This is my idea for an new OpenGL API. It's not real, nor is it ever likely to be.
OpenGL Bare Metal is designed to be the thinnest possible layer, while allowing you to fill a GPU's memory and command buffer in a platform independent way. There is no hand holding, it will not go out of it's way to stop you making a mistake or shooting yourself in the foot.
The Playstation 3's libGCM, NVIDIA's bindless extension and the ATI/AMD GPU reference documents have all served as inspiration for this (but mostly libgcm).
The API is designed to be as thin as possible. It is designed to minimize the amount of information the GPU's driver has to keep around, therefore there are few objects (mainly for sync purposes), the user is expected to keep track of all this information. This simplifies driver development, and helps performance by attempting to avoid cache-misses when binding objects (since the application is in control, it can prefetch upcoming information, where-as the driver can't).
The API gives direct access to the GPU's memory, albeit in an indirect way. Memory addresses are treated as just a regular 64-bit integer, with it starting at 0 and containing BM_MEMORY_SIZE bytes. It was originally designed to have the entire GPU memory mapped into the application, however there are 2 issues with this:
- 32-bit applications on Windows are limited to 2GiB of usable address space. With GPUs coming with > 1GiB of RAM now, this would leave little for the actual application.
- The GPU doesn't know where it's memory is allocated in the application, therefore requiring constant conversion by the application between the mapped address, and the 'local' address (that is, local to the GPU).
The current design side steps both of these problems, and still allows 64-bit applications to map the whole address space if they wish.
There is still an issue of where in memory things can be stored. I've seen hints in the GL_ATI_meminfo extension, that memory is broken up into different regions (VBO, texture, renderbuffer). I'm not sure if this is a limitation of the hardware, or just how the driver manages the memory. For now I'm assuming that any data can be placed in any part of RAM without any problems.
int64 memorySize = bmGetInteger64(BM_MEMORY_SIZE);
This method will return the total amount of RAM you may use, in bytes.
int maxTextureUnits = bmGetInteger(BM_TEXTURE_UNITS);
Returns the amount of texture units. The texture unit range is from 0 to BM_TEXTURE_UNITS-1.
//textures bmTextureParameters(unit, format, layout, remap, mipmap, dimensions, width, height, depth, pitch, address); bmTextureAddressParameters(unit, xwrap, ywrap, zwrap, depthCompare); bmTextureFilterParameters(unit, minFilter, maxFilter, maxAnisotropy);
These 3 functions are used to configure a texture unit. Textures are assumed to be continuous in memory with the mipmaps directly following the base layer.
Most of the parameters will make sense, except possibly for layout. There are currently 2 possible values for this:
- LINEAR - The texture is laid out as follows: RGBARGBARGBA... from left-to-right top-to-bottom.
- SWIZZLED - For a description of this, see here. I'm not sure it will be called swizzled, since it conflicts with the other texture swizzling.
Dimensions can be 1D, 1D_ARRAY, 2D, 2D_ARRAY, 3D, CUBEMAP, CUBEMAP_ARRAY, RECTANGLE
TODO: anti-aliased textures
//surfaces bmColourSurface(index, type, format, width, height, antialiasing, address, pitch); bmDepthSurface(type, format, width, height, antialiasing, address, pitch);
These functions are used to configure colour and depth surfaces. These replace both FBOs and the platforms framebuffer.
bmBlendMode(index, enabled, rgbEquation, srcRGB, dstRGB, alphaEquation, srcAlpha, dstAlpha); bmStencilOp(frontStencilFail, frontDepthFail, frontDepthPass, backStencilFail, backDepthFail, backDepthPass); bmStencilFunc(frontFunc, frontRef, frontMask, backFunc, backRef, backMask); bmDepthFunc(enabled, func); bmDepthRange(viewportIndex, near, far); bmAlphaFunc(enabled, func, ref);//does hardware still have this?
Blend, Stencil, Depth and Alpha functions. I've tried to condense all of the existing variants into a single call.
//utility functions bmCalculateSize(format, layout, width, height, depth, mipmaps, antialias, *size, *pitch, *alignment); //do we need a separate function for depth?
This function allows the driver to help the application calculate the size, pitch and alignment of a specific texture format.
anti-aliasing levels (0 = 1 sample, 1 = 2 samples, 2 = 4 samples, 3 = 32x CSAA, etc...)
bmVertexAttrib(index, components, stride, type, normalise, divisor); bmVertexAttribI(index, components, stride, type, divisor); bmVertexAttribAddress(index, offset); bmElementArray(type, offset); bmEnableAttribs(bitmap); //0b101 enables attribute 0 and 2 only
bmDrawElements(primtype, count, instances, baseVertex, baseInstance); bmDrawArrays(primtype, count, instances, baseInstance); //indirect functions
BMShader sh = glCompileShader(shaderType, sourceType, size, *string); glGetShaderUCode(sh, &size, &ucodePtr); glSetShader(type, offset); //functions for getting and setting uniforms //functions for shader subroutines
bmCopyToGPU(void *src, size, int64 dst); //+async version bmCopyFromGPU(int64 src, size, void *dst); //+async version void* bmMapMemory(int64 mem, size); //+flags bmUnmapMemory(void* addr); //flush commands
clear colour/depth/stencil functions viewport functions //+indexed versions scissor functions provoking vertex flip page function
alpha-to-coverage functions point-sprites?
gpu wait command cpu wait command vsync wait flush vertex/texture cache invalidation
format = TEXTURE_R8G8B8A8 layout = linear | tiled remap/component swizzle mipmap levels dimensions/cubemap/type = 1D, 2D, 3D, CUBEMAP, RECTANGLE width/height/depth = setting depth on a 2d texture, makes it a 2d array pitch = step from begining of one row to the next address compressed parameter or part of format?
texture address parameters
x/y/z wrap modes depth compare mode
texture filter parameters
min filter max filter anisotropy
type = linear/tiled colourFormat colourAddress colourPitch depthFormat depthAddress depthPitch x/y/width/height antialias