Tom's Hardware has a nice review on mobile GPUs getting ready for 'Daydream' VR. Among the technologies being used are Khronos' ASTC specification and OpenGL ES. The Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC) technology supported by ARM’s latest Mali and other recent GPUs on the market will reduce bandwidth requirements while still delivering decent graphics quality. On the software side, ARM has been optimizing its drivers to reduce latency and ensure fast context switching that is necessary for VR. ARM also enabled a few more OpenGL ES extensions to support efficient rendering to multiple views for both stereo and foveated rendering. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 SoC, which comes with the Adreno 530 GPU, has been optimized for VR. It has support for 3D stereoscopic and foveated rendering, the latest graphics APIs such as OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan, and 360-degree 4k video decoding at 60fps.
Google has released the latest Android Studio 2.0, the official IDE for Android development. Among many of the improvements is an added a preview of the new GPU Debugger. For graphics intensive applications, you can now visually step through your OpenGL ES code to optimize your app or game.
Futuremark has released a new upgraded version of the benchmarking tool named Slingshot Extreme. The new version of the program comes packing hardware accelerated OpenGL ES 3.1 API and Metal API for Android and Apple respectively. This is a major upgradation over the last version as well as the 2013 build named Ice Storm which came with 720p tests and used OpenGL ES 2.0 as well as the last release that tested 1920x1080p and used OpenGL ES 3.0.
Shaderific version 4.0 is now available. Shaderific is an educational app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that makes it possible to write, compile and test OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenGL ES 3.0 shader programs directly on any iOS device. Version 4.0 adds support for iPad Pro taking full advantage of the bigger screen as well as support for Multitasking with Slide Over and Split View. To complement the existing anaglyph 3D rendering capabilities a new 3D mode has been added for left-right stereo image rendering. Furthermore, rendering on an external display connected via Lightning Digital AV Adapter is now supported in addition to the default screen mirroring.
The LWJGL project is hosting Vulkan bindings for the Java programming language. There is support now through their nightly builds on Windows and Linux. This Vulkan support in LWJGL complements the project's many other Khronos API binding support including OpenGL, OpenGL ES, EGL and OpenCL.
The newly-opened Mesa 11.3-devel code-base already has support for another OpenGL ES 3.2 extension. The GL_OES_shader_image_atomic is now supported by mainline Mesa with all of the drivers that support the GL_ARB_shader_image_load_store extension.
The Khronos Group announces the immediate availability of the Vulkan 1.0 royalty-free, open standard API specification. Vulkan provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles to mobile phones and embedded platforms. This ground-up design, complementing the OpenGL®and OpenGL ES 3D APIs, provides applications direct control over GPU acceleration for maximized performance and predictability with minimized CPU overhead and efficient multi-threaded performance. Multiple Vulkan 1.0 hardware drivers and SDKs are available immediately for developers to begin creating Vulkan applications and engines. More information on Vulkan is available on the Vulkan homepage and in the Vulkan 1.0 press release.
Valve has made the SDK for its Steam Link streaming device available for download through GitHub. The Linux-based SDK allows for the creation of native Link applications, and even features OpenGL ES 2, Qt 5.4, and SDL 2 support.
Qualcomm officially unveiled its latest mobile chip, the Snapdragon 820. According to Engadget the new Snapdragon is equipped with an Adreno 530 GPU which is around 40 percent faster than the 810's graphics. The Snapdragon 820 supports both OpenGL ES up to 3.1 and OpenCL 2.0.
Jetson TX1 is the first embedded computer designed to process deep neural networks. With 1 teraflops of performance, Jetson delivers exceptional performance for machine learning, computer vision, GPU computing and graphics, while drawing very little power. Jetson TX1 includes a comprehensive SDK for embedded visual computing, including VisionWorks, an implementation of the OpenVX 1.0.1 specification with additional NVIDIA extensions as well as support for the latest graphics drivers and APIs, including OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan.
Imagination Technologies webinar series part II on Vulkan is now online. Vulkan is designed from the ground up with the idea of not being bottlenecked by the CPU, and provides huge efficiency gains over previous generation graphics APIs in this area. This webinar provides an overview of what mechanisms in Vulkan enable this, what this means in practice, and why it is so important for embedded and mobile devices. The episode was presented by Tobias Hector, Software Design Engineer for Vulkan and OpenGL ES, Imagination Technologies. Be sure to add November 19th to your calendar as the webinar series continues with 'Scaling to multiple threads'.
The Brenwill Workshop Ltd. announced that they have added support for OS X to their MetalGL product, which seamlessly brings the performance of Metal to OpenGL ES games and applications on iOS, and now OS X. MetalGL is an implementation of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API that runs on Apple's Metal graphics framework on compatible iOS and OS X devices. MetalGL unleashes the power of Metal's low-latency rendering to let OpenGL ES games and applications perform up to 3x the number of draw calls, and benefit from the advanced tools available for the Metal development ecosystem, all without changing the way the game or app use OpenGL ES.
ARM announced a new GPU from the same family as Mali-400 that uses only half as much power. The new GPU, the Mali-470, is targeted at next-generation wearables and IoT devices that need low-cost and low-power chips. The new Mali-470 comes with support for the ubiquitous OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics API. According to ARM, it brings a strong balance between pixel control and energy efficiency, which makes it well-suited for user interfaces. Users aren't likely to play 3D games on their smartwatches any time soon, so OpenGL ES 3.0 and beyond shouldn't be necessary. (By the time it is, the more efficient Vulkan should be the de facto graphics API.)
The open source C++ creative coding toolkit Cinder has recently released version 0.9. This release adds support for OpenGL ES 2 and ES 3, in addition to the latest desktop versions of OpenGL. Cinder supports targeting Windows, OS X, iOS and WinRT, with Linux and Android support under active development. In addition, this release adds support for Google's ANGLE project, allowing deployment of OpenGL ES 3 applications on Windows and WinRT through a DirectX emulation layer. Cinder is released under the BSD License and is used by professionals in the creative and technology industries for everything from interactive installations to user interface prototyping to live concert visuals.