At SIGGRAPH 2012 today, the Khronos Group, the non-profit organization behind the OpenGL standard, announced the release of OpenGL 4.3, OpenGL ES 3.0 for mobile devices. OpenGL, in its various versions for mobile and desktop, is the one of the main standards for developing graphics-intensive 3D apps and games for the iPhone, Android and many consoles and desktop operating systems. Among the companies involved in the OpenGL working groups are heavy weights like AMD, Intel, ARM, NVIDIA, Broadcom, Apple, Google, Nokia and game developers like Epic, EA and Unity.
OpenGL ES 3.0, which remains backward compatible with ES 2.0, is meant to make life easier for programmers as it spells out tighter requirements for supported hardware features. The new spec also brings a number of OpenGL 3.3 and 4.x features to from the desktop to mobile. One of the most important new features in the new spec is support for new texture functionality that brings better texture compression (including the ETC2 and EAC standards) and a number of new hardware-accelerated features like instance rendering, occlusion queries and transform feedback to mobile.
OpenGL ES 3.0: Better Looking Mobile Games And Longer Battery Life
It’s worth noting that many developers currently pack different set of textures for different devices into one APK. Now, however, they will be able to use the same assets on mobile and the desktop, where the same features are also now part of the spec. Thanks to the improved compression features, those packages should be significantly smaller, which in turn should make downloads faster and reduce the memory footprint of these apps.