OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX

Industry standard 3D graphics rendering


The OpenGL(tm) and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX(r) product offering provides three-dimensional rendering capabilities for the RISC System/6000(r) (RS/6000(tm)) workstation family. This includes support for OpenGL 1.0 and IBM(r) GL 3.2 on a wide variety of graphics accelerators through either software or hardware.

These application programming interfaces (APIs) provide a suite of advanced graphics functions that can be utilized to develop complex 3D applications in areas such as industrial design, computer-aided design and manufacturing, petroleum and chemical engineering, scientific visualization, and entertainment.


OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX provides a variety of benefits, including:

About the OpenGL API

The OpenGL is carefully architected to support a broad array of advanced graphics rendering techniques, such as texture mapping, antialiasing, transparency and fog, as well as to achieve real-time rendering performance on accelerated graphics hardware.

This emerging industry-standard interface is controlled by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB), of which IBM is a founding member along with SGI, Digital Equipment Corporation, Intel and Microsoft. There are more than 25 OpenGL licensees, ensuring broad market support for the OpenGL API, related technologies, programming expertise, and applications.

In order to guarantee compatibility and interoperability between different OpenGL implementations, the ARB provides a robust conformance test suite that must be satisfied before the OpenGL trademark can be used.

OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX provides OpenGL 1.0 compatibility, which is an excellent choice for the development of new applications. It enables hardware-accelerated graphics for the POWER

GXT1000(tm) and the Freedom Series(tm) 6000 accelerators. Both of these subsystems offload virtually all graphics functions (geometry and rasterization and for the Freedom Series, display lists) from the host CPU.

The OpenGL API is also supported on most entry-level RS/6000 graphics accelerators through Softgraphics. Softgraphics is a highly tuned software implementation of the geometry processing pipeline, the raster subsystem and the fragment (pixel) processing pipeline. The performance of Softgraphics scale with CPU processor performance.

OpenGL API technical content

The OpenGL API consists of several functional pieces:

The rendering library provides:

The OpenGL Utility (GLU) toolkit provides the following useful features:

The OpenGL extension to X (GLX) library provides function that integrates the rendering library with X11.
GLX provides:

The OpenGL rendering library is integrated with the X11 Window System using the standard X11 Extension mechanism.

OpenGL development environment

The OpenGL development environment consists of the following separately installable components:

About the GL 3.2 API

For existing applications, IBM provides the IBM GL 3.2 API, which supports a full-featured 3D rendering interface as well as windowing system interfaces.

The GL 3.2 API is supported on the POWER Gt4e(tm), Gt4i(tm), Gt4xi(tm) and GXT1000 graphics accelerators.

GL 3.2 API technical content

The GL 3.2 API standard features include:

GL 3.2 development environment

The GL 3.2 development environment consists of the following separately installable components:

The Zapp debugger

The Zapp debugging tool is a graphical, Motif-based application especially designed to help locate programming problems in GL and OpenGL applications. Applications need not be recompiled or relinked to use the Zapp debugger.

You can use the Zapp debugger to trace, skip or place breakpoints on selected calls. The debugger also maintains a resetable call counter that provides profiling information by indicating the number and frequency of calls made to different OpenGL and GL subroutines.

The Zapp debugger can also display information about display lists, including IDs, sizes and the number of times each has been invoked.

In summary

IBM's stand-alone offering of the OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX provides maximum flexibility in graphics API choice. These APIs support advanced 3D graphics function across IBM's graphics family, providing customers a wide range of systems that can be configured to meet their specific workstation needs.

OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX operating environment at a glance

For more information about OpenGL and GL 3.2 Version 4.1 for AIX, or the entire RS/6000 and AIX family, call your IBM marketing representative, IBM Business Partner or IBM Direct: 1 800 IBM-CALL (1 800 426-2255). In Canada call 1 800 363-RISC (1 800 363-7472).

You can also call 1 800 IBM-4FAX (1 800 426-4329) and more information will be faxed immediately to your location.

If you have access to the Internet, you can find additional information on IBM's Worldwide Web server at

AIX, AIXwindows, IBM, and RISC System/6000 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
POWER Gt3i, POWER Gt4e, POWER Gt4i, POWER Gt4xi, POWER GXT100, POWER GXT150, POWER GXT150L, POWER GXT155L, POWER GXT150M, POWER GXT1000, and RS/6000 are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
Spaceball is a registered trademark of Spacetec IMC Corporation.
Freedom Series is a trademark of Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation.
All other products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

(c)International Business Machines Corporation 1994
IBM Corporation
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Produced in the United States of America
All Rights Reserved

References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.

Photographs show engineering and design models. Changes may be incorporated in production models.

This equipment is subject to FCC rules. It will comply with the appropriate FCC rules before final delivery to the buyer.

G221-4282-00 / G2214282

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Last modified: Tue Oct 25 15:36:30 CDT 1994