OpenGL 4.1 Specification Ensures Better Graphics Performance

Written By Sam on 27 July 2010
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The Khronos group announced the release of the OpenGL 4.1 Specification. This will enhance the standards that drive high-performance graphics on Mac OS X, PC’s and mobile devices by extending the latest graphics functionality to the most sophisticated and commonly implemented cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API.

This new version of the cross-platform, open-source computer graphics API ensures full backwards compatibility, allowing significant portions of the core feature enhancements to be applied to previous-generation graphics hardware.

New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification

  • 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

  • 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

Khronos has simultaneously released another set of ARB extensions to enable significant amounts of core OpenGL 4.1 functionality on previous-generation GPU hardware, “providing maximum flexibility and platform coverage for application developers,” according to a press release.

The full specification can be downloaded at http://www.opengl.org/registry

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