Khronos Cuts OpenGL 4.0

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The Khronos Group, yesterday, announced the official release of the OpenGL 4.0 specification.  Alongside the 4.0 release is an updated version of the encapsulated, mini-OpenGL [OpenGL ES] designed for lightweight applications such as mobile phones.  New features in 4.0 include:

  • two new shader stages that enable the GPU to offload geometry tessellation from the CPU
  • per-sample fragment shaders and programmable fragment shader input positions for increased rendering quality and anti-aliasing flexibility
  • drawing of data generated by OpenGL, or external APIs such as OpenCL, without CPU intervention
  • shader subroutines for significantly increased programming flexibility
  • separation of texture state and texture data through the addition of a new object type called sampler objects
  • 64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and inputs/outputs for increased rendering accuracy and quality
  • performance improvements, including instanced geometry shaders, instanced arrays, and a new timer query

Khronos also released an OpenGL 3.3 specification with ARB extensions in order to push as much functionality as possible into previous releases.

AMD sees the release of OpenGL 4.0 as another major accomplishment for the OpenGL ARB,” said Ben Bar-Haim, vice president of design engineering at AMD.  “AMD contributes to the Khronos workgroups, and we consistently find that Khronos is successful at developing healthy, thriving, and evolving open standards such as OpenGL and OpenCL.”

OpenGL 4.0 continues the ARB’s schedule-driven roll-out of new functionality, and this significant major release enables developers to access leading-edge GPU functionality across multiple platforms with full backwards compatibility,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA.  “OpenGL continues to be a keystone in Khronos’ API ecosystem through driving innovation into OpenGL ES and WebGL™ to bring high-performance programmable graphics to mobile platforms and the Web,  and by interoperating with OpenCL to create a seamless visual and compute platform for application developers.”

For more info, check out the Khronos website here.