NVIDIA recently released an updated version of FX Composer with support for Shader Model 3.0 and tons of new sample shaders. The latest version also includes many developer-requested UI improvements, support for NV4x GPU performance analysis, and a beta SDK that allows developer to write their own automation scripts, importers/exporters, etc. The best way to view all the sample shaders is by downloading the latest NVIDIA SDK and looking at the “Effects” tab where you will find descriptions and screenshots of 250+ effects. (FX Composer Homepage)
Cg Release 1.3 Beta 2 has been released with support for the latest GeForce 6 Series (NV4X) GPUs. This version of Cg offers the following features and improvements:
- New vp40 profile, which enables texture sampling from within vertex programs
- New fp40 profile, which provides a robust branching model in fragment programs, and support for output to multiple draw buffers (“MRTs”)
- Support for writing more than one color output (i.e., MRTs) in the arbfp1 and ps_2* profiles
- New semantics to access OpenGL fixed-function state vectors from within ARB_vertex_program and ARB_fragment_program
- New “-fastprecision” option for arbfp*, fp30, and fp40 profiles, to use reduced precision storage (fp16) when appropriate
- Support for 16 profiles
Ne@tware Player 2004 supports the latest DirectX 9.0c graphic and media technologies. It allows you to design and watch visual special effects in real-time. The Shader Model 3.0 and High Level Shader Language (HLSL) support make Ne@tware Player a shader development platform for video processing in Graphic Processing Unit as well. Fullscreen, Multithread Video Engine, Action Mapper, and International Languages are other new features. (http://www.neatware.com/player/)
New versions of the NVIDIA SDK and FX Composer with Shader Model 3.0 support are now available. SDK 8.0 includes hundreds of all-new Shader Model 3.0 code samples and effects, including three new GPGPU code samples:
- GPGPU Fluid, a fast, realistic fluid simulation
- GPGPU Disease, a creepy dynamic “disease” effect based on chemical reaction-diffusion
- GPU Particles, a fast particle system that can simulate 1 million particles at 20 fps on GeForce 6800
At its World-Wide Developers Conference Apple introduced Core Image as a feature of its upcoming Tiger release. Core Image is a framework for image processing on the GPU using a modified stream processing paradigm. Core Image is an interesting computational framework for offloading some general-purpose computations on to the GPU. It appears to be the first commercial effort to offer a general image computing environment for GPUs. The library comes with 100 basic plugins, called “Image Units”, and can be extended by developers. The computing model is based on stream processing, where each kernel is expressed in a high-level language and computes a result image based on some number of input images. The kernels can be strung together in arbitrary image computation “graphs”, in a model similar to that described by Michael Shantzis in his 1994 paper A Model for Efficient and Flexible Image Computing. Registered Apple Developers (free registration) can access a pre-release version of Core Image.
Jahshaka is an open-source, real-time editing, effects and image processing application that works in 3D space. The 1.9a8 release of jahshaka, available today, is supports GPU-accelerated image processing. The Jahshaka developers’ research in real-time image processing using the GPU is described in a white paper.
ATI’s Ashli version 1.4.0 has been released and is available for download from: Ashli Home. Ashli is a toolkit intended to assist developers exploring programmable shading on GPUs. It supports a reasonable subset of OpenGL (GLSL), Microsoft’s DirectX (HLSL) and RenderMan shading languages. Ashli’s significant contribution is in hardware resource virtualization, segmenting a complex shader program into GPU realizable streams. The posted Ashli viewer application demonstrates the use of shader partitions in a multi-pass rendering context. Ashli outputs both metadata and code, orthogonal to any of the languages supported. Targets include OpenGL ARB_vertex_program and ARB_fragment_program, and DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader versions 2.0 and 2.X API’s. Optionally, Ashli emits a unified Microsoft FX file format, embedding progressive techniques of state and code sections. (Ashli 1.4.0)
TyphoonLabs has released version 1.3 of the OpenGL Shader Designer, an integrated development environment for GPU fragment and vertex shaders in GLSL (the OpenGL shading language). Key features include plugins for vertex attributes (tangents, binormals, etc.), textures (noise, volumes, etc.), real-time preview with multiple light sources, full syntax highlighting and “intellisense” for GLSL, and much more! (OpenGL Shader Designer 1.3)
We are proud to announce an entirely new developer page here at GPGPU.org. On this page you will find a growing number of programming and GPGPU development resources. Content on the page will include tutorials, sample code, utilities, and more. Check back often for updates! In addition, most source code resources posted on the developer page will be made available as open source software hosted at our new SourceForge site, gpgpu.sourceforge.net. There you will be able to download the latest releases, and check out code from the CVS repository.
ShaderTech.com is a new site that’s focused on real-time shader development, providing numerous resources such as articles, forums, books, tools, and more. Because there are now several very capable high-level shading languages in active use by developers, ShaderTech aims to support the entire GPU development community regardless of shader language.