Opera just announced that its latest Opera 11 beta has WebGL support for Windows. Currently only Windows is support, but a promise of WebGL on Opera for other platforms has been made. As well, Opera claims they are working on WebGL for Windows using DirectX. This should be interesting, as WebGL is built on top of OpenGL. Opera 11 for Windows is available for download today.
The Khronos Group did a great job in the last few years to once again prove that OpenGL is still in game and that it can become the ultimate graphics API of choice, if it is not that already. However, we must note that it is not quite yet true that OpenGL 4.1 is a superset of its competitor, DirectX 11. We still have some holes that still have to be filled and I think the ARB should not stop just there as there is much more potential in the current hardware architectures than that is currently exposed by any graphics API so establishing the future of OpenGL should start by going one step further than DX11. In this article I would like to present my vision of items of importance that should be included in the next revision of the specification and how I see the future of OpenGL.
According to Google, the goal of ANGLE is to layer WebGL's subset of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API over DirectX 9.0c API calls. "We're open-sourcing ANGLE under the BSD license as an early work-in-progress, but when complete, it will enable browsers like Google Chrome to run WebGL content on Windows computers without having to rely on OpenGL drivers." Since ANGLE aims to implement most of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, the project may also be useful for developers who are working on applications for mobile and embedded devices. CNET has done an excellent write-up on Angle.
AMD has announced an update for their ATI Stream SDK with OpenCL support. New to this version is support for debugging OpenCL with GDB on x86 CPU's in Linux, a preview of support for OpenCL and Microsoft's DirectX 0 interoperability, plus additional samples are included.
NVIDIA launched the GeForce GT 240. The chipset uses the newer 40 nanometer manufacturing process, is low energy occupying only one slot without the need of a separate power connector. The NVIDIA GTX 240 card has 96 processing cores, 32 texture units, a 550MHz primary clock speed and can handle up to 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1.7GHz. The card supports OpenGL and DirectX 10-level graphics, CUDA, PhysX and OpenCL for general-purpose computing.
The latest version of VMWare Fusion, a virtualization application for Mac was released today. Fusion 3 now offersOpenGL acceleration for Windows machines (OpenGL 1.4 in Windows 7; OpenGL 2.1 in Windows XP) and better DirectX support, which allows for Windows’ Aero 3D effects in both Windows Vista and Windows 7.
S3 Graphics announced the OpenCL 1.0 capable Chrome 5400E GPGPU processor. The 5400E features native support of OpenCL, the industry’s best GFLOPS per watt rating including, a OpenGL 3.1 / DirectX® 10.1 graphics engine, ChromotionHD video core for HD video decode including Blu-ray, H.264, and VC-1, a video encode engine, and an OpenVG 1.1 engine. The 5400E is the most versatile GPU for embedded applications requiring longevity, customization, performance, features, and low power. Complete details are available on the S3 Graphics website.
TechReport recently spoke with Neil Trevett about OpenCL, who fills positions as both the Khronos Group's President and Nvidia's VP of Embedded Content.This two page report is well written and an easy read.
Jon Peddie has issued a press release stating that 2010 will show the graphics industry making a spectacular comeback, after the dismal 2009 year. "Architectural changes like Intel's Nehalem and new product introductions from AMD, ATI, Intel, and Nvidia are going to be disruptive to the status quo" says Jon Peddie. Snow Leopard and Windows 7 will also act as a catalyst to spur on the continuing expansion of GPGPU, otherwise known as GPU compute. OpenCL along with DirectX and NVIDIA's CUDA will go even further in making the GPU a "serious, economical, and powerful coprocessor in all level of PCs."