Fragment Shading Rate Extension Comes To OpenGL ES

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 2 June 2022 at 05:46 AM EDT. Add A Comment
STANDARDS --
Since 2020 the Vulkan API has offered a fragment shading rate extension for allowing games to provide higher levels of detail in a scene compared to other less important areas of the screen. Desktop OpenGL has also offered a fragment shading rate extension while this week a similar extension has been added for OpenGL ES.

Arm, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Imagination have crafted the EXT_fragment_shading_rate extension for OpenGL ES on mobile. By allowing fragment shading rates less than one invocation per pixel, the reduced shading rate can lead to saving power and processing resources for areas of the screen with less important details. This fragment shading rate extension for OpenGL ES can thus be very useful for mobile in extending battery life when not needing one fragment shader invocation per pixel but can fall back to the coarsest level of one fragment shader invocation per 4x4 block of pixels.

The OpenGL ES EXT_fragment_shading_rate extension is very close to the prior Qualcomm QCOM_shading_rate extension and the behavior supported by the Vulkan API.

Those interested in fragment shading rate support for OpenGL ES can see this GitHub pull for the details on this extension now added to the OpenGL Registry.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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