Khronos Releases Final WebGL 1.0 Specification

Category: News
Beaverton, Ore. - The Khronos Group released the final WebGL 1.0 specification to enable hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in HTML5 Web browsers without the need for plug-ins. 

WebGL defines a JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 to enable rich 3D graphics within a browser on any platform supporting the industry-standard OpenGL or OpenGL ES graphics APIs. WebGL has the support of major silicon and browser vendors, such as Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Opera, with multiple browsers already shipping with WebGL implementations, including the beta releases for Mozilla Firefox 4.0, all channels of Google Chrome 9.0, an Opera preview build, and Apple Mac OS Safari nightly builds.

WebGL leverages the availability of OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics on almost all browser-capable desktop, mobile, and embedded platforms and recent developments in Web technology, including increases in JavaScript performance. Web developers can access OpenGL-class graphics directly from JavaScript and freely mix 3D with other HTML content, potentially enabling a new wave of innovation in Web gaming, educational, and training applications and graphically rich user interfaces to make the Web more enjoyable, productive, and intuitive.

A thriving middleware ecosystem around WebGL provides a wide diversity of Web developers the ability to create compelling 3D content for WebGL-enabled browsers. These tools include: C3DL, CopperLicht , EnergizeGL, GammaJS, GLGE, GTW, O3D, OSG.JS, SceneJS, SpiderGL, TDL, Three.js, and X3DOM.

In addition to the WebGL specification, Khronos has created a comprehensive WebGL test suite that can be downloaded free of charge. Implementers of WebGL-capable browsers can run the test suite and upload their passing test results in order be able to designate their implementations as conformant to the WebGL specification. 

"Nvidia helped to form the WebGL initiative as we believe it will fundamentally change the Web experience and we are committed to provide the optimal WebGL experience across Quadro and GeForce graphics on desktops and Tegra-based superphones and tablets," says Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president mobile content at NVIDIA. "The Khronos WebGL Working Group is a uniquely productive forum that has brought together the expertise of both browser and GPU vendors. Khronos is committed to working with the Web community to ensure WebGL is a dynamic and enabling piece of the Web HTML5 ecosystem for both desktop and mobile platforms."

Khronos is also announcing the formation of the WebCL working group to explore defining a JavaScript binding to the Khronos OpenCL standard for heterogeneous parallel computing.  WebCL creates the potential to harness GPU and multi-core CPU parallel processing from a Web browser, enabling acceleration of applications, such as image and video processing and advanced physics for WebGL games. 



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