Yesterday NVIDIA released their first 190.xx Linux beta driver for their GeForce and Quadro graphics cards. The NVIDIA 190.16 Beta driver brought a number of VDPAU fixes, PowerMizer control features, a number of new official and unofficial OpenGL extensions receiving GLX protocol support, and there were a number of other fixes and enhancements too. However, now that we have had a chance to analyze this driver, there is more in store than what the change-log shares regarding this driver. There is in fact support for the unreleased OpenGL 3.2 specification.
After facing a number of setbacks, OpenGL 3.0 was announced just shy of a year ago. OpenGL 3.0 upset some developers as it did not bring some of the promised changes, but then this past March there was the release of OpenGL 3.1. At the same time as announcing OpenGL 3.1, the Khronos Group also announced the release of OpenSL ES 1.0 as a new audio standard and they shared that they would be aiming to create an accelerated 3D API for the web, after joining forces with Google and other vendors. OpenGL 3.1 was released with version 1.40 of GLSL, or the OpenGL Shading Language. Some of the features that were introduced with the OpenGL 3.1 specification was support for instancing, an API for fast data copy that can be used with OpenCL, uniform buffer objects, and texture buffer objects. It has not even been six months yet since the release of OpenGL 3.2, but it should be released soon. With OpenGL 3.2 appearing in this new NVIDIA Linux driver, we suspect the Khronos Group will announce the OpenGL 3.2 specification early next month. Taking place in New Orleans during the first week of August is SIGGRAPH 2009, the annual graphics conference, where in fact OpenGL 3.0 was released last year. During this conference, we anticipate OpenGL 3.2 being released.