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n n n n Trends & Technologies December 2009 50 S SIGGRAPH is a major milepost and gather- ing point for the far-flung members of the Khronos organization. As such, the group al- ways has an important announcement or two to make during this event. is year, the mem- bers of the OpenGL ARB working group an- nounced OpenGL 3.2, the group's latest evo- lution of the OpenGL API, last updated just nine months ago at GDC 2009 and a contin- uation of the OpenGL 3 platform launched at SIGGRAPH a year ago in Los Angeles. Just the fact that the point releases are com- ing thick and fast is significant for OpenGL. Khronos president Neil Trevett notes that they're thinking of the larger OpenGL re- leases as platforms, with point releases follow- ing rapidly to meet the demands of software developers and to match and drive advances in hardware. What he'd like people to under- stand about the OpenGL 3.0 release last year and the subsequent 3.1 and 3.2 sub-releases is that the API is now evolving to a schedule, and the group is moving quickly to add the fea- tures needed by hardware manufacturers and requested by the developer community. Barthold Lichtenbelt is the group chair for the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB). While Lichtenbelt is not revealing whether there will be another point release (OpenGL 3.X) before the group is ready with OpenGL 4, he doesn't expect the group to have to wait a full year until SIGGRAPH 2010 to release the next spec—a fairly astounding as- sertion coming out of OpenGL. Regular updates according to a deadline were not always a modus operandi of the OpenGL ARB. Not because it couldn't do things more quickly, but because OpenGL was once a monolithic standard designed for all graphics applications. e group eventually developed the idea of feature deprecation—being able to spin off consistent, compliant subsets of the parent standard—to enable API streamlining and profiles to serve the diverging demands of the increasingly broad constituency in the software development world. And, eventually, Khronos united with OpenGL ARB, enabling the coordination of OpenGL and OpenGL ES for new devices and applications. e Khronos Group and the OpenGL ARB joined forces in 2006 to streamline the development process of various OpenGL fam- ily members, including Khronos' OpenGL ES for mobile devices. As the groups came togeth- er, the OpenGL group benefitted from the dy- namics of the Khronos Groups, which have had to move fast to keep up with the mobile device industries. e reunion of OpenGL with its spin-off, OpenGL ES, and the broad- er interests of the Khronos Group as a whole, enables OpenGL to become a key and central part of a broader open API ecosystem. A New Relationship Khronos has developed a tight relationship between OpenGL and OpenCL (Open Com- puting Language). OpenCL was proposed by Apple and developed at the Khronos Group. It is a framework for writing programs that

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