Khronos Group Releases OpenGL 4.2 Graphics Specification

The Khronos Group rolled out version 4.2 of the OpenGL specification. The OpenGL 4.2 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.20 update to the OpenGL Shading Language. The royalty-free specification incorporates feedback from developers, and it maintains full backwards compatibility.

OpenGL 4.2 Specification Highlights

  • Enabling shaders with atomic counters and load/store/atomic read-modify-write operations to a single level of a texture
  • The capabilities can be combined, for example, to maintain a counter at each pixel in a buffer object for single-rendering-pass order-independent transparency
  • Capturing GPU-tessellated geometry and drawing multiple instances of the result of a transform feedback to enable complex objects to be efficiently repositioned and replicated
  • Modifying an arbitrary subset of a compressed texture, without having to re-download the whole texture to the GPU for significant performance improvements
  • Packing multiple 8 and 16 bit values into a single 32-bit value for efficient shader processing with significantly reduced memory storage and bandwidth (useful when transferring data between shader stages)
  • Enables applications to incrementally use new features, while portably accessing state-of-the-art graphics processing unit (GPU) functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms
  • Defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos
  • Includes the GLSL 4.20 update to the OpenGL Shading Language

More info: The Khronos Group