Futuremark Corporation, the world’s leading developer of system performance analysis software and services for cell phones, handhelds and PCs, today announced the release of world’s first benchmark for devices with Khronos(tm) OpenGL(r) ES 2.0 programmable mobile graphics API. 3DMark Mobile ES 2.0 has been developed in co-operation with members of Futuremark’s Handheld Benchmark Development Program (BDP), an organization comprised of the industry’s most influential technology developers, semiconductor companies, device manufacturers and vendors.

Futuremark Corporation, the world’s leading developer of system performance analysis software and services for cell phones, handhelds and PCs, today announced the release of world’s first benchmark for devices with Khronos(tm) OpenGL(r) ES 2.0 programmable mobile graphics API. 3DMark Mobile ES 2.0 has been developed in co-operation with members of Futuremark’s Handheld Benchmark Development Program (BDP), an organization comprised of the industry’s most influential technology developers, semiconductor companies, device manufacturers and vendors.

At 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0’s core are next generation gaming workloads that are defined and programmed by Futuremark in conjunction with the BDP member companies. Licensees will be able to objectively assess real-world gaming performance by executing the workloads on their platforms and products. 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 strengthens Futuremark’s highly regarded international reputation in both the handheld and PC industries for producing accurate, fair, and unbiased benchmark tests. "We’re building upon the success of 3DMarkMobile ES 1.1 with this release, harnessing that expertise, and rolling out the world’s premier 3D performance benchmark for the OpenGL ES 2.0 API" said Petri Talala, Vice President of Futuremark’s Mobile Business Unit. "Every top mobile device vendor is currently implementing ES 2.0 in their next generation product lines, proving the immediate need for 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0. The benchmark was highly anticipated and already today it is providing meaningful performance data for our BDP members working on next generation mobile device 3D hardware."

Next generation mobile 3D graphics test suite, today

Designed to gauge the performance of tomorrow’s premium mobile gaming hardware today, 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 is a complete OpenGL ES 2.0 test suite that includes:

2 OpenGL ES 2.0 3D game content tests,
OpenGL ES 2.0 API feature tests including:
Unified Shader test for measuring the theoretical performance on vertex and fragment shader processing
Implementation of the Advanced world test from SimulationMark ES 2.0.
Post processing o Batch/state change test of Scene management / Depth complexity test
Texture Filtering / Image Quality test

Addressing the needs of cell phone industry value chain companies

For mobile device manufacturers, 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 enables OpenGL ES 2.0 performance comparisons between various hardware designs. Handset vendors and semiconductor companies evaluating future graphics technologies that need to make binding configuration decisions today benefit by the benchmark’s forward looking 3D game and feature tests. Typically, graphics technology choices need to be locked in years prior to the availability of handsets utilizing that technology, making evaluation of technology implementations difficult at best. Serving the solution to this pervasive challenge, 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 includes 3D game workloads which utilize algorithms that will not be available in actual games until well after next generation handsets hit the market. The benchmark assists any company in cell phone industry developing OpenGL ES 2.0 implementations to future proof their configuration choices.

3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 permits accurate evaluation of technology implementations today, yielding better performing 3D graphics capable devices in the future. Futuremark’s mobile industry strategy views OpenGL ES 2.0 as an interface for accelerated premium 3D gaming content in mobile devices, replicating performance levels typically found in PC gaming systems just two to three years old. Efficient implementation of the 3D API enables higher display quality and performance, uses shaders to replace fixed functionality, while significantly reducing engine cost and driver complexity. Futuremark acknowledges that OpenGL ES 1.0/1.1 will continue forward, offered in non-programmable hardware as will be found in tomorrow’s high volume mobile devices.

OpenGL ES 2.0, 3D API for mobile hardware

Created by the Khronos Group and it’s consortium of industry members, the OpenGL(r) ES 2.0 API for programmable 3D graphics will significantly boost the functionality, flexibility and visual realism offered by a wide range of embedded and mobile devices. OpenGL ES 2.0 complements the widely deployed OpenGL ES 1.1 standard for fixed function graphics by defining the OpenGL ES Shading Language for programming vertex and fragment shaders and integrating it with a streamlined OpenGL ES 1.1-derived API. Khronos expects that OpenGL ES 2.0 capable devices will ship with both OpenGL ES 2.0 drivers for visually advanced applications and OpenGL ES 1.1 drivers to support the growing number of native 3D applications coded to this widely adopted standard. Futuremark, a contributing partner in the Khronos Group, has previously developed benchmarks targeted to measure the performance of devices with hardware and software implementation of OpenGL ES 1.1. "A standard is just a piece of paper until it is supported by a full ecosystem. Effective benchmarking is one of the most vital pieces of any ecosystem as it drives innovation and encourages high-performing platforms in the marketplace," said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group. "Futuremark continues to play a leading and vital role in the OpenGL ES ecosystem by shipping 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 on the same day as the ground-breaking OpenGL ES 2.0 specification is finalized."

Futuremark enlists handheld industry feedback

Futuremark developed 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 workloads in close co-operation with mobile industry leaders via Futuremark’s Handheld BDP. The program’s membership includes AMD, ARM, Broadcom, DMP, Freescale Semiconductor, GiQuila, Imagination Technologies, Marvell, Mtekvision, NexusChips, NVIDIA, Renesas, Samsung, Symbian and Texas Instruments. The BDP formally queries industry members throughout the development process and provides both alpha and beta releases to those members, ensuring that all workloads and feature tests fulfill mobile industry requirements while providing consistent, unbiased and trustworthy performance data. "Futuremark have been timely in coming to the market with a credible benchmark for OpenGL ES 2.0 making it easier for ARM Partners to make informed choices about the purchases of embedded graphics IP. This also helps us to assess the performance of existing products and to enhance the ARM offering for the future," said Ed Plowman, product marketing manager, ARM Graphics Business Unit.

"By using benchmarks such as 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0, ARM will continue its innovation in the provision of highly-efficient processing technology for the mobile market." "Imagination Technologies is the leading provider of 3D graphics hardware acceleration technology to the mobile industry; real world gaming performance is critical to our success. Our latest PowerVR SGX Programmable Graphics Processing Unit hardware (GPU) accelerator fully supports OpenGL ES 2.0, and will be powering many of the most advanced mobile phones and handheld gaming devices over the next few years, setting new benchmarks for graphics performance. Futuremark provides us the benchmarking tools we need to validate that performance and help ensure the quality of our OpenGL ES 2.0 drivers, as well as providing a powerful demonstration platform to our customers" said Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination Technologies

"NVIDIA GoForce applications and graphics processors continue to deliver on the increasing multimedia demands of today’s market and with 3D graphics technology becoming increasingly important for all kinds of content such as games, user interfaces and more, we are happy to see benchmarks emerge which specifically promote these features," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of the handheld business unit at NVIDIA. "OpenGL ES 2.0 is an important standard for graphics acceleration and we look forward to seeing innovative content from our developers which showcases an improved mobile experience." "Texas Instruments’ OMAP 3 platform enables handset manufacturers to deliver a dynamic graphics experience and advanced multimedia performance in mobile devices. By basing their rendering pipelines on OpenGL ES 2.0 shader technology, game developers can bring a new level of 3D graphics realism to the handset," said Tom Olson, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments. "Futuremark’s benchmarking tools give us terrific insight into the gaming performance our OMAP processors, allowing us to measure and optimize OpenGL ES performance for advanced mobile games and graphics applications."

Availability

3DMarkMobile ES 2.0 will be released publicly in May, 2007. Source-code licensing for Futuremark’s current and future Handheld BDP members is available today. BDP membership and licensing inquiries can be requested by contacting [email protected].