Skip to main content

OpenMAX DL enables rapid implementation and seamless portability of optimized video, image and audio

Strong support from major silicon vendors; Second of three OpenMAX standards to provide comprehensive streaming media portability

13th February, 2006 - 3GSM, Barcelona - The Khronos™ Group is pleased to announce that it has ratified and publicly released the royalty-free OpenMAX™ DL 1.0 specification to enable rapid implementation and seamless portability of optimized video, image and audio codecs on diverse silicon architectures. OpenMAX DL defines an Application Programming Interface (API) which contains a comprehensive set of audio, video and imaging functions that can be implemented and optimized on new processors by silicon vendors and then used by codec vendors to code a wide range of codec functionality. OpenMAX adds significant value to OEMs, ODMs and codec and middleware providers by improving time-to-market for advanced codecs on new silicon with significantly reduced software development costs and enables silicon providers to provide an open-standards-based platform for optimized codec development. OpenMAX DL has been developed under the successful Khronos Working Group process, with the support of Khronos member companies including ARM, Freescale, Intel Corporation, Motorola, Nokia and Texas Instruments. The OpenMAX DL 1.0 specification is free for immediate download at

OpenMAX DL has been designed to provide optimized media codec performance on a wide variety of silicon acceleration architectures including programmable CPUs and DSPs, partially programmable hardware engines and parallel architectures including multi-core DSPs. The OpenMAX DL API includes audio signal processing functions such as FFTs and filters, imaging processing primitives such as color space conversion and video processing primitives to enable the optimized implementation of codecs such as MPEG-4, H.264, MP3, AAC and JPEG. OpenMAX supports acceleration concurrency via both iDL, which uses OpenMAX IL constructs, and aDL which adds asynchronous interfaces to the OpenMAX DL API.

OpenMAX DL is the second of three layers of the overall OpenMAX standard that will provide comprehensive streaming media codec and application portability by enabling accelerated multimedia components to be developed, integrated and programmed across multiple operating systems and silicon platforms. The OpenMAX IL (Integration Layer) API defines a standardized media component interface to enable developers and platform providers to integrate and communicate with multimedia codecs implemented in hardware or software. The OpenMAX IL 1.0 specification was publicly released in January 2006. The OpenMAX AL (Application Layer) is an application-level API that will enable streaming media applications to be portable across multiple operating systems and hardware platforms. OpenMAX AL is expected to be released during 2006.

“The rapid development of the OpenMAX DL standard has been driven by the increasingly urgent need of the hardware community to quickly and cheaply ship a wide variety of optimized media codecs on diverse silicon architectures,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of embedded content at NVIDIA. “Platform integrators now have the choice of leveraging OpenMAX DL in the implementation of a wide range of codecs that can be integrated into advanced media frameworks using OpenMAX IL to create comprehensive media acceleration solutions.”

“OpenMAX DL provides an easy way for software developers to rapidly adopt ARM® technologies including our SIMD and NEON™ extensions with minimal development effort,” said John Cornish, vice president of marketing for ARM’s Processor Division. “By providing highly optimized ARM11™/SIMD and Cortex™-A8/NEON libraries for OpenMAX DL, ARM expects to see a wealth of software development taking full advantage of the performance features of these processors early in their product life cycle.” ARM also plans to release a generic reference implementation of OpenMAX DL soon after release of the final specification.

“The Khronos Group continues to make important advancements in the development of open standard APIs that simplify complex software development and accelerate the delivery of multimedia platforms and applications,” said Brandon Tolany, global operations manager of the multimedia applications division for Freescale Semiconductor. “As a founding promoter of the OpenGL® ES and the OpenMAX APIs, we see the OpenMAX DL 1.0 specification as another significant step in the mission to deliver feature-rich devices for the mobile multimedia market.”

“Intel is pleased to have made key contributions to the Khronos Group’s OpenMax DL standard. The optimized OpenMax DL implementation released today on Intel’s Premier Support site will allow customers to leverage Intel Wireless MMX and MMX II technologies using an industry-standard API,” said Mark Casey, general manager of Intel’s Applications Processor Business Unit. “Intel’s efforts enable manufacturers to enhance their multimedia offerings based on Intel XScale® processors via the OpenMax standards while reducing development costs and time to market for media-centric applications.”

“The OpenMAX DL specification represents a collaborative effort among industry representatives to maximize multimedia software efficiency across the mobile value chain,” said Kathy Moseler, chair of the Video DL 1.0 working group and distinguished member of the technical staff, Motorola, Inc. “Motorola is pleased to contribute to the development of this specification and we look forward to realizing key benefits from broader industry implementation—including portability of video, image, audio and speech codecs and image processing functions across component platforms and reduced product time to market.”

About Khronos
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.


Khronos® and Vulkan® are registered trademarks, and ANARI™, WebGL™, glTF™, NNEF™, OpenVX™, SPIR™, SPIR-V™, SYCL™, OpenVG™ and 3D Commerce™ are trademarks of The Khronos Group Inc. OpenXR™ is a trademark owned by The Khronos Group Inc. and is registered as a trademark in China, the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom. OpenCL™ is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL® is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES™ and OpenGL SC™ logos are trademarks of Hewlett Packard Enterprise 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.