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OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES)

Last updated: December 31, 2011

What Does OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES) Mean?

OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES), a subset of the OpenGL 3D graphics application programming interface (API), is a cross-platform API designed for embedded devices, such as video game consoles, mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDA). This lightweight API consumes minimal power and requires minimal storage space.

As a low-level API, OpenGL ES works between software applications and hardware or software graphics engines. Because it is royalty-free, OpenGL ES provides an affordable solution for mobile and embedded platform developers seeking to create advanced 3D graphics and games.


Techopedia Explains OpenGL for Embedded Systems (OpenGL ES)

As a cross-platform API, OpenGL ES is vendor-neutral and supported by a variety of mobile platforms, including Android, iOS, WebOS, Symbian^3 and BlackBerry OS. Devices that support OpenGL ES include:

  • Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
  • Android 2.2 phones
  • Nokia N900 and N8
  • BlackBerry Storm 2 and Curve 8530
  • Samsung Galaxy S and Wave
OpenGL ES accommodates devices ranging from 50 MHz cell phones with only 1 MB of random access memory (RAM), to 400 MHz PDAs with 64 MB of RAM.

OpenGL ES is based on OpenGL - a well-documented API. Thus, application developers wanting to work with OpenGL ES have access to a variety of resources, including books, sample code and other relevant information.

Faster central processing units (CPU), larger RAM, higher resolution touch screen displays and 3D graphics accelerators are creating a more ideal mobile device space for advanced graphics application development and the OpenGL ES API.

The Khronos Group, a non-profit technology industry group, provides OpenGL ES oversight and management.

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