Google launches 3D graphics driver project for Chrome

The project is designed to let Windows users run WebGL content in the browser without OpenGL drivers

Google has launched a new project for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers.

The open-source project, called ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), seeks to let Chromium run WebGL content on Windows computers, wrote product manager Henry Bridge on the Chromium blog.

WebGL is still-developing cross-platform Web standard for accessing low-level 3D graphics hardware based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 API (application programming interface) that can be implemented directly in a browser without a plugin. But while WebGL is implemented in many browsers, it is dependent on a set of OpenGL drivers. OpenGL is an API for 2D and 3D graphics rendering, available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.

The competing graphics API is Microsoft's Direct3D, which is part of the company's DirectX graphics technologies. Microsoft's DirectX technologies have increasingly become dominant in PC gaming, and OpenGL has almost disappeared, according to a blog post from Wolfire Games, which still uses OpenGL for its games.

Many Windows machines can't render WebGL content because the OpenGL drivers aren't installed, even though the computer has powerful graphics hardware, Bridge wrote. Computers running OS X or Linux are fine, however, since those operating systems use OpenGL as the primary 3D API, Bridge wrote.

"ANGLE will allow Windows users to run WebGL content without having to find and install new drivers for their system," Bridge wrote.

Because ANGLE aims to use most of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, it may help developers working on mobile and embedded devices, Bridge wrote.

"ANGLE should make it simpler to prototype these applications on Windows and also gives developers new options for deploying production versions of their code to the desktop," Bridge wrote.

ANGLE will be released under a BSD license, and the project is on Google's Code Web site.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google Chromeweb browsers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?