Google has launched a new project for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers.
The open-source project, called ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), seeks to let Chromium run WebGL content on Windows computers, wrote product manager Henry Bridge on the Chromium blog.
WebGL is still-developing cross-platform Web standard for accessing low-level 3D graphics hardware based on the OpenGL ES 2.0 API (application programming interface) that can be implemented directly in a browser without a plugin. But while WebGL is implemented in many browsers, it is dependent on a set of OpenGL drivers. OpenGL is an API for 2D and 3D graphics rendering, available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.
The competing graphics API is Microsoft’s Direct3D, which is part of the company’s DirectX graphics technologies. Microsoft’s DirectX technologies have increasingly become dominant in PC gaming, and OpenGL has almost disappeared, according to a blog post from Wolfire Games, which still uses OpenGL for its games.