ATI to help fund GLSetup initiative

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Graphics card and chipmaker ATI Technologies Inc. today announced plans to support GLSetup -- it's an initiative created to ease distribution of OpenGL drivers to end users. GLSetup is already supported by some game makers. The software ships with Windows versions of some games including Quake 3 Arena, Baldur's Gate 2, Alice, Descent 3 and others. Although GLSetup is only available for Windows presently, ATI said that its support would help speed the development of a Mac version, as well.

OpenGL is a graphics application program interface (API) that Apple supports. The software enables computer systems to display 2D and 3D graphics, and it is depended upon especially in the Mac market for the display of 3D graphics for newer games and applications. According to ATI, GLSetup helps to make sure that users will get the best possible performance for their setup, regardless of operating system or graphics card.

"Helping users to have the best possible gaming experience is what GLSetup is all about," said Rick Bergman, ATI senior vice president. "We're happy to support this type of grassroots initiative. The GLSetup project is about maximizing user experience and propagating standards-based application development," said Bergman.

ATI said that software developers could add the GLSetup installer to a game at no cost. The installer will automatically detect the end-user's 3D graphics card and install appropriate drivers to ensure optimal 3D rendering performance.

ATI's commitment to GLSetup has drawn positive comments from game developers themselves, including Id Software co-founder and technical director John Carmack. "ATI's support of GLSetup is a rare thing in the industry -- a company pushing stability, conformance and a positive user experience, not just the latest benchmarks and features," said Carmack. "With the mad rush to always sell the latest and greatest video card, trying to wring cooperation out of competing companies is a difficult task. It is great to see ATI stepping forward with support for a program that broadly benefits all 3D card users and developers."

ATI has committed funds to GLSetup to help offset programming, testing and distribution costs. The funds will also be allocated to develop GLSetup for the Mac OS and Linux platforms as well.

This story, "ATI to help fund GLSetup initiative" was originally published by PCWorld.

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