Intel and Nvidia have been working together to make their latest graphics cards compatible with Mesa’s latest multimedia application suite, OpenGL 3, which makes it possible for applications to take advantage of the graphics cards’ new processing power.
This means that, for example, a video game will be able to render more complex animations without the need to wait for additional CPU or GPU resources.
“The OpenGL 3 suite is the only way to achieve the latest graphics capabilities,” says David Wainwright, the VP of engineering at Intel.
“With OpenGL 3 you can do the most out of a GPU by leveraging a graphics processor, and it will take a small amount of processing power to do that.
OpenGL 3 allows you to do much more with a GPU than you could before.”
The software developers have already started using OpenGL 3 on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 and GeForce GTX 680 GPUs, so this is likely to be the first time OpenGL 3 will be supported by NVIDIA.
But Wainright is keen to stress that OpenGL 3 is not yet supported by AMD, and that the company is “very interested in making it available for all of our partners”.
“We have a lot of work to do to make sure OpenGL 3 becomes a standard feature for all partners, but we have an interest in supporting it,” he says.
“If we are not in the business of selling graphics cards, then we will be supporting it as a standard.”
This news comes in the wake of AMD’s decision to shut down its own gaming graphics chip business, which saw it cut its own workforce by 70 percent, with the closure of its manufacturing facilities.
The news of Intel and its new partner Nvidia’s new graphics cards also comes as Nvidia has announced the release of a new video game engine that it hopes will give developers more control over the graphics card they use.
AMD and Nvidia are already working together on a new GPU technology, known as “GeForce GameWorks” and the company has already shown off a demo of the technology in the latest version of its Radeon Software Crimson driver.
GeForce gameWorks is an extension of OpenGL 3 that allows developers to render and render well-crafted, realistic 3D scenes, but the company isn’t ready to show off the full functionality of this technology just yet.
Wainwright says that the next major release of AMD Radeon software, codenamed “Exynos 8890”, will allow developers to “really nail the 3D graphics performance” they need.
So far, Nvidia and AMD have been the only two game developers to offer OpenGL 3 support for their game-developers’ hardware, but Wainwrt says that they are “very keen” to work with other game developers as well.
In the meantime, he says, AMD and Nvidia “are working together with us to make this technology available”.
AMD has been pushing for OpenGL 3 to be “the standard” since 2014, when it released the GL_ARB_texture_storage API.
At the time, Wainwood says that OpenGL’s “high performance, high fidelity, low power approach” to graphics was a “major breakthrough”.
In December, the company announced the arrival of OpenGL 4, which would bring “a host of new features to game developers”.
However, the final version of GL_EXT_texture is still a work-in-progress and the API is “still in a state of transition”, and Wainwer says that AMD and its partners have “been working together for a number of years” to “get ready for the future”.
According to Wain Wright, OpenGL 4 will be “more than just the same OpenGL you know and love”.
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