Khronos Releases OpenGL ES 3.1 Specification

“The new functionality in the OpenGL ES 3.1 API is a major step forward in bringing easy-to-access compute capabilities for advanced 3D graphics to mobile and embedded devices. The good news for Imagination’s extensive PowerVR developer ecosystem is that we designed all of our Rogue GPUs anticipating the full feature set of OpenGL ES 3.1, from the smallest, half-cluster graphics processors aimed at very affordable devices to multi-cluster, high-end GPUs designed for the ultimate flagship platforms. We are very excited about this next phase in mobile graphics as GPU compute becomes a more significant and integral part of advanced graphics applications,” said Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing, Imagination Technologies.

"With Mobica’s roots coming from the mobile space and with our strong interest in the development of next generation graphics, we are very excited to have contributed to the development of OpenGL ES 3.1,” commented Jim Carroll, CTO of Mobica “We look forward to continuing to help the Khronos group develop this further as we are already seeing the uptake of this specification with our customers for development and conformance testing.”

“The new OpenGL ES specification raises the bar for graphics interactivity and access to GPU compute across the mobile industry,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, director of mobile graphics at NVIDIA and OpenGL ARB working group chair. “The NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor brings desktop graphics capabilities to mobile and can naturally support OpenGL ES 3.1 as well as full desktop OpenGL 4.4. We’re committed to working with Khronos to evolve the OpenGL family of APIs to provide a powerful platform for visual computing across the industry.”

“Upcoming mobile applications will require integrated GPUs to concurrently render graphics and perform general computing tasks within the power constraints of mobile devices,” said Tim Leland, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are pleased to have worked with Khronos to develop appropriate APIs in OpenGL ES 3.1 for compute shaders and indirect draw commands in order to enable new experiences on mobile devices that use Snapdragon processors.”

“Vivante has been a long-term contributor to the OpenGL ES API, leading the way for mass market adoption of the latest graphics technologies in mobile products. The company’s early vision of multi-context photorealistic rendering and compute in smartphones and tablets has come to life with the introduction of OpenGL ES 3.1, along with the comprehensive list of additional API features that are supported by the Smaller-Faster-Cooler Vega GPU product line,” said Wei-Jin Dai, President and CEO of Vivante. “Developers adding OpenGL ES 3.1 support to their applications designed around Vega will give them the extra edge they need to redefine the visual user experience and interactive game play.”

Conformance – Enhancing the User Experience

The OpenGL ES working group at Khronos expects to update the OpenGL ES Adopter’s Program to provide extensive conformance tests for OpenGL ES 3.1 within three months, enabling implementers of the specification to gain access to source code for Conformance Tests and to use the OpenGL ES trademark on products that pass the defined testing procedure. This ensures that conformant OpenGL ES implementations provide a reliable, cross-platform graphics programming platform.

“We returned yesterday from a week of meetings with Khronos members and key industry figures in the well-established Chinese smartphone market; and we expect to see an increased adoption of OpenGL ES in China,” said Erik Noreke, VP business development of Khronos Group. “There are a growing number of Chinese SOC companies providing the Chinese market with mobile platforms supporting high performance 3D graphics; and with OpenGL ES 3.1 they are able to continue supporting the growing consumer demand for high resolution 3D enabled devices.”

About The Khronos Group

The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL™, OpenCL™, SPIR™, WebCL™, OpenVX™, OpenMAX™, OpenVG™, OpenSL ES™, StreamInput™, COLLADA™ and glTF™. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at

Khronos, DevU, StreamInput, SPIR, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, glTF, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners


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