Khronos Updates OpenGL Specification to Version 4.3 to Boost Security, Support Compute Shaders

OpenGL 4.3 Brings In Compute Shaders, Enhanced Flexibility, Improved Security, Other New Features

by Anton Shilov
08/08/2012 | 10:34 PM

The Khronos Group, a major standard setting organization for computer graphics, this week announced the release of the OpenGL 4.3 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). The version 4.3 of the spec brings support for features that are already present in DirectX 11.1, a major API designed by Microsoft Corp., and adds a number of brand-new capabilities.


The OpenGL 4.3 specification contains new features that extend functionality available to developers and enables increased application performance. In particular, the OGL 4.3 supports compute shaders needed to perform complex operations without utilizing pixel shaders or vertex shaders. In addition, the version 4.3 supports new memory security capabilities needed to  eliminate potential threats or stability issues. Initially, the OpenGL 4.3 is only supported by Nvidia Corp.'s select desktop GeForce graphics processing units through a beta driver. Eventually, other vendors, such as AMD, Intel and so on.

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“Developer feedback has been key to creating a faster, more capable API that meets emerging needs, such as providing a secure platform for GPU-accelerated web applications using WebGL and compute shaders that harness GPU parallelism for advanced computation,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, working group chair of the OpenGL ARB and director of Tegra graphics at Nvidia.

New functionality in the OpenGL 4.3 specification includes: