AMD releases desktop OpenGL ES driver for accelerated WebGL plug-in-free 3D content on the web

Posted by Tony DeYoung on July 26, 2010
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AMD today announced the first OpenGL ES 2.0 driver for desktop computing environments specifically to support the WebGL standard for plugin-free 3D content on the web. Apple (Safari), Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox), and Opera (Opera) are the current browser contributors/supporters of the WebGL standard.

The new driver also enables software developers to use desktop PC equipped with Radeon or FirePro graphics (as opposed to embedded systems) to create applications based on OpenGL ES 2.0 for smartphones and tablets e.g. iOS4 and Android devices. This will make it easier for developers to port software applications between PCs and handhelds,  avoiding exclusive use emulators or translation layers to get OpenGL ES 2.0 code up and running.

The beta OpenGL ES 2.0 driver is available now and will be supported on all currently available AMD graphics products introduced since 2008, including ATI Radeon desktop, ATI Mobility Radeon, and ATI FirePro professional graphics cards

Updated 11 am Jul 26:  From Stumbling Ahead blog:
This is not an emulator or some sort of layer on top of OpenGL, but a full implementation of OpenGL ES accessed through EGL. Why is this important? How will this make your PC experience better? There are three reasons.

First, OpenGL ES on all modern AMD graphics desktops gives developers a unified environment. Game developers can write one 3D pipeline that can run on an HTC Evo, an Apple iPad, and on desktop and laptop PCs.

Second, this change will make web experiences faster and richer in the immediate future. WebGL is based on OpenGL ES. Web browsers will be able to use OpenGL ES directly on AMD hardware instead of having to translate every call to some other API first.

Third, mobile developers can create mobile content first directly on a PC without having to wrangle with SDKs or emulators to make sure their code functions correctly on OpenGL ES. This makes developers lives easier and speeds up the whole development process.

Look for OpenGL ES to make a big impact in bridging the gap with mobile devices and making 3D graphics more accessible.

Comments

This will make it easier for developers to port software applications between PCs and handhelds, avoiding exclusive use emulators or translation layers to get OpenGL ES 2.0 code up and running.
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