Khronos Updates OpenGL To Compete With DirectX 11

The Khronos Group, the entity behind the cross platform graphics standard Open GL, has announced the fourth version of the 2D and 3D computer graphics set at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.

A slew of improvements means that OpenGL is now ready to compete on (almost) equal terms with Microsoft's dominant DirectX 11 platform. Version 4 adds the all important support for tessellation thanks to two new stage shaders.

These will reduce the load on the CPU by letting the GPU take over geometry tessellation computation. Other improvements include "64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and inputs/outputs for increased rendering accuracy and quality" as well as being able to interoperate better with OpenCL seamlessly to accelerate what OpenGL calls "computationally intensive visual applications" like 3D rendering or games.

This last improvement is quite significant given the growing importance of the GPUs, many of which have overtaken even the most powerful processors around as the fastest (in terms of raw performance) component in a computer.

It also paves the way for a broader support for the General Purpose GPU category which will become more important as the two main graphics powerhouse, Nvidia and AMD push forward with CUDA and Stream respectively.

You can learn more about the other significant improvements in OpenGL 4.0 on their http://www.opengl.org/documentation/current_version/ website.

The Khronos Group, the entity behind the cross platform graphics standard Open GL, has announced the fourth version of the 2D and 3D computer graphics set at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.

A slew of improvements means that OpenGL is now ready to compete on (almost) equal terms with Microsoft's dominant DirectX 11 platform. Version 4 adds the all important support for tessellation thanks to two new stage shaders.

These will reduce the load on the CPU by letting the GPU take over geometry tessellation computation. Other improvements include "64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and inputs/outputs for increased rendering accuracy and quality" as well as being able to interoperate better with OpenCL seamlessly to accelerate what OpenGL calls "computationally intensive visual applications" like 3D rendering or games.

This last improvement is quite significant given the growing importance of GPUs, many of which have overtaken even the most powerful processors around as the fastest (in terms of raw performance) component in a computer.

It also paves the way for a broader support for the General Purpose GPU category which will become more important as the two main graphics powerhouse, Nvidia and AMD push forward with CUDA and Stream respectively.

You can learn more about the other significant improvements in OpenGL 4.0 on their website.

Our Comments

Open GL was originally developed by Silicon Graphics Inc before being put under the control of Khronos Group which, according to Wikipedia, is a not-for-profit member-funded industry consortium that includes some of the biggest name in the hardware graphics industry.

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