Khronos Group unveils OpenGL 4.0

The Khronos Group has announced a new version of its OpenGL specification.

OpenGL 4.0 specification is a significant update to the most widely-used 2D and 3D graphics API, and includes the GLSL 4.00 update to the OpenGL shading language, allowing developers to access the latest generation of GPU acceleration.

Khronos told the Game Developer Conference in California that OpenGL 4.0 showcases the same level of GPU capability as DirectX 11.

OpenGL 4.0 further improves the close interoperability with OpenCL for accelerating computationally-intensive visual applications, Khronos said. OpenCL divides tasks bewteen GPU and CPU offloading many repetitive tasks to the GPU.

Two new shader stages enable the GPU to offload geometry tessellation from the CPU and shader subroutines significantly increase programming flexibility, with added 64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and inputs/outputs for increased rendering accuracy and quality.

Khronos has also released an OpenGL 3.3 specification, together with a set of ARB extensions, to enable as much OpenGL 4.0 functionality as possible on more elderly GPUs.

OpenGL is also available as OpenGL ES for mobile devices such as the iPhone and WebGL for browser applications.