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Khronos Drives Evolution of Cross-Platform 3D Graphics with Release of OpenGL 4.1

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The Khronos Group today announced the immediate release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years, continuing the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification. This new version continues to maintain full backwards compatibility to enable developers to begin using new features whenever they choose, while portably accessing state-of-the-art GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

    The OpenGL 4.1 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.10 update to the OpenGL Shading language and is accompanied by a number of extensions introducing cutting-edge functionality to the OpenGL standard. The full specification is available for immediate download here.

    New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification includes:
    • Full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 APIs for easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms;
    • The ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time;
    • The capability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;
    • 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric precision;
      Multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

    New ARB extensions introduced with OpenGL 4.1 include:
    • OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for enhanced OpenCL interoperability;
    • The ability to set stencil values in a fragment shader for enhanced rendering flexibility;
    • Features to improve robustness, for example when running WebGL applications;
    • Callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

    Lastly, Khronos has simultaneously released a set of ARB extensions to enable as much OpenGL 4.1 core functionality as possible on previous generation GPU hardware; providing maximum flexibility and platform coverage for application developers.

    “Khronos is methodically building their vision for pervasive developer access to cross-platform graphics, media and compute acceleration. The continued rapid-fire OpenGL evolution feeds high-end graphics innovation into that strategy,” stated Dr. Jon Peddie founder and principal of Jon Peddie Research. “Just as significant as OpenGL 4.1’s new 3D functionality are the ever closer links with OpenCL and OpenGL ES 2.0 – another significant step in strengthening the Khronos API ecosystem.”

    “The release of OpenGL 4.1 just five months after OpenGL 4.0 shows that collaborative innovation to build market opportunities for high-performance GPU acceleration is not slowing down. The ARB is also working hard to ensure backwards compatibility with each release so developers can absorb new functionality at their own pace,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, OpenGL ARB working group chair and senior manager Core OpenGL at NVIDIA. “I am also pleased to announce that NVIDIA will release OpenGL 4.1 production drivers on our developer site for all Fermi-based graphics accelerators, including the GeForce GTX 400 series, during SIGGRAPH. OpenGL 4.1 is not just a specification – it’s here and now.”

    “AMD wishes to congratulate the ARB as it releases the OpenGL 4.1 Specification. AMD is committed to open standards and to OpenGL and plans to support OpenGL 4.1 in an upcoming driver release,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president, software at AMD. “The ability of the ARB to produce new and updated graphics standards at a regular cadence speaks volumes to their ongoing efforts to ensure healthy advances in the field of graphics, and AMD is proud to have contributed to this.”

    “Graphic Remedy is proud to be part of the Khronos OpenGL group, playing an important role in the definition of OpenGL’s debugging and profiling features. We are excited about the release of OpenGL 4.1 and the new errors and warning mechanism,” said Yaki Tebeka, CTO at Graphic Remedy. Graphic Remedy is committed to supporting the OpenGL developer community with gDEBugger GL, a professional OpenGL Debugger, Profiler and Memory analyzer; this solution helps companies and individuals make the most out of the OpenGL API, unleashing the rendering power exposed by current and future graphic hardware.”

    “We are very excited to see the release of OpenGL 4.1. New features, such as support for program binary loading and separate shader objects will be very valuable for TransGaming and other ISVs developing advanced graphics for games on OpenGL platforms,” commented Gavriel State, Founder & CTO of TransGaming, Inc.
     
  2. HillBeast

    HillBeast New Member

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    OpenGL is all well and good, but as usual I can see all the major developers will stick to DirectX 9/10/11 and if they do go for OpenGL, it will be in the future only to support Linux and ugh Macs.
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if openGL makes a good 3D engine, they may be able to take back some market share.
     
  4. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    If anyone will grab it, Carmack will be the one.
     
  5. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    With the PS3 outselling the XB360 and the fact there's more Macs and Linux based computers, some multiplatform developers may decide to go with OpenGL, now that OpenGL did catch up in functionality. We can only hope...
     
  6. Mindweaver

    Mindweaver Moderato®™ Staff Member

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    This spells voodoo for dx... hehehe I miss my monster card! :cry: Wait I still have it.. hehehe :roll:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. HillBeast

    HillBeast New Member

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    The main thing to consider is the engine developers and I'm 90% sure DX is easier to code for than OpenGL. If I were a code developer, I'd be going the easiest route and going with DirectX. I'm not against OpenGL at all, in fact it's very good, but I think DirectX will keep the majority foothold over everything for some time to come.
     
  8. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    Quite the opposite afaik. I am not a programer so I can just talk from what I read, and I always heard that OpenGL is easier to program for (and more potent), but more difficult to create drivers and optimize for. That was at least with OGL 2.0/3.0 vs DX9/10, maybe things have changed with DX11 and 4.1 (DX9 was already a good step in the right direction). Over the time both APIs have evolved, so I can only assume they are practically identical right now.

    Because of that and the fact that it works in any platform except Xbox 360, OpenGL is in a clear theoretical advantage, but DX has the advantage in practice because it belongs to M$ and M$ always knows how to protect their things and how to corner everything else. Shame...
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    not to mention once you pay M$ for the licencing, they probably help you out a lot with the coding with ready to use examples and templates.
     
  10. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    It's a tie there too IMO. The community wins hands down when it comes to helping you out. Like I said I am not a programmer, but I did try to learn to program a simple engine so that I could show off my 3D creations*. You can get a lot of help in places like GameDev.net. You can ask almost everything and you get very good responses very quick (like in TPU but for programming). Heck, if you ask the right questions kindly, they will almost create the entire engine for you.

    * I learnt the basics of both OpenGL and DX, and in the end I decided to go with OpenGL, because it looked easier and I was talked in that direction anyway. In the end it didn't work out because I found out that creating the interface and other parts was just as difficult and that optimizing anything was a pain in the ass, so I tried to modify OGRE with little success again. I still planned I would make something in the near future (maybe fooling myself), but then Unreal Development Kit was released for free and although it's not what I wanted it is useful to see some of my creations in 3D (it is much more than I wanted, being the problem that is not a small program I can carry everywhere and does not require installation).
     
  11. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    that works for a home user, but hardly for a business.
     
  12. Benetanegia

    Benetanegia New Member

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    Well for bussinesses I suppose that Khronos helps too. I don't think there's any advantage going with DX, except that it's part of Windows. And biggest Windows advantage nowadays is that it runs more games than any other OS. That's why developers went with DX, not because it was better in any form. It's the way that M$ works and will always do in order to protect their bussiness and crush any competition before it's even true competition. They've been doing that for decades, with games, with internet...

    IMO the future of gaming is in independent studios and that's what I was mostly refering to in my first post anyway. In any case the future belongs in the people who are not working for big companies yet, wheter they are working for an independent studio or they are still in the uni, I believe that OpenGL is the natural election for them right now. Just a couple of years ago OpenGL was not a good choice, because it had been "abandoned" and was behind technologically, but they are back on track.

    Are you defending DX anyway? Considering your repulsion for PhysX, I'd have thought you would be inclined to support OpenGL (and ditching DX), because it's not restrictive to one platform. In the end PhysX at least is only restrictive to the GPU you buy and is your choice. DX is restrictive not only for the OS, but also the platform and you have no choice at all. If you want the games you have no option but Windows + x86. That really hurts both consumers and developers. It would be much easier for developers to create one engine and be able to use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, consoles, smartphones... x86, PowerPC, ARM...
     

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