Khronos Group, an industrial group overseeing development of OpenGL, OpenCL and other cross-platform standards, recently unveiled initiative to completely rebuild the OpenGL application programming interface. The next-generation OpenGL is projected to be a low-level API, just like AMD’s Mantle and Microsoft Corp.’s DirectX 12.
Last week Khronos announced a call for participation in a project to define a future open standard for high-efficiency access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs. Key directions for the new ground-up design include explicit application control over GPU and CPU workloads for performance and predictability, a multithreading-friendly API with greatly reduced overhead, a common shader program intermediate language, and a strengthened ecosystem focus that includes rigorous conformance testing.
Maximized control over resources, low-level access to hardware and greatly reduced overhead allow to either boost performance of graphics/compute hardware or cut-down power consumption of systems. Both AMD Mantle and Microsoft DirectX 12 try to achieve similar goals, but while AMD Mantle only supports AMD hardware, whereas DirectX 12 requires Windows operating system. Apparently, AMD has already helped Khronos with the OpenGL Next.
The TechReport web-site quotes Richard Huddy, chief gaming scientist at AMD, as saying that AMD had dne a "great deal of work" with the Khronos Group on OpenGL Next. AMD has provided the organization unrestrained access to Mantle so the group could learn how AMD implemented certain things.
“This is how we do it. If you want to take the same approach, go ahead,” said Richard Huddy. “Khronos is free to take as many pages as it wants out of the Mantle playbook, and AMD will impose no restrictions, nor will it charge any licensing fees.”
According to Khronos, fast-paced work on detailed proposals and designs are already underway, and any company interested to participate is strongly encouraged to join Khronos for a voice and a vote in the development process.
“We are super excited to contribute and work with the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative, and bring our experience of low-overhead and explicit graphics APIs to build an efficient standard for multiple platforms and vendors in Khronos,” said Johan Andersson, technical director at Frostbite - Electronic Arts. “This work is of critical importance to get the most out of modern GPUs on both mobile and desktop, and to make it easier to develop advanced and efficient 3D applications - enabling us to build amazing future games with Frostbite on all platforms."