At the SIGGRAPH graphics conference in New Orleans this week, the Khronos Group announced the release of OpenGL 3.2. The new revision of the graphics API standard, along with the accompanying OpenGL Shading Language 1.50, adds quite a few new features. The focus is on improving performance, providing options for better visual quality, and making porting from Direct3D easier. Highlights include:
- Increased performance for vertex arrays and fence sync objects to avoid idling while waiting for resources shared between the CPU and GPU, or multiple CPU threads;
- Improved pipeline programmability, including geometry shaders in the OpenGL core;
- Boosted cube map visual quality and multisampling rendering flexibility by enabling shaders to directly process texture samples.
In addition, Khronos has defined a set of five new ARB extensions that "enable the very latest graphics functionality introduced in the newest GPUs to be accessed through OpenGL." These extensions will be become part of the core of OpenGL in the future, after they have become widely adopted.
What about graphics vendor support? Well, NVIDIA has a beta driver available now, and AMD/ATI plans to have a driver supporting OpenGL 3.2 before the end of the year.