(PR) Khronos Details WebGL Initiative to Bring Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics to the Internet

Khronos Group

JavaScript Binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 for Rich 3D Web Graphics without Browser Plugins; Wide industry Support from Major Browser Vendors including Google, Mozilla and Opera; Specification will be Available Royalty-free to all Developers

4th August, 2009 – New Orleans, SIGGRAPH 2009 – The Khronos(TM) Group, today announced more details on its new WebGL(TM) working group for enabling hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in Web pages without the need for browser plug-ins. First announced at the Game Developers Conference in March of 2009, the WebGL working group includes many industry leaders such as AMD, Ericsson, Google, Mozilla, NVIDIA and Opera. The WebGL working group is defining a JavaScript binding to OpenGL® ES 2.0 to enable rich 3D graphics within a browser on any platform supporting the OpenGL or OpenGL ES graphics standards. The working group is developing the specification to provide content portability across diverse browsers and platforms, including the capability of portable, secure shader programs. WebGL will be a royalty-free standard developed under the proven Khronos development process, with the target of a first public release in first half of 2010. Khronos warmly welcomes any interested company to become a member and participate in the development of the WebGL specification.

The WebGL specification will leverage recent developments in Web technology including the Canvas element defined as part of the HTML 5 specification and the marked increases in JavaScript performance across all major browsers. Accelerated OpenGL ES functionality that is directly accessible from JavaScript is expected to encourage a wide variety of 3D-enhanced Web applications including those using rich user interfaces for enhanced navigation and functionality – making the Web more enjoyable, productive and intuitive for end-users.

“The Web has already seen the wide proliferation of compelling 2D graphical applications, and we think 3D is the next step for Firefox. We look forward to a new class of 3D-enriched Web applications within Canvas, and for creative synergy between OpenGL developers and Web developers,” said Arun Ranganathan of Mozilla and chair of the WebGL working group.

“Google is committed to open web standards and is very excited to be part of the WebGL initiative,” said Matt Papakipos, engineering director at Google. “We believe that WebGL is an important step toward making high-performance 3D possible in the browser.”

“The WebGL working group inside Khronos is a unique forum that is bringing together browser and silicon vendors to create a low-level, foundation API for 3D on the Web,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Khronos will be reaching out to the key Web standards groups and the wider community to ensure WebGL is an appropriate, dynamic and enabling piece of the Web ecosystem.”

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL® ES, WebGL(TM), OpenCL(TM), OpenMAX(TM), OpenVG(TM), OpenSL ES(TM), OpenKODE(TM), and COLLADA(TM). All Khronos members are able to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at khronos.org.