Khronos Announces OpenXR, WebGL 2.0 Finalized & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 27 February 2017 at 09:00 AM EST. 8 Comments
The Khronos Group not only is shipping Vulkan 1.0.42 with many new extensions for this week's GDC but the embargo just expired on even more exciting announcements!

Here's the brief overview due to being short on time prior to the embargo expiration. Announcements include the already covered Vulkan 1.0.42, OpenXR as their new VR effort, a new 3D portability exploratory group, the WebGL 2.0 specification has been finalized, and there is a final call for feedback on glTF 2.0.

OpenXR is the name for Khronos' VR initiative. We've been talking about their VR effort since last year and OpenXR is the official name of their new VR standard they are developing. The OpenXR working group is backed by Valve, Oculus, Samsung, Google, Unity, Epic Games, and others.

The OpenXR API isn't being announced today but the cross-vendor working group is still working on this industry standard virtual reality API and should hopefully be announced in the months ahead. Having an industry standard for VR should lead to less fragmentation and hopefully better Linux support as well with only last week Valve having released SteamVR for Linux.

The new 3D portability exploratory group is in regards to native 3D portability APIs to help write rendering code efficiently for Vulkan, DX12, and Metal systems. This could be a big deal especially with Apple's WebGPU low-level web graphics API effort and that not being tied to a particular API at this point. This could also help in leading to more cross-platform / Linux titles if such a 3D portability API were to take hold and not introduce much overhead over D3D12/Vulkan directly.

While Firefox and Chrome have already enabled WebGL 2.0 by default, The Khronos Group also confirmed today the WebGL 2.0 specification is finalized and officially shipping. They will also be shipping glTF 2.0 in the near future and thus it's a last call for feedback.

Stay tuned for more GDC news this week on Phoronix. More details on this morning's Khronos announcements via
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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