Khronos Group, a non-profit industry consortium that manages the development of open-standard APIs, has announced the immediate availability of OpenGL 3.2.
The new release promises "enhanced performance, increased visual quality, accelerated geometry processing and easier portability of Direct3D applications". It arrives just months after OpenGL 3.1 was launched on March 24th.
Described by the Khronos Group as "the third major update in twelve months", OpenGL 3.2 arrives as the primary competitor to Direct3D 11 - a proprietary standard from Microsoft to be featured in the upcoming DirectX 11 API.
Included in the OpenGL 3.2 release are two profiles; a new, streamlined, Core profile designed for the development of new applications, and a Compatibility profile provided to maintain full backward compatibility with previous version of the OpenGL standard.
Key benefits for developers are listed by the Khronos Group as follows:
- Increased performance for vertex arrays and fence sync objects to avoid idling while waiting for resources shared between the CPU and GPU, or multiple CPU threads
- Improved pipeline programmability, including geometry shaders in the OpenGL core
- Boosted cube map visual quality and multisampling rendering flexibility by enabling shaders to directly process texture samples
Whether or not the release will signal an increase in the number of Direct3D games ported to non-Microsoft platforms such as Mac OS X remains to be seen, but OpenGL 3.2 - along with complete documentation - can be found at OpenGL.org.