The second Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Mesa 3D 13.0.0 Graphics Library has been announced. Changes implemented in Mesa 13.0.0 RC2 include the move of the BlendBarrier and PrimitiveBoundingBox definitions into the ES3.2 category for GLAPI, export of all GLES (OpenGL ES) 3.2 functions in the libGLESv2.so library, and the set of the VISIBILITY_CFLAGS argument for shared GLAPI to the automake file the MAPI generic OpenVG dispatcher.
Vulkan API supports multithreading, which is particularly important for mobile platforms. Multithreading enables the system to balance the workload across multiple CPUs, allowing for lower voltage and frequency. The results give considerable energy savings compared to OpenGL ES API. In this video from ARM, you can see just how big a difference there is between OpenGL ES and Vulkan.
Unreal Engine 4.13 adds numerous new rendering features, including GPU morph targets, Blueprint drawing to render targets, and mesh decals. There are lots of optimizations to dynamic shadows, support for full-precision materials, and OpenGL ES 3.1 support for Android developers.
The Lightweight Java Game Library released its final build of version 3, in development since 2012. Version 3 provides API bindings to Java for many libraries including Khronos APIs such as OpenGL, OpenGL ES, EGL, OpenCL and Vulkan. LWJGL powers many cross platform applications including the popular game Minecraft.
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.