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Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Khronos Releases of OpenGL 4.1 Specification


The Khronos Group today announced the release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API.

OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years. This new version continues to maintain full backwards compatibility to enable developers to begin using new features whenever they choose, while portably accessing GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

The OpenGL 4.1 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.10 update to the OpenGL Shading language and is accompanied by a number of extensions introducing functionality to the OpenGL standard. The full specification is available for immediate download at http://www.opengl.org/registry.

New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification includes:

- Full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 APIs for easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms;
- The ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time;
- The capability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;
- 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric precision;
- Multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

New ARB extensions introduced with OpenGL 4.1 include:

- OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for enhanced OpenCL interoperability;
- The ability to set stencil values in a fragment shader for enhanced rendering flexibility;
- Features to improve robustness, for example when running WebGL applications;
- Callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

Lastly, Khronos has simultaneously released a set of ARB extensions to enable as much OpenGL 4.1 core functionality as possible on previous generation GPU hardware; providing maximum flexibility and platform coverage for application developers.


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