Opera 11 Web browser to offer hardware acceleration

WebGL rendering platform allows any system with adequate processing power to complete 3D tasks

A developer preview of the Opera Web browser has been released with hardware-based support for 2D and 3D graphics acceleration. The upcoming Opera 11 will support graphics acceleration on any platform with sufficient power — including Mac OS X, Windows XP, Linux, smartphones and Web-connected TVs — which is a significant step up from the Windows 7- and Windows Vista-only hardware 3D rendering support of Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox.

The majority of Web-enabled devices like smartphones and newer TVs support the OpenGL ES 2 hardware standard, which will be used in the upcoming Opera 11 to render 3D content without reverting to software-based methods. A stable release of this latest version of Opera would mean anyone using a smartphone or Web-enabled TV would be able to view rich, 3D graphics and content directly via their Web browser with hardware acceleration — a process currently restricted to Windows-based PC users.

A post on Opera Labs' Web site explains the theoretical advantages of the latest build of Opera over its competitors from Microsoft and Mozilla. You can download the Windows-only preview of Opera 11 here. Builds of the Web browser for other operating systems will be available soon.

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