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[Public WebGL] WEBGL extension suggestion: EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch



Hello,

I have been looking at improving performance and quality in the
PlayCanvas game engine (specifically on mobile GPUs), and my research
suggests that an existing OpenGL ES 2.0 extension, if available in
WebGL, could improve performance of some existing graphics systems in
the engine (lighting, shadows, post processing) and allow for improved
graphics quality (lighting, particle effects, UI and font rendering
effects, physics simulation) without greatly impacting performance, or
increasing memory and application start up time, on the vast majority
of mobile devices that we target.

The existing OpenGL ES 2.0 extension is:
https://www.khronos.org/registry/OpenGL/extensions/EXT/EXT_shader_framebuffer_fetch.txt
And is sometimes called:
https://www.khronos.org/registry/OpenGL/extensions/ARM/ARM_shader_framebuffer_fetch.txt

I'm aware that most dedicated desktop GPUs do not support this
extension - and so we would have to maintain a path that doesn't use
the extension in the engine - as we do for other extensions - however,
dedicated desktop GPUs tend to have more bandwidth than mobile GPUs
and so are less affected by going down a more bandwidth hungry path -
and, as mentioned above, the vast majority of mobile GPUs that we
currently target do support this OpenGL ES 2.0 extension.

There is also quite a lot of reference online showing that developers
use this OpenGL ES 2.0 extension to improve performance/quality in
native mobile graphics applications and games, and is also used in the
major cross-platform middleware game engines. I have also found that
major mobile GPU vendors have supported and advised developers to use
this extension to improve performance on their GPUs for many (5+)
years.

I hope that this WebGL extension suggestion results in an extension
being added to WebGL that allows higher performance and quality WebGL
graphics applications and games on mobile GPUs.

Cheers,
Ray.

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