Skip to content or navigation

Khronos Group unleashes OpenGL 4.0 spec

Khronos Group unveils OpenGL 4.0 at GDC – latest industry standard for graphics gets further advanced.


The OpenGL 4.0 specification has been defined and unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week in San Francisco. The Khronos Group spear heads the open industry standard via the OpenGL ARB (Architectural Review Board).  The new standard includes the GLSL 4.0 update to the OpenGL Shader language in order to enable developers to access the latest generation of GPU acceleration with significantly enhanced graphics quality, acceleration performance and programming flexibility.

OpenGL 4.0 and OpenCL

Apple-invented open industry standard OpenCL is now more closely aligned and interoperable with OpenGL via OpenGL 4.0. New new features in OpenGL 4.0 include:

  • Core and Compatibility OpenGL 3.2 profiles retain backwards compatibility;
  • two new shader stages that enable the GPU to offload geometry tessellation from the CPU;
  • per-sample fragment shaders and programmable fragment shaders,
  • drawing of data generated by OpenGL or external APIs such as OpenCL without main CPU intervention;
  • shader subroutines for better programming flexibility;
  • new object type called “sampler objects” provide separation of texture state and texture data;
  • 64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and quality;
  • performance improvements, included instanced geometry, instanced shaders, instanced arrays and a new timer query.

The Khronos Group has also released an OpenGL 3.3 specification, together with the set of ARB extensions, to enable some OpenGL 4.0 functionality in previous generation GPU hardware.

It is unclear at this time when operating systems vendors will support the new OpenGL 4.0 standard. For more information visit this link.

Reader Comments

Comments for this story are closed


INSIDER Xpresso 
Monthly newsletter with a focus on emTech (AI, machine learning, AAD, AR, robotics, 3d printing, and smart cities) its impact on CAD professionals.)

Subscribe now — it’s free!.

INSIDER Xpresso keeps CAD industry professionals up-to-date on next-gen emerging technologies (emTech) that will revolutionize the worlds of AEC and manufacturing and design. As an Xpresso reader, you will hear from some of the most important voices inventing and using the very latest tech in areas such as AI, machine learning, algorithm-aided design (AAD), AR, VR, MR, 3D printing, 3D computer vision, robotics, and SmartCities technologies.

Each issue arrives in your inbox on the first Sunday of the month. Issue #1 arrived on March 3, 2019. Full archives and easy navigation for your pleasure. Enjoy! 

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter
architosh INSIDER Xpresso.

  • Architosh will never pass any of your information onto third parties.
  • For more information read our privacy policy.
  • It is easy to unsubscribe at any time. Follow the links in the newletter footer.

(Recommended. These infrequent sponsored emails help us to provide our Xpresso newsletter for free.)

INSIDER Membership

Read 3 free Feature or Analysis articles per month.

Or, subscribe now for unlimited full access to Architosh.