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OpenGL ES Overview


The Standard for Embedded Accelerated 3D Graphics

OpenGL® ES is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for rendering advanced 2D and 3D graphics on embedded and mobile systems - including consoles, phones, appliances and vehicles. It consists of a well-defined subset of desktop OpenGL suitable for low-power devices, and provides a flexible and powerful interface between software and graphics acceleration hardware.

OpenGL ES API Versions at a Glance

OpenGL ES 3.2 - Additional OpenGL functionality

The latest in the series, OpenGL ES 3.2 added additional functionality based on the Android Extension Pack for OpenGL ES 3.1, which brought the mobile API's functionality significantly closer to it's desktop counterpart - OpenGL.

OpenGL ES 3.1 - Bringing Compute to Mobile Graphics

Despite being only a bump in the minor revision of the API, OpenGL ES 3.1 was an enormous milestone for the API, as it added the ability to do general purpose compute in the API, bringing compute to mobile graphics.

OpenGL ES 3.0 - Enhanced Graphics

OpenGL ES 3.0 was another evolutionary step for OpenGL ES, notably including multiple render targets, additional texturing capabilities, uniform buffers, instancing and transform feedback.

OpenGL ES 2.0 - Programmable Shading

OpenGL ES 2.0 was the first portable mobile graphics API to expose programmable shaders in the then latest generation of graphics hardware. It remains a prevalent API today, and still is the most widely available 3D graphics API, and remains a solid choice to target the widest range of devices in the market.

OpenGL ES 1.X - Fixed Function Graphics

OpenGL ES 1.0 and 1.1 were the first portable mobile graphics APIs, defined relative to the OpenGL 1.5 specification, providing fixed function graphics acceleration

Specifications and Headers

Full OpenGL ES specifications, headers, and reference pages for all versions of the API can be found in the OpenGL ES Registry:

The most widely deployed 3D graphics API in history

OpenGL ES statistics

Additional statistics are available on the Android Developers website.

Implementers of OpenGL ES

  • Vivante Corporation
  • Verisilicon, Inc.
  • Takumi Corporation
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
  • Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
  • Socionext, Inc.
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Raspberry PI Ltd
  • Panasonic
  • Nintendo Co., Ltd.
  • NexusChips Co., Ltd.
  • NVIDIA Corporation
  • MediaTek Inc
  • Marvell
  • Intel
  • Imagination Technologies
  • ITRI
  • Google, Inc.
  • Fujitsu Limited
  • Digital Media Professionals
  • Creative Technology Ltd
  • Creative Labs
  • Broadcom Corporation
  • Arm Limited
  • Apple, Inc.
  • AMD

View a complete list of companies and their conformant products.