3Dlabs Delivers OpenGL 2 Functionality with New Wildcat VP Drivers

7/2/2003 - 3Dlabs® Inc., Ltd., a leading innovator in professional visual processing, announced that it has released new drivers for its Wildcat® VP family of professional graphics accelerators with a preliminary implementation of the new OpenGL® Shading Language. 3Dlabs is the first company to ship an implementation that utilizes this high-level shading language, which was ratified recently by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board as official extensions to OpenGL and is expected to form the foundation of the upcoming OpenGL 2.0 standard. To encourage rapid multi-vendor adoption of the OpenGL Shading Language, 3Dlabs has released the front-end of the compiler used in its new drivers as open source, under licensing terms that enable royalty-free, commercial and non-commercial use. 3Dlabs is a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF).

The OpenGL Shading Language will enable new generations of programmable graphics devices, increasingly called Visual Processor Units, or VPUs, to be flexibly programmed for any task — not limited to just 3D graphics. This is achieved by providing high-level, hardware-independent programmability for VPUs in a familiar C-like syntax with expressive power to code an almost unlimited variety of graphics, imaging and vector algorithms which can be directly compiled to VPU machine code – providing enormous opportunities for hardware and compiler innovation. The new Wildcat VP drivers implement a subset of the OpenGL Shading Language that enables programmers to take full advantage of this first-generation programmable hardware.

“3Dlabs pioneered the specification of OpenGL 2.0 and the OpenGL Shading Language, and we are now leading the industry in shipping preliminary implementations of this new open industry standard that can create significant new market opportunities for programmable graphics,” said Neil Trevett, senior vice president of market development at 3Dlabs. “Wildcat VP was designed to accelerate the future of programmable graphics, and we are now delivering on that promise.” The OpenGL Shading Language source code released as open source by 3Dlabs performs the front-end compilation processing steps for the new language, including lexical analysis and parsing, to produce an intermediate representation of shading programs suitable for further processing by any back-end code generator. In addition, the 3Dlabs source code has been used to debug and refine the OpenGL Shading Language specification.

“By releasing our OpenGL Shading Language compiler as open source we are encouraging multi-vendor support of this open, non-proprietary standard. We believe this is essential for genuinely building the industry infrastructure for the exciting new world of programmable graphics by providing ISVs with consistent programmability across all hardware platforms,” Trevett added.

The 3Dlabs compiler source, the licensing terms, and new drivers for the Wildcat VP can be downloaded from http://www.3dlabs.com/opengl2/. General information about OpenGL 2.0 and the 3Dlabs Wildcat VP product family can be found at www.3dlabs.com.

About 3Dlabs
3Dlabs, a leading innovator in professional visual processing, supplies a broad range of graphics accelerators to Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), and visual simulation professionals. Its award-winning Wildcat graphics solutions are available in industry-leading OEM workstations, in the channel through an international distributor/reseller network, and directly to end-users at 3Dlabs' online store. For more information on 3Dlabs products, visit www.3Dlabs.com. 3Dlabs is a wholly owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd.

This announcement relates to products launched in the United States. 3Dlabs and Wildcat are registered trademarks of 3Dlabs Inc., Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. OpenGL is a registered trademark of SGI.

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