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07 October 2012

OpenGL ES 3.0

August the 6th 2012 is a great day for the OpenGL community. We got OpenGL 4.3 and what's probably the most impressive we have now: 

OpenGL ES 3.0!

ES 3.0 comes after above 5 years! The ES 2.0 was released in March 2007.
OpenGL ES 2.0 was built around OpenGL 2.0 spec and the gap between modern OpenGL (above 3.0) and ES was getting larger and larger. Now, with ES 3.0, even on mobile devices we can implement OpenGL with the 'modern' style.



  • Uniform buffer objects and Vertex Array Objects - thanks to those addons, code for passing geometry data to the gpu can be almost the same as for OpenGL 3.0+
  • Buffer management updates: buf to buf copy, sub range mapping.
  • Pixel buffer objects
  • Instance rendering and transform feedback
  • Multiple Render Targets and Multisampled Renderbuffers
  • NPOT Textures with support for mipmaps
  • Floating point textures (16 bit and 32 bit)
  • Integer textures and render targets
  • Others:
    • mandatory online compiler
    • non square matrices
    • new image formats
    • memory barrier
    • new GLSL for ES
  • And of course compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 code
ES 3.0 is a great step forward and we can suspect a lot of new stunning graphics demos for mobile platforms! As we see it is almost possible to share the same graphics code between several platforms: Windows, L:inux, Mac... and IOS, Android. The same techniques can be used without complicated 'translation' to different platforms.
Additionally more and more mobile GPUs have OpenCL on-board and that way very advanced algorithms can be run on the mobile devices.
For sure we are in front (or in the middle) of interesting times for OpenGL/ES!

BTW: maybe this post is a bit outdated (should be posted just after the 6th August) but it is still good that I managed to publish it anyway :)

“OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES logo is a trademark of Silicon Graphics Inc. used by permission by Khronos.”

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