The latest version of the OpenGL® specification, incorporating support for
the OpenGL Shading Language application programming interfaces (API), was
announced today by Silicon Graphics and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB)
at the SIGGRAPH 2004 industry tradeshow. One of the most important and enduring
standards in the computer industry, OpenGL® 2.0 presents a revolution in
graphics by providing high-level access to the programmable features of modern
graphics processors and is an important step in creating photo-realistic,
real-time 3D graphics. New features of OpenGL 2.0 include:

– Programmable shading. With the new release, both OpenGL Shading Language
and its APIs are now core features of OpenGL. New
functionality includes the ability to create shader and program objects; and the
ability to write vertex and fragment shaders in OpenGL
Shading Language.
– Multiple render targets that enable programmable shaders to write different
values to multiple output buffers in a single pass.
– Non-power-of-two textures for all texture targets, thereby supporting
rectangular textures and reducing memory consumption.
– Two-sided stencil, with the ability to define stencil functionality for the
front and back faces of primitives, improving performance of shadow
volume and constructive solid geometry rendering algorithms.
– Point sprites, which replace point texture coordinates with texture
coordinates interpolated across the point. This allows drawing points as
customized textures, useful for particle systems.

The latest version of the OpenGL® specification, incorporating support for
the OpenGL Shading Language application programming interfaces (API), was
announced today by Silicon Graphics and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB)
at the SIGGRAPH 2004 industry tradeshow. One of the most important and enduring
standards in the computer industry, OpenGL® 2.0 presents a revolution in
graphics by providing high-level access to the programmable features of modern
graphics processors and is an important step in creating photo-realistic,
real-time 3D graphics.

OpenGL® Shading Language has been extensively field tested for a year within
the proven ARB standardization process. Potential applications include cinematic
quality images for games, more realistic imagery for training and simulation,
better analysis tools for medical visualization, and more true-to-life simulated
environments for designing and styling manufactured products.

Since its introduction in 2003, OpenGL Shading Language has become the most
widely supported shading language for developing interactive graphics and
visualization applications, with implementations for UNIX®, Microsoft® Windows®,
Linux®, and other operating systems. This wide compatibility enables developers
to readily move their work across most major commercial operating systems and
hardware platforms. OpenGL 2.0 fully supports all applications written under the
previous versions of the specification.

"Explosive data growth is driving new uses of visualization," said Paul
McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Visual Systems Group, SGI.
"Data analysis, for instance, demands that the results are visually conveyed to
minutely fine levels of granularity. With the inclusion of OpenGL Shading
Language into the core of OpenGL, developers can be assured every graphics card
that is OpenGL 2.0 compliant will showcase this capability regardless of who
supports the OS."

"With the availability of OpenGL Shading Language, OpenGL continues to provide
progressive, platform-independent access to the power of today’s
hardware-accelerated graphics engines," said Rob Gingell, chief engineer and
fellow, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "With JSR 231 being introduced last year, Java
developers will enjoy an unprecedented set of tools for creating visually
exciting applications."

"Dell’s involvement in developing OpenGL 2.0 underscores our commitment to
driving standards and delivering technologies that our customers demand," said
Kevin Kettler, chief technology officer and vice president, Dell Inc. "Including
OpenGL Shading Language in OpenGL core marks a major accomplishment that will
deliver new functionality and drive next generation graphics programming."

New features of OpenGL 2.0 include:

– Programmable shading. With the new release, both OpenGL Shading Language
and its APIs are now core features of OpenGL. New
functionality includes the ability to create shader and program objects; and the
ability to write vertex and fragment shaders in OpenGL
Shading Language.
– Multiple render targets that enable programmable shaders to write different
values to multiple output buffers in a single pass.
– Non-power-of-two textures for all texture targets, thereby supporting
rectangular textures and reducing memory consumption.
– Two-sided stencil, with the ability to define stencil functionality for the
front and back faces of primitives, improving performance of shadow
volume and constructive solid geometry rendering algorithms.
– Point sprites, which replace point texture coordinates with texture
coordinates interpolated across the point. This allows drawing points as
customized textures, useful for particle systems.

"3Dlabs trail-blazed both the vision and the creation of OpenGL Shading Language
and we are fully committed to the deployment and continued evolution of this
critical industry standard," said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of market
development, 3Dlabs. "Our professional graphics accelerators ship with
industrial-strength support for OpenGL Shading Language that is now included in
OpenGL 2.0 to bring full programmability to the most demanding design
applications."

"ATI is proud to have led the workgroup that created the OpenGL Shading Language
and its extensions," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president of marketing and
general manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "This collaborative effort to
advance the industry will allow content creators to develop even more realistic
rendering both in real-time and offline. ATI has supported the OpenGL Shading
Language since 2003 in its products and continues to work with developers to
push the limits of what is possible with graphics technology."

"The widespread availability of key enabling technologies like mainstream
64-bit, PCI Express, and OpenGL Shading Language has made this undoubtedly one
of the most exciting years in graphics history," said Nick Triantos, chief
software architect, NVIDIA Corporation. "By providing full support for OpenGL
Shading Language and three generations of finely-honed, programmable graphics
hardware, developers and users have all the tools to create the next generation
of visually compelling content and applications today."

OpenGL Shading Language Developer Session

The OpenGL ARB is hosting a detailed three-hour session for applications
developers wishing to learn how to use OpenGL Shading language in real-world
applications from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, in Tech Talk Room 2 in the
registration area of SIGGRAPH. Admittance is free.