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Trends and Standards for 3D Graphics for Handsets. Christophe Quarre’ Advanced System Technology, Shanghai Lab STMicroelectronics State Key Lab of CAD&CG, Zhejiang University 1-3 March 2005. Outline. Handhelds VS Desktops.... new industry Challenges for ISVs

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trends and standards for 3d graphics for handsets

Trends and Standards for 3D Graphics for Handsets

Christophe Quarre’

Advanced System Technology, Shanghai Lab


State Key Lab of CAD&CG, Zhejiang University

1-3 March 2005

  • Handhelds VS Desktops.... new industry
  • Challenges for ISVs
  • Standards for graphics mobile.... and 3D acceleration
  • The key players... ISVs & IHVs
  • Conclusion
mobile 3d industry
Mobile 3D industry
  • Mobile phones are about to be transformed in personal compute devices
    • Graphics capabilities will be a key ingredient – just as on the PC
  • Before we had 2D, but now we want 3D !
  • The Mobile 3D industry is embryonic - but moving fast!
    • We are where PC graphics were in 1996
    • But evolving about three times faster!
game market in korea
Game market in Korea

Surging Video and mobile game market

[USD million]

<From : 2003 Korea Game White Paper>

challenges on handheld platforms
Challenges on Handheld Platforms
  • Small battery, small CPU
      • Management of Host CPU  unload max work on Host CPU
      • and hardware resources  can save 90% of battery life !
  • Limited system memory size and bandwidth
      • Memory architecture will make the difference !!
      • Cache memory; buffers compression
  • A wide range of Mobiles and gfx architectures, from Low-End  High-End
      • Means scalable and flexible solutions !!!
challenges for software vendors 1 2
Challenges for Software Vendors 1/2


  • If we consider 3 likely classes of handheld device
    • Class A : High-performance CPU, GPU with vertex processing + FPU
    • Class B : High-performance CPU, GPU with vertex processing
    • Class C : CPU, rasterizer
    • Classes B and C, low cost will likely ship in higher volume,
      • therefore may offer more revenue opportunities for software vendors
      • but yet platforms do not have floating-point support (FPU)
    • Class A device may win out for better capacity and performance

 Software vendors must cover all the bases to guarantee success

challenges for software vendors 2 2
Challenges for Software Vendors 2/2


  • How to develop or port rich and attractive applications with such a spread of computational capabilities?
  • System Software must be scalable with Unified driver architecture to rapidly be adapted to different system architectures
  • Middleware is a key component
    • E.g. RenderWare (Criterion) optimized for Nokia N-gage
  • Different class of mobiles and Handsets, different capabilities
  • Many Graphics accelerator Suppliers
  • Graphics low power for mobile is a new industry

Need for standardizations

an important and leading group
An Important and leading Group
  • Member-funded industry consortium
  • Lead specification of open standard, multi-platform, royalty-freelow level APIs for HW acceleration
  • Leverage graphics technology by working closely with ISVs IHVs

2004Embedded 2D Vector Graphics Acceleration

2002Embedded 3D Graphics Acceleration

2000Streaming Media Control and Video Acceleration

2004Embedded Media Primitive Acceleration

khronos members
Khronos Members

Promoting Members

Contributing Members

openml standard for dynamic media authoring
OpenMLStandard for Dynamic media authoring
  • royalty-free, cross-platform programming environment
  • Abstraction layer for capturing, transporting, processing, displaying, and synchronizing digital media :–
    • audio/video streams
    • 2D/3D graphics streams
  • OpenGL extensions for accelerated video processing
  • Lowest level of unified functionality, thinnest layer on top of HW
openvg 1 2 standard for vector graphics acceleration
OpenVG 1/2Standard for Vector Graphics acceleration
  • Why OpenVG ?
    • 2D vector graphics is necessary for high quality GUIs or Font display on small display
    • Need hardware acceleration for useful performance
    • Existing vector graphics APIs are proprietary and developers must rewrite code for each platform
    • Existing APIs usually designed for software rendering
  • Vector Graphics
    • Exemple

Original image SVG zoom Bitmap zoom

openvg 2 2 standard for vector graphics acceleration
OpenVG 2/2Standard for Vector Graphics acceleration
  • OpenVG: Royalty-free, cross-platform, low-level APIs for hardware acceleration for high quality 2D vector graphics.
  • Interface for vector graphics libraries such as Flash and SVG
  • Same framework as OpenGL|ES
      • combine with 3D APIs (Blending, lighting, texturing…)
  • OpenVG1.0 specs is currently under review by selected ISVs. Official release expected in March 2005 !
openmax standard for media acceleration primitive









JPEG2k etc






OpenMAXStandard for Media acceleration primitive
  • OpenMAX: royalty-free, cross-platform, common APIs for multimedia application
  • standardizes access to media processing primitives used extensively in graphics, audio and image libraries and video codecs (eg. MPEG-4)
  • Benefit: Accelerate porting of multimedia SW
  • Currently in development, expected release in End 2005
  • The problem



PORTING PROBLEM! slow down multimedia sw development  POORLY optimized








openmax standard for media acceleration primitive1
OpenMAXStandard for Media acceleration primitive
  • Accelerating a broad range of media types


Image librariesVideo CodecsSound Libraries

VideoDynamic Media Authoring

3DSmall footprint 3D for embedded systems

Vector 2D

Low-level hardware acceleration API

Accelerated media primitives for cross-platform acceleration of media libraries

Three media libraries called by applications. Can be ported directly to silicon.

Media Engines – CPUs, DSP, Hardware Accelerators etc.

opengl es standard for embedded 3d graphics acceleration
OpenGL ESStandard for Embedded 3D graphics acceleration
  • Khronos has created a small-footprint subset of OpenGL
    • Created with the blessing and cooperation of the OpenGL ARB
  • Full functionality for 3D games
    • On a wide variety of platforms – including fixed point processors

Feedback and Ratification




Eliminate Redundancy

Small footprint

e.g. 50KB software engines

Eliminate Workstation Functionality

opengl es roadmap
OpenGL ES Roadmap
  • Update OpenGL ES every year by default
    • To expose rapidly developing handheld platforms capabilities
  • BUT ONLY introduce features with proven demand from ISVs or IHVs
    • Guarding against unnecessary pieces of HW
  • Track and adapt developments in desktop OpenGL

Full high-level shading language capability to harness the power of programmable hardware

Shader programmability for embedded devices

OpenGL 2.0

OpenGL ES 2.0

Widely available cross-platform 3D graphics API

OpenGL 1.5

Increasing emphasis on enabling emerging hardware with video support and enhanced 3D pipeline

OpenGL ES 1.1

OpenGL 1.3

Enabling software AND hardware implementations – including small-footprint, low-end fixed point platforms

OpenGL ES 1.0




java the multiplatform language
Java The multiplatform language
  • Game developers prefer Java, better for creating and managing tools and high level gfx libraries
  • But still need low level access to the 3D HW
  • Binding to OpenGL and OpenGL|ES
    • JSR 231 – OpenGL (Expert Group created in Oct 2003)
    • JSR 239 – OpenGL ES (Expert Group created in March 2004)
      • Wrappers around native OpenGL ES implementation
  • Higher level, Scene Graph API
    • JSR 184 – Mobile 3D Graphics API for J2METM (Released in Nov 03)
      • can be built on a native OpenGL ES implementation
      • can be layered on JSR 239
      • Reduce application size for OTA downloading
sw standards layers for 3d mobile graphics
SW Standards layers for 3D Mobile graphics



C/C++ Applications



Scenegraph APIsM3G (JSR 184)



Low-level3D Graphics


Hardware OpenGL ES


Software OpenGL ES Engines


Operating Systems



graphics sw engine middleware providers
Graphics SW (Engine, Middleware…) Providers
  • Games developers
  • Game Engine, Middleware, Dev. tools
  • OpenGL|ES implementation and driver, Authoring tools...
  • JSR184/239


Mascot Capsule

graphics hw acceleration providers
Graphics HW acceleration Providers

PowerVR MBX / MBX Lite




GoForce 4000/3000

And of course !!

mobile multimedia chips providers
Mobile Multimedia chips Providers

ARM9 (200MHz), VFP, MBX

ARM11 (330MHz), TMS310 (220MHz), VFP, MBX

ARM11 (500MHz), MMDSP(ST), VFP, 3D Acc (ST)


Hitachi semiconductor Mitsubishi semiconductor

  • 3D graphics for mobile is a new industry,
      • for a new market...
  • To be competitive, SW systems need to be scalable, with
      • unified low level standards,
      • unified drivers...
  • Middleware is the key for success,
      • to provide efficient data conditioning...

Thank you !