Khronos Publishes OpenGL 4.4 Specification
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 22 July 2013 at 03:22 PM EDT. 33 Comments
Khronos unveiled today the OpenGL 4.4 specification as the latest industry-standard graphics API. OpenGL 4.4 delivers on buffer placement control, efficient asynchronous queries, shader variable layout, efficient multiple object binding, and a streamlined process for porting of Direct3D applications.

With OpenGL 4.4 comes version 4.40 of the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL). The specification was revealed today and now offers buffer placement control for allowing explicit control over the placement of buffers in graphics/system memory, better performance by offering efficient asynchronous queries, the shader variable layout for full control over the placement of shader interface variables, efficient multiple object binding support, and streamlined Direct3D porting support.

For making it easier to port Direct3D games/applications to OpenGL, there's a number of new OpenGL core functions and more variables/modes used right now by Direct3D. New extensions for OpenGL 4.4 include the bindless texture extension (GL_ARB_bindless_texture) and the sparse texture extension (GL_ARB_sparse_texture).

More details on the OpenGL 4.4 specification can be found via the announcement at OpenGL.org and the registry specification.

Expect the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA Linux GPU drivers to soon begin enabling support for OpenGL 4.4. However, for the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers to support GL 4.4 we are likely at least one year away if not two. Right now the open-source Linux graphics drivers can basically do OpenGL 3.1 to OpenGL 3.2 while there's a lot of work out before they will catch up in implementing OpenGL 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and then 4.4 support.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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