;
  • texture views for interpreting textures in many different ways without duplicating the texture data itself;
  • indirect multi-draw that enables the GPU to compute and store parameters for multiple draw commands in a buffer object and re-use those parameters with one draw command, particularly efficient for rendering many objects with low triangle counts;
  • increased memory security that guarantees that an application cannot read or write outside its own buffers into another application’s data;
  • a multi-application robustness extension that ensures that an application that causes a GPU reset will not affect any other running applications.

Developer feedback has been key to creating a faster, more capable API that meets emerging needs, such as providing a secure platform for GPU-accelerated web applications using WebGL and compute shaders that harness GPU parallelism for advanced computation,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, working group chair of the OpenGL ARB and director of Tegra graphics at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA released beta OpenGL 4.3 drivers today, so developers can immediately use this new functionality on NVIDIA desktop GPUs.” (More information at http://www.nvidia.com/content/devzone/opengl-driver-4.3.html)

Khronos at SIGGRAPH 2012

Wednesday August 8th at the JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA Live held in the Gold Ballroom, Salon 3:

Event Time Description
News Conference 1-2PM Headlines of all Khronos news announcements at SIGGRAPH
COLLADA BOF 2-3PM Latest community updates on the open standard for 3D asset interchange
OpenCL BOF 3-4PM OpenCL 1.2 overview, utilities, vendor updates & developer perspective
WebGL BOF 4-5PM Community updates, latest techniques and demos for 3D on the Web
OpenGL ES 5-6PM Updates to the world’s most popular 3D API
OpenGL BOF 6-7PM The latest on the OpenGL 3D ecosystem
OpenGL Party 7-10PM Beer, basketball and prizes celebrating OpenGL’s 20th Anniversary

Visit Khronos at booths #758 and #759 to see members display Khronos Group-developed technology in action.

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, WebGL™, WebCL™, OpenCL™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, OpenVL™, StreamInput™ 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, StreamInput, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVL, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. 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.

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