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7/26/2010
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Khronos Announces OpenGL 4.1 Graphics API

The specification defined by a working group of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board at Khronos provides easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms.

API in two years.

Khronos launched v4.1 Monday, four and a half months after the release of v4.0, 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 organization said. Other new functionality includes:

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

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

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

The specification has been defined by a working group of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board at Khronos. 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.

New ARB extensions introduced in v4.1 include:

--OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for improved OpenCL interoperability;

--Features to improve robustness, such as when running WebGL applications;

--And callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

The royalty-free specification in general is backwards compatible with older versions, making it possible for developers to use new features whenever they choose, the group says. The latest version was released during the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles.

The full specification is available for download on the OpenGL website.

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