Almost four years after the release of its predecessor, OpenGL 3.0 is here and now has a vendor officially supporting it. Nvidia announced this week that they are the first vendor to do such with a beta driver package available that supports OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30.

The new beta drivers support a variety of new features available in the OpenGL 3.0 spec such as upgraded shading language, enhanced compression, 32-bit floating point textures, and a lot more. The drivers are available for download for both Windows XP and Vista, though Nvidia has yet to release a driver for Mac OS or Linux.

You can read more in the full press release after the jump.
NVIDIA IS FIRST TO SHIP OPENGL 3.0

Beta drivers for OpenGL 3.0 API and GLSL 1.30 shading language now available

SIGGRAPH, LOS ANGELES, CA—August 14, 2008 — Yesterday, just two days after the Khronos Group announced the new OpenGL® 3.0 standard, NVIDIA Corporation released beta drivers for the cross-platform, 3D graphics standard. The new drivers implement the OpenGL 3.0 API and the GLSL 1.30 shading language for both Windows XP and Windows Vista on selected GeForce® and Quadro® boards. With these drivers any developer can now explore the capabilities of the new OpenGL 3.0 specification. NVIDIA will be releasing production drivers for OpenGL 3.0 as a part of its regular driver development program. More information and the drivers are available free of charge at http://developer.nvidia.com/object/opengl_3_driver.html.

The OpenGL specification provides software developers a broad set of programmable 3D and 2D graphics rendering, visualization, and hardware acceleration functions, allowing a program to run on a wide variety of hardware platforms. An open, vendor-neutral standard, OpenGL is the industry’s most widely used and supported programming interface and is available on major computer platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

“OpenGL 3.0 is a significant advance for graphics standard and we’re proud that NVIDIA has played a major role in developing it,” said Barthold Lichtenbelt, Manager, Core OpenGL Software at NVIDIA and chair of the OpenGL working group at Khronos. “OpenGL 3.0 will be a first-class API on both GeForce and Quadro boards. Shipping drivers two days after this new specification is released demonstrates our strong commitment to the OpenGL developer community and our partners who rely on the standard.”

OpenGL is controlled by the Khronos Group and the new 3.0 version introduces dozens of new features to increase the functionality, flexibility, and performance of the open, cross-platform standard for 3D graphics acceleration. The new functionality includes: vertex array objects, enhanced vertex buffer objects, 32-bit floating-point textures, render and depth buffers, new texture compression schemes, sRGB frame buffers, and an upgraded shading language. More information on the OpenGL 3.0 specification is at http://www.khronos.org/opengl/.