Khronos Group Announces New Accelerated Windowing API for Mobile & Embedded Devices

Composition and Display Layering Functionality for Accelerated Windowing Systems; 
Integration with Khronos APIs such as OpenGL ES, OpenMAX and OpenVG

November 10, 2009 – Clearlake Park, CA (Inquisitr Wire) – The Khronos Group, an industry consortium with over 100 members working together to create open standards for authoring, accelerating and accessing visual computing, today announced the release of the OpenWF™ 1.0 standard. OpenWF is an operating system-independent and hardware-neutral foundation for building windowing systems and providing display control functionality in accelerated mobile and embedded devices.

OpenWF enables a new degree of portability, acceleration and abstraction for windowing systems, while adding functionality and features through close integration with Khronos application APIs. OpenWF acts as the underlying route to the display for advanced graphics and multimedia content generated using APIs such as OpenGL® ES for fast and portable 3D graphics, OpenVG™ for vector graphics acceleration, and OpenMAX™ for multimedia.

OpenWF provides two separate but complementary low-level APIs for composition of content and the configuration of display devices: OpenWF Composition and OpenWF Display. OpenWF Display enables portable access to display control hardware for manipulating screen attributes, while OpenWF Composition allows for layering and system-wide composition of application content. The two APIs can be used together or independently, depending on specific platform needs.

OpenWF enables highly-optimized mechanisms to display application content in a windowing system. By eliminating redundant memory accesses, consumed memory bandwidth may be reduced by more than half, resulting in significant power savings. Specific details on features and benefits of OpenWF may be found at

Wide range of industry leaders express strong support for OpenWF:

“ARM is looking forward to the wide adoption of OpenWF across multiple operating systems,” said Ian Smythe, director of marketing, Media Processing Division of ARM. “The opportunity for a standard cross platform composition/display API is one we believe will benefit ARM’s partners and speed the introduction of high efficiency video and graphics functionality into a wide range of partner products.”

“OpenWF is a valuable extension to the family of Khronos standards,” said Mark Casey, vice president and general manager of mobile multimedia at Broadcom. “These standards help deliver a dramatic improvement in mobile multimedia user experience by simplifying the integration of low-power hardware accelerated architectures into mobile devices.”

“If the UI is slow, nobody cares which CPU or GPU is inside the device,” said Petri Kero, CTO of drawElements Ltd. “System software needs to take full advantage of whatever is under the hood. We have been working on this for a long time already, and we’re very excited to see OpenWF standardize the key interfaces.”

“OpenWF is a key graphics technology for Nokia, allowing us to quickly take advantage of diverse hardware platforms,” said Robert Palmer, graphics technology architect at Nokia.

“OpenWF provides a critical missing link for rich media content presentation pipeline. It rids the industry of proprietary methods of uniting media sources with displays and results in faster time to market and better utilization of hardware,” said Jarkko Kemppainen, director, Platform
Business at Symbio.

“OpenWF is a system-level API for use by operating system vendors that complements the Khronos mobile APIs for application development,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group. “OpenWF enables low-cost, hardware-accelerated 2D composition – providing an alternative to OpenGL ES-based composition using 3D-intensive GPUs. OpenWF allows platform integrators a wider choice of user interface, price and functionality options within the Khronos ecosystem.”

Key features of OpenWF:

OpenWF Composition:
• Provides layered 2D composition functionality implementable on low-power hardware
• Enables system-wide composition of application content
• Includes alpha-blending, masking, resizing, rotation, mirroring
• Defines scalable acceleration for low-end dedicated hardware through to high-end GPUs
• Optimizes use-cases, such as long-running video playback with subtitles, for low power

OpenWF Display:
• Defines a windowing system-level interface to control display hardware
• Provides configuration control over mode-setting of built-in and external displays
• Includes discovery, power, resolution, rotation and pipeline control
• Supports multiple interfaces including HDMI, DVI, S-Video, embedded LCD panels and legacy display adapters