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AMD Updates Driver Support For OpenGL 4.1

Radeon, ATI FirePro, and ATI FireGL graphics card drivers for Windows and Linux support the latest OpenGL spec.

Advanced Micro Devices has updated drivers for its Radeon, ATI FirePro, and ATI FireGL professional graphics cards to add support for the latest OpenGL specification, which offers several enhancements.

AMD said Monday that support for OpenGL 4.1 would be available in drivers that run on Linux and on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, and XP. The new drivers are called the ATI FirePro and FireGL unified driver 8.801 and the AMD Catalyst 10.12, which are available on AMD's Web site.

The AMD products that will be able to take advantage of the new drives include the ATI FirePro V3800, V4800, V5800, V7800, V8800, and V9800 and the AMD Radeon HD 6900 and HD 6800 graphics cards. Dassault Systemes SolidWorks, a maker of 3D computer-aided design software, is one vendor planning to take advantage of OpenGL 4.1 support in AMD products.

"AMD, through its close collaboration with Dassault Systemes, and its optimized OpenGL implementation and consistent support, presents SolidWorks users with an extraordinary graphics experience," Ron Bates, senior manager of graphical applications for Dassault, said in a joint statement with AMD.

The Khronos Group is an open standards consortium in charge of developing OpenGL. The working group of the organization's OpenGL Architecture Review Board released the latest spec in July 2010, about four and a half months after releasing version 4.0, which provided performance, quality, and flexibility enhancements, including tessellation and double precision shaders.

V4.1 provides easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms and the ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time, the working group says. Other features include:

--The ability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;

--The 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric position;

--And multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

Starting with v4.0, OpenGL includes tight integration with OpenCL, which is a Khronos framework for writing programs that execute across multiple platforms, such as CPU, graphics processor units and other processors.


Khronos Announces OpenGL 4.1 Graphics API

Khronos moves OpenGL graphics API to v4.0

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