SGI, Nvidia, VA to port OpenGL 1.2 to Linux
Open source OS finally gets 100 per cent official OpenGL implementation
VA Linux Systems, Nvidia and SGI are to bring workstation-class graphics to Linux through the joint development of an OpenGL 1.2-based 2D and 3D graphics acceleration sub-system. Long-time collaborators Nvidia and SGI will provide Nvidia's GeForce 256 3D graphics chip -- presumably in its pro-oriented Quadro form -- and the first official version of OpenGL 1.2 on Linux. OpenGL, while a de facto standard 3D rendering technology, isn't open source, and so has only made an appearance on Linux in the form of technologies such as Mesa, which essentially provide an OpenGL-style API. And they work very well -- the only snag is that, not being official ports of the SGI technology, they can't claim to be 100 per cent OpenGL compatible, primarily because they can't be put through SGI's compliance testing procedure. To be able to claim at last that it has a fully compatible implementation of OpenGL is a major step forward for Linux as a graphics workstation platform. And we can probably look forward to product announcements targeting that sector from VA and quite possibly SGI too, now it has given up on the Windows NT graphics business. VA's contribution to the programme is its "2D graphics and multi-monitor work", which presumably refers to the software drivers required to allow two more displays to show a single desktop. The trio's collaborative efforts will be given their first public appearance at the LinuxWorld expo, to be held in New York on 2-4 February. ®
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