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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 (opens in new tab).

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.

Related Links

OpenGL 4.0 released by Khronos Group (opens in new tab)

(H-Online)

OpenGL 4 spec arrives with Direct3D 11 feature parity (opens in new tab)

(Arstechnica)

OpenGL releases improved interface (opens in new tab)

(Techeye)

Khronos Group publishes OpenGL 4.0 specs (opens in new tab)

(V3)

OpenGL 4.0 plays catch-up with DirectX 11 (opens in new tab)

(Hexus)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.