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Two on OpenGL: v1.4 Released, Standard Moves to Cell-Phones

Jul 17, 2002, 22:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Broersma)

[ Thanks to PDAJames for this link. ]

ZDnet UK: OpenGL 1.4 Unveiled

"Silicon Graphics (SGI) and a group of other major players in the computer graphics industry have released the latest specification for the OpenGL application programming interface, OpenGL 1.4. The new version includes a number of improvements designed to better take advantage of the latest 3D graphics hardware.

"SGI and Nokia also said that they are planning to work on a version of OpenGL for mobile phones, handheld computers and other portable devices. [See press release below. -ed.]

"OpenGL has been largely superseded for gaming on the Windows platform by Microsoft's DirectX, but is also widely used on other platforms, including Mac OS X, Linux and Unix. A number of best-selling 3D games, including Doom and Quake, also rely on OpenGL, but it is more widely used for technical computing such as simulations or building visualisations of buildings and landscapes, and for computer-aided industrial design..."

Complete Story

The press release for the SGI/Nokia announcment is as follows:

PR: SGI and Nokia Announce Agreement to Develop 3D Standard for Mobile Devices

SGI and Nokia have signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of a 3D standard suitable for all embedded mobile terminals, based on OpenGL, a vendor-neutral, multiplatform graphics standard. Mobile phones, PDAs and other mobile devices are about to be transformed by the addition of 3D graphics, which will greatly enhance the marketability of content services to consumers. The possibilities of these mobile terminals will be virtually unlimited, ranging from top-selling interactive games, to video clips synchronized with text, to 3D global positioning systems (GPS), and 3D representations of buildings and terrains.

Introduced by SGI in 1992, OpenGL marks its 10th anniversary as the industry's most widely used and supported 3D and 2D graphics application programming interface (API). The creation of open industry standards in the exploding marketplace of embedded mobile devices benefits everyone from software developers to consumers, since open standards ensure compatibility between hardware vendors.

The agreement between SGI and Nokia ties into an embedded devices standard that is being developed by the Khronos Group, a consortium of digital media and graphics industry leaders. The Khronos Group is involved in developing and marketing a variety of media and graphics standards for nonmobile devices including game terminals, set-top boxes and avionics. SGI and Nokia's agreement will enhance Khronos' embedded needs overall and extend the value for developers who write to OpenGL and want their applications to run across products from cell phones to supercomputers.

"The time to define open standards for mobile 3D graphics has arrived; the time is now," said Kari Pulli, senior research manager, Nokia. "We support Khronos' work in OpenGL. We are also leading Java Mobile 3D Graphics API standardization, and it is critical at this juncture to avoid the two approaches becoming incompatible. We look forward to working with SGI and to developing open standards that will benefit everyone."

The Khronos standard will complement the mobile Java standard currently being developed by an industry expert group representing major mobile phone companies, operators, and content and technology providers through the Java Community Process (JCP).

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