OPC Group Develops Benchmarks
for Systems Based on OpenGL API

The OpenGL Performance Characterization (OPC) organization began in 1993 as an ad-hoc project group aimed at establishing graphics performance benchmarks for systems running under the OpenGL application programming interface (API). The group joined the GPC committee in the summer of 1994.

The non-profit OPC project is providing unambiguous methods for comparing the performance of OpenGL implementations across vendor platforms, operating systems, and windowing environments. Operating systems covered by the OPC group include, but are not limited to, OS/2, UNIX, Windows NT and Windows 95. Windowing environments include, but are not limited to, Presentation Manager, Windows and X. The intention of the OPC group is to characterize graphics performance for computer systems running applications, not overall graphics performance.

Defining OpenGL Performance

The OPC group has established the following goals to define OpenGL performance:

Viewperf and GLperf Set the Pace

The first benchmark released by the OpenGL Performance Characterization (OPC) group is Viewperf, which measures the 3D rendering performance of systems running under OpenGL. In August 1997, the OPC group released GLperf, which is designed to measure optimal performance of 2D and 3D graphics primitives across vendor platforms. Like Viewperf, GLperf is designed as a single-source code to run across all platforms and windowing systems supporting OpenGL. Both benchmarks are maintained by the OPC project subcommittee.

Structure and Membership

The OPC project subcommittee is a non-profit group whose general costs are paid via membership fees or dues. Any company, individual, institution or other group can become a sustaining member at any point in the development phase by remitting these dues. The project subcommittee will put in place and maintain an appeals process through which any interested or affected party may register and have heard a complaint concerning committee action or inaction. The principles of due process and antitrust compliance are adhered to by the subcommittee at all times.

OPC project subcommittee membership includes the following benefits:

Future Plans

Performance measurement for OpenGL under Viewperf and GLperf is just the beginning for the OPC group. Future plans call for the group to develop benchmarks that encompass a wide range of primitives and attributes, including 2D geometry, 3D geometry, and image data. Planned enhancements for Viewperf would address other graphics applications issues such as selecting objects, CPU load, and additional OpenGL features. The ultimate challenge, at least for now, is to develop tools to consistently measure performance for OpenGL applications.

For more information regarding OPC project membership, contact John Spitzer, the group's chair, at 512-883-0282, or e-mail the OPC alias at gpcopc-info@spec.org.

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