The Khronos Group today at SIGGRAPH announced the immediate release of the OpenGL® ES 3.0 specification, bringing significant functionality and portability enhancements to the industry-leading, royalty-free 3D graphics API that is used on the majority of the world’s smartphones and tablets. OpenGL ES 3.0 provides access to state-of-the-art GPU functionality with portability across diverse mobile and embedded operating systems and platforms. OpenGL ES 3.0 is backwards compatible with OpenGL ES 2.0, enabling applications to incrementally add new visual features to applications. The full specification and reference materials are available for immediate download:
OpenGL ES 3.0 Specific
- OpenGL ES 3.0.0 Specification (August 6, 2012).
- OpenGL ES Shading Language 3.00.3 Specification (July 12, 2012).
- gl3.h OpenGL ES 3.0 Header File.
- gl3platform.h OpenGL ES 3.0 Platform-Dependent Macros.
- The OpenGL ES 3.0 headers depend on the shared <KHR/khrplatform.h> header located in the EGL Registry
- or check at http://www.khronos.org/registry/gles/ for full information.
“OpenGL ES 3.0 draws on proven functionality from OpenGL 3.3 and 4.2 and carefully balances the introduction of leading-edge technology with addressing the real-world needs of developers,” said Tom Olson, chairman of the OpenGL ES Working Group and director of graphics research at ARM.
New functionality in the OpenGL ES 3.0 specification includes:
- multiple enhancements to the rendering pipeline to enable acceleration of advanced visual effects including: occlusion queries, transform feedback, instanced rendering and support for four or more rendering targets;
- high quality ETC2 / EAC texture compression as a standard feature, eliminating the need for a different set of textures for each platform;
- a new version of the GLSL ES shading language with full support for integer and 32-bit floating point operations;
- greatly enhanced texturing functionality including guaranteed support for floating point textures, 3D textures, depth textures, vertex textures, NPOT textures, R/RG textures, immutable textures, 2D array textures, swizzles, LOD and mip level clamps, seamless cube maps and sampler objects;
- an extensive set of required, explicitly sized texture and render-buffer formats, reducing implementation variability and making it much ea sier to write portable applications.
The OpenGL ES working group at Khronos expects to update the OpenGL ES Adopter’s Program to provide extensive conformance tests for OpenGL ES 3.0 within six months, enabling implementers of the specification to gain access to source code for Conformance Tests and to use the OpenGL ES trademark on products that pass the defined testing procedure. This ensures that conformant OpenGL ES implementations provide a reliable, cross-platform graphics programming platform.
“ARM has led the way in the implementation of OpenGL ES 2.0, enabling better graphics capabilities across a wide range of consumer devices. We know this will help developers design better user experiences,” said Kevin Smith, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Media Processing Division, ARM. “OpenGL ES 3.0 enables more efficient solutions, utilizing the most advanced rendering techniques that will provide new levels of graphics excellence for mobile devices. ARM has committed to this standard with support that includes the availability, at launch, of the OpenGL ES 3.0 emulation texture compression tool and an SDK to enable developers to get started immediately.”
On the desktop, the Khronos Group today launched OpenGL 4.3. The focus here is on improving performance, but also on bringing a number of effects that weren’t previously possible with OpenGL to the desktop (including different types of blur, for example). In addition, developers will now be able to use their OpenGL skills to use compute shaders to offload more tasks to the GPU without having to use (or knowing how to use) the OpenCL. For users, this means, developers will be able to program better physics and AI simulations into their game without having to use more CPU power.
OpenVL: A New Standard For Vision And Sensor Processing
In addition to OpenGL, the Khronos group is also launching new specs for its increasingly popular COLLADA 3D assets standard and, maybe even more interestingly, a new API for vision and sensor processing. The idea here is basically that having the ability use input from the various sensors on our mobile devices is quickly becoming just as important as being able to render high-end graphics. The new standard wants to give developers an easy and consistent way to use this data in, for example, augmented reality apps. OpenVL’s primary goal, the organization says, is to enable real-time vision apps on mobile and embedded systems that will allow developers to go beyond the relatively limited AR apps we see today.