Android SDK catches up with full hardware spport
Google's Xavier Ducrohet and Reto Meier posted word of a major update to the Android SDK to improve its usability for developers. Those running the Android 4.0.4 simulator now get graphics hardware acceleration instead leaning wholly on the Mac or Windows PC's processor. It not only improves the responsiveness to give a sense for the real experience but lets app writers test OpenGL ES 2.0 games, allowing testing at least some 3D games without having to get the real hardware.
Mac OS X Mountain Lion adds iMessage, Reminders
In a surprise step, Apple on Thursday gave developers a preview version of OS X Mountain Lion, the next significant update to the core OS. The new version is directly influenced by iOS 5 and includes Notification Center, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, and Twitter integration, with iCloud syncing where it's relevant. AirPlay Mirroring is also new to the Mac and shares exactly what's on screen through an Apple TV.
AMD unveils Radeon HD 7700 series
AMD took its Radeon HD 7000 series to the starter level quickly on Wednesday. The Radeon HD 7750 and 7750 GHz Edition step back in visual processor counts versus the 6700 line, from 720 and 800 cores to 512 and 640 respectively, but make up for it through more than a year's worth of technology. Both the new overall architecture and a shrink to a leaner 28 nanometer building process let the 7750 and 7770 climb to 800MHz and 1GHz core speeds (up from 700MHz and 850MHz).
Mac version offers extra equipment, missions
Based on the original game by Bethesda Softworks and iD Software, Aspyr has ported the first-person shooter Rage to the Mac in a "Campaign Edition" that features bonus equipment and missions formerly exclusive to the Rage: Anarchy Edition for the PC and Xbox. The Mad Max-style post-apocalypse adventure uses the iD Tech 5 OpenGL engine and represents the first entry in the Rage franchise for the Mac.
Search giant aims to correct misinformation
Aiming to clear up confusion and alleged misinformation surrounding Android's graphics handling, Google engineer Dianne Hackborn has provided a deeper look into the mobile platform's hardware acceleration and rendering methods. "Full" hardware acceleration is said to have been added with Android 3.0 and higher, however the software has implemented some hardware accelerated drawing since before version 1.0.
Intel Core 3000 series chip details show early
The desktop versions of Intel's Ivy Bridge processors have most of their details outlined in full through a roadmap discovered this week. The X-Bit Labs copy shows all the chips falling under the 3000 series in the same Core i3, i5, and i7 tiers, with four cores still the maximum for non-Extreme chips. Clock speeds would have a higher baseline, starting with a 2.7GHz Core i5 (3.2GHz after Turbo Boost) and peaking at a 3.5GHz Core i7 (3.9GHz).
Chip uses latest Midgard architecture
ARM has introduced a new graphics core, known as the Mali-T658, that promise to bring a significant leap in performance over its predecessor. The GPU is designed for mobile applications, working in conjunction with the company's Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors. The system is also compatible with a range of APIs such as OpenGL ES, OpenCL, OpenVG and DirectX 11.
StreamInput, WebCL groups cast wider feedback net
OpenGL 3D's latest specification was recently released by the Khronos Group at SIGGRAPH 2011. The new OpenGL 4.2 spec integrates developer feedback and adds new functionality for developers to use and improve app performance. Among the larger improvemens, shader enabling now allows atomic counters and load, store, or atomic read-modify-write operations for a single level of texture.
WebGL spec final with Apple, Google, Mozilla, more
NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M ramps up notebook video
NVIDIA overnight quietly brought out its first 500-series GeForce notebook graphics. The GeForce GT 540M like the GTX 580 is primarily a clock speed increase with an increase in its main and effects core clock speeds to 672MHz and 1.34GHz each. It shares the GeForce GT 435M's 96 cores and 128-bit memory bandwidth.
Ready to tackle iPod touch
First announced by Archos at IFA back in August, the Archos 43 internet tablet with Android 2.2 (Froyo) is now shipping. The device centers on a 4.3-inch 854x480 display, has Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth connectivity as well as an HDMI output. It comes with 16GB of on-board storage, which can be expanded by utilizing its microSD card slot. Powering the device is an ARM Cortex A8 running at 1GHz with DSP and graphics support for 3D OpenGL ES 2.0.
AMD Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 official
AMD tonight kicked off the launch of a new graphics core generation by launching the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870. The designs are roughly on par with the performance of the outgoing 5850 but, through a new architecture, are considerably cheaper at $179 (6850) and $239 (6870) while still being more power efficient, particularly at idle. The chip designer claims a performance edge of as much as 30 percent over the GeForce GTX 460; the move has already forced NVIDIA to drop the GTX 460's average price to $199 to compete.
AMD shows off Llano processor in full bore test
AMD at its in-house Technical Forum late yesterday showed off a fully functioning example of its Llano Fusion processor (video below). The CPU and graphics hybrid was given a full workload and smoothly decoded 1080p Blu-ray video, calculated Pi to the 32 millionth decimal place and generated particle effects all while using the graphics and general-purpose GPU functions of the chip instead of raw CPU power. A check of the DirectCompute stats saw it running at about 30 gigaflops of combined speed, or multiple times what a regular processor would do.
Gains metaplots, timelines, GL graphics
Metaview, a stock research and 3D market visualization tool, has been updated to v2.0, adding additional 3D features such as metaplots of volume data and 3D plotting of headlines and historic events. Developer Lyle Andrews has also added a "Dragnet" feature that searches for news stories related to stocks being analyzed, new faster OpenGL graphics and a more streamlined client/server architecture.
NVIDIA unveils GeForce GTS 450 entry video
NVIDIA this morning released its cheapest ever graphics chipset based on its current Fermi core. The GeForce GTS 450 scales back to 192 effects cores and a 128-bit memory bus but is expected to be on par or faster than its arch-rival, AMD's Radeon HD 5750. It's pitched as an alternative to integrated graphics as a partial GF106 core is both cheaper and much more energy efficient than a full GF106 core or earlier designs.
OpenGL 4.1 adds hooks for OpenCL and OpenGL ES
The Khronos Group today published the first specification for OpenGL 4.1 in what's considered a coup for desktop graphics. The standard catches up to DirectX 11 in visual features and overtakes it in integration with other standards: it can now sync graphics with OpenCL to take advantage of video hardware's general-purpose math features. Mobile app developers also now have full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0, theoretically letting a developer write an app for the iPhone or Android without having to change the visual effects when porting to a computer.
OpenCL 1.1 promises speedups
Standards body Khronos Group today rolled out OpenCL 1.1, a new version of the universal general-purpose computing format. It chiefly adds better integration with other devices: OpenCL events can be linked to those in OpenGL to have more math and graphics events start at the same time. Commands can also come from multiple destinations, and memory buffers can be spread across more than one device.
Adds fixes issues with Cisco VPNs, Adobe CS3
Apple has reportedly released a second developer beta of Mac OS X 10.6.4, the upcoming update for Snow Leopard. The emphasis in the new code, build 10F46, is said to be on fixing compatibility problems with OpenGL-based apps, as well as various errors linked to first- and third-party software. Some of these include trouble launching Adobe CS3 titles such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and graphics bugs that appear when watching video in DVD Player or using iPhoto's fullscreen mode.
Large Nokia device would have OpenGL ES 2 video
Game developer Fishlabs fueled rumors of a Nokia tablet earlier this week by quietly mentioning collaboration on a project. Both Fishlabs and Nokia are working together on a top-tier game for a device with a "large screen" and graphics hardware capable of OpenGL ES 2.0 effects. The software team didn't say when it expected the game or the matching hardware to be ready.
Boot Camp support improved
VMware has announced that Fusion 3.1 is now available as a public beta. The update brings improvements to graphics performance, with support for OpenGL 2.1 on Windows Vista and 7. A new USB "EasyConnect" feature is claimed to simplify device assignment, now remembering preferences for each device, while port conflicts are avoided when using the PC Migration utility.
Khronos says OpenGL deteails set
The Khronos Group today outlined the official feature set for OpenGL 4.0. The new graphics standard is the first major update since the launch of OpenCL and better exploits general computing features. It can draw the output of an OpenCL calculation without having to invoke the main processor and potentially frees up the processor even more when video or a similar task is already being offloaded to the graphics core.
Public update imminent?
Apple is seeding a new test build of Mac OS X 10.6.3 to developers, 10D552. The code is said to continue many of the troubleshooting efforts taken with the last two builds, correcting problems with AirPort, OpenGL, graphics drivers and QuickTime X, while improving the performance of 64-bit Logic. Also fixed are some compatibility and reliability issues with third-party printers, and a glitch which causes background message colors to behave badly in Mail.
Support finds its way into dev builds
The next Snow Leopard update will support OpenGL 3.0, reports suggest. References to the graphics technology are said to lay within the latest developer builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3, although the OS is not yet fully compatible. An ATI utility indicates that 95 percent of v3.0 libraries are supported, missing only Shader Language 1.3.
Flaws push NVIDIA Fermi past CES
NVIDIA's delay for Fermi will put it in March, video card makers said Monday. The company had acknowledged a push back to the first quarter of the year, but tips to DigiTimes now have the launch of cards based on the new chipsets moved to the very end of that period. The first part would be a mid-range chipset known for now as the GF!00 while a true high-end part, the GF104, wouldn't arrive until the spring.
Debugs iPhone graphic engines
Graphic Remedy says it has released the completed version of gDEBugger iPhone, its latest development tool. The software debugs OpenGL ES-based graphics engines intended for iPhone apps; programmers can thus work on improving rendering speed, as well as reducing memory footprints. gDEBugger operates on top of the Apple iPhone Simulator and supports iPhone 2.2.1, 3.0 and 3.1 SDKs, as well as both OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0.
Khronos Group preparing new standard for 2010
Khronos outs OpenGL 3.2
At the SIGGRAPH show that kicked off on Tuesday in New Orleans, the Khronos Group announced the release of its latest OpenGL graphics standard, OpenGL 3.2 (PDF). This update, the third major one in the last year, improves performance, quality, accelerated geometry processing and greater flexibility in dealing with 3D applications. Open GL 3.1 was released in March.
WebGL standard detailed
gDEBugger iPhone beta
Graphic Remedy has released a beta version of gDEBugger iPhone. The software is used to analyze graphic system implementations when developing OpenGL-based titles for the iPhone. OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 are supported, in which users can locate performance bottlenecks, and unnecessary function calls and state changes. The tool also tracks errors and can automatically suspend an app run when errors occur.
gDEBugger iPhone beta
Graphic Remedy has launched the beta gDEBugger iPhone. The software enables OpenGL ES-based application developers to debug and profile iPhone applications. Debugging applications is done with aims to maximize utilization of the iphone graphic resources and improve application rendering performance. Over 100 iPhone application developers have participated in the beta program since its launch yesterday.
gDEBbugger beta program
Graphic Remedy has launched a beta program for the Mac version of gDEBugger, its previously Windows- and Linux-only development tool. The software handles the profiling and debugging of OpenGL code, letting users track the causes of bad performance in OpenGL-based programs. Programmers can additionally tweak memory usage, fix redundant state changes and remove unrecommended OpenGL function calls.
No 64-bit CS4 for Mac
Though anticipated, some Mac users may still be disappointed at the lack of 64-bit support in Adobe Creative Suite 4. The suite was unveiled late Monday -- and while Windows users will be able to take full advantage of their 64-bit machines, Mac users will have to wait at least until the release of CS5. Still, the company says Mac users will see performance increases in the new version, because of OpenGL support, enhanced interfaces and other improvements.
AMD Radeon HD 4600
AMD started off Wednesday by setting a new relative ground floor for performance and hoping to beat NVIDIA's GeForce 9500 cards. The Radeon HD 4600 series is claimed to outperform both the 9500 GT and AMD's own earlier Radeon HD 3650 by including all the hardware optimizations of the 4800 series and still keeping 320 stream (visual effects) processors. It's also one of the least expensive graphics chipsets to support DirectX 10.1 and newer OpenGL 2.x visual effects, such as more precise lighting.
NVIDIA Supports OpenGL 3
NVIDIA this afternoon was quick to announced that it was supporting the new OpenGL 3.0 standard for graphics and has already launched a software driver beta. The update is currently available only for Windows PCs but lets all GeForce 8-, 9-, and GTX-series cards plus equivalent Quadro models run most of the newer features, including the 32-bit, floating point color and textures as well as other improvements to the way it handles geometry and vertex data.
OpenGL 3 Features
Standards backer Khronos Group has published the specifications for OpenGL 3.0, the next major revision to the universal graphics programming format. The new version focuses on high dynamic range (HDR) images and now includes support for 32-bit, floating point data both for depth and rendering buffers as well as for textures. The advance allows for more precise color and also permits more accurate calculation for visual effects.
Spore, more for iPhone
Apple today during a meeting covering its iPhone software roadmap announced that games are coming to iPhone, and that the highly anticipated massive multiplayer online title 'Spore' is also coming to the mobile handset. The iPhone features built-in OpenGL/OpenAL support for graphics as well as sound, and game developers can access the handset's Accelerometer for motion-based controls. Travis Boatman -- vice president of worldwide studios for EA Mobile -- took the stage at Apple's town hall meeting to talk about iPhone owners controlling 'Spore' by moving the iPhone in space.
NVIDIA APX 2500 Mobile GPU
NVIDIA on Monday took the wraps from the APX 2500, a new chipset it describes as an application processor for smartphones and other handhelds. Though it has a GeForce graphics unit at its core that helps drive 3D games, the 2500 is said to excel at processing HD video: the hardware is the only mobile chipset capable of both decoding and capturing 720p HD video, NVIDIA claims. Moreover, power savings in the chipset reportedly make this a practical reality in real use, with as much as 10 hours of 720p playback or a full 100 hours of pure audio. This last figure is more than four times longer than for existing touchscreen phones, the company notes.