Graphics Industry Demonstrates Widespread Adoption of OpenGL 2.0 API

LOS ANGELES, Calif., SIGGRAPH 2005 — Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB) today announced at the SIGGRAPH 2005 industry tradeshow the impressive industry adoption of the OpenGL® 2.0 API and the OpenGL Shading Language. 3Dlabs, ATI and NVIDIA, the top manufacturers of real-time 3D graphics cards, have all, released products supporting the OpenGL 2.0 specification and the OpenGL Shading Language, ensuring its widespread availability. UGS, one of the largest CAD engineering software developers, has also included OpenGL Shading Language in its products, allowing its customers to create the highest level of realism ever achieved.

One of the most important and enduring standards in the computer industry, the OpenGL 2.0 API represents a revolution in graphics by providing high-level access to the programmable features of modern graphics processors and is an important step in creating photo-realistic, real-time 3D graphics. Since its introduction in 2003, the OpenGL Shading Language has become the most widely supported shading language for developing interactive graphics and visualization applications, with implementations for UNIX®, Microsoft® Windows®, Linux®, and other operating systems. This wide compatibility enables developers to readily move their work across most major commercial operating systems and hardware platforms. OpenGL Shading Language was extensively field tested within the proven ARB standardization process before its wide release one year ago.

"In today’s cross-platform hardware environment, everything from cinematic special effects and training simulations, to medical imaging and CAD engineering requires programming across a mix of Linux, UNIX, Apple, Sun and Windows platforms," said Shawn Underwood, director of marketing, Visual Systems Group, SGI. "The broad availability of the OpenGL Shading Language on graphics accelerator cards enables software developers to program freely across hardware, enabling ISVs to write once and deploy everywhere and giving consumers the choice of any hardware device they want."

"The emergence of programmable graphics hardware was the driving force behind developing OpenGL 2.0 and OpenGL Shading Language—the largest advancements ever made to OpenGL," said Randi Rost, director of developer relations at 3Dlabs. "3Dlabs played a key role in the standardization process and, as an active member of the OpenGL ARB, we support both OpenGL 2.0 and OpenGL Shading Language in our award-winning 3Dlabs Wildcat® Realizm™ graphics accelerators and drivers, which offer cinematic-quality realism and real-time performance."

"The important synergy between graphics hardware and software emphasizes the importance of a strong and robust industry standard like OpenGL 2.0. Giving developers the power of programmable shaders regardless of platform means that we will start to see the true capabilities of today’s graphics processors being realized in a range of applications," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, PC Business Unit, ATI. "By continuing to drive and support open standards as part of the OpenGL ARB, ATI is putting the tools in place for developers and end users to fully leverage the possibilities of the graphics industry."

"The widespread adoption of OpenGL has made it the standard for the digital content community," stated Jeff Brown, general manager for NVIDIA professional products. "Since its inception, NVIDIA graphics hardware has leveraged this industry standard API to produce photo-realistic, real-time graphics on our programmable GPUs. OpenGL 2.0, with its advanced shading language, will allow developers to create even more compelling content using the latest generation of NVIDIA hardware."

With the inclusion of OpenGL Shading Language into the core of OpenGL API, software developers can be assured every graphics card that is OpenGL 2.0 compliant will showcase this capability regardless of who supports the OS.

"UGS delivers high-end CAD, Lifecycle Visualization and Product Lifecycle Management solutions on over 15 platforms, including all major operating systems and hardware vendors, from a single source code base," said Kent Kingston, Teamcenter Visualization Product Manager, UGS. "Many of our customers work in mixed Windows and UNIX environments and require smooth operation in and between both. No other graphics API approaches the flexibility, ubiquity and performance of OpenGL 2.0."

SIGGRAPH attendees are invited to join the OpenGL BOF (Birds of a Feather) to be held Wednesday, August 3, from 6-8 p.m., in the Sierra Ballroom of the Wilshire Grand Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles to learn about the latest plans for future features in the OpenGL API.

Most Widely Adopted Graphics Standard
With more than 60 hardware developer licensees, the OpenGL API has the broadest industry support of any openly licensed graphics API. In 1992, the Architecture Review Board was formed to govern the evolution and ongoing development of the OpenGL API, a technology originally created by SGI, and now the industry’s leading open, platform-independent standard for professional-quality 3D graphics.

The 9 Promoting members of the OpenGL ARB are 3Dlabs, Apple, ATI, Dell Inc., IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Silicon Graphics Inc. In addition to the Promoting members and Contributors, OpenGL is universally licensed throughout the graphics hardware developer community. More information on the OpenGL 2.0 API and its supporters will be made available on the OpenGL Web site at

About OpenGL
The OpenGL graphics system specification allows developers to incorporate a broad set of rendering, texture mapping, special effects and other powerful visualization functions and provides a graphics pipeline that allows unfettered access to graphics hardware acceleration. Since its introduction by SGI in 1992, OpenGL has become the industry's most widely used and supported 3D and 2D graphics API. OpenGL is supported on all major computer platforms, including AIX®, HP-UX®, IRIX®, Linux®, Mac® OS X, Microsoft® Windows® 2000 and Windows® XP and Solaris™. The OpenGL ARB governs the evolution and ongoing development of the OpenGL API. With broad industry support, OpenGL is the vendor-neutral, graphics standard that enables 3D graphics on multiple platforms ranging from cell-phones to supercomputers. OpenGL's consistent backwards compatibility has created a stable foundation for sophisticated graphics on a wide variety of operating systems for over 10 years. OpenGL is constantly evolving state-of-the-art functionality to efficiently support a wide array of applications from consumer games to professional design applications.


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