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Khronos cranks out new OpenGL 3.1 spec

Tue Mar 24 2009, 19:30

THE KHRONOS GROUP, chaired by Nvidia crony Neil Trevett, has released OpenGL 3.1 – the cross-platform, royalty-free API for 3D graphics – at GDC in San Francisco today.

Version 3.1 of OpenGL includes a new version of the OpenGL shading language – GLSL1.40 – and has better programmability, more efficient vertex processing, expanded texturing functionality and increased buffer management flexibility.

Arguably the best thing about OpenGL 3.1, as the name indicates, is its 'openness', with multiple vendors signing up and jumping on the bandwagon. In fact, analyst Jon Peddie reckons over 100 million computer units already have an installed base of graphics hardware that will support OpenGL 3.1, while OpenGL 3.0 drivers are already shipping on AMD, Nvidia and S3 GPUs.

Adding to the pomp and fanfare, OpenGL ARB has released an optional extension for full backwards compatibility, so developers can access the OpenGL 1.X/2.X functionality removed in OpenGL 3.1. Nvidia, not wanting to feel left out, also announced new driver support for OpenGL 3.1 for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.

Apparently developed at breakneck speed in just nine months, OpenGL 3.1's birth has been welcomed by both Nvidia and AMD, with the Green Goblin's Dan Vivoli proclaiming his firm was "committed to the rapid adoption of OpenGL 3.1" and "proud to release our beta drivers on the same day as the specification itself."

Meanwhile, Suki Samra, director of OpenGL at AMD noted, "AMD will support OpenGL 3.1 in the upcoming driver release for the Radeon and FirePro products, and is fully supportive of the OpenGL API."

There... isn't it lovely to see AMD and Nvidia playing nice for a change instead of trying to stab each in the eye?

We think so. µ



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