Khronos Group

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Khronos Group, Inc.
Company typeConsortium
IndustryOpen standards
Founded2000; 24 years ago (2000)
HeadquartersBeaverton, Oregon, US
Key people
Neil Trevett (President)
ServicesOpen standards for 3D graphics, extended reality, parallel computing, machine learning, and computer vision Edit this at Wikidata

The Khronos Group, Inc. is an open, non-profit, member-driven consortium of 170 organizations developing, publishing and maintaining royalty-free interoperability standards for 3D graphics, virtual reality, augmented reality, parallel computation, vision acceleration and machine learning.[1][2] The open standards and associated conformance tests enable software applications and middleware to effectively harness authoring and accelerated playback of dynamic media across a wide variety of platforms and devices. The group is based in Beaverton, Oregon.[3]


The Khronos Group was founded in 2000 by companies including 3Dlabs, ATI, Discreet, Evans & Sutherland, Intel, SGI, and Sun Microsystems.[2][4] Promoter members include AMD, Apple, Arm, Epic Games, Google, Huawei, Nokia, Imagination, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, Valve and Verisilicon.[5] Its president is Neil Trevett.[6]

Exploratory groups

Typically, Khronos first creates an exploratory group to gauge industry interest before creating a working group, which companies can join as members to assist in the development of the standard.[7]

Specifications and working groups

Each specification / standard is managed by a working group which is established to define the requirements, solicit input, discuss, and create a specification.[1] There are currently 16 working groups.[8]

Standards and other activities

Active standards

  • 3D Commerce, universal guidelines, standards and certifications for 3D content creation and distribution in e-commerce[9][10]
  • ANARI, Analytic Rendering Interface for Data Visualization
  • Camera, working on interoperable camera API standards for embedded systems, a cooperation with the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA)[11]
  • COLLADA, a file-format intended to facilitate interchange of 3D assets
  • EGL, an interface between Khronos rendering APIs (such as OpenGL ES or OpenVG) and the underlying native platform window system[12]
  • glTF, a file format specification for 3D scenes and models[13]
  • KTX, a container file format for storing GPU-ready texture data[14]
  • NNEF reduces machine learning deployment fragmentation by enabling a rich mix of neural network training tools and inference engines to be used by applications across a diverse range of devices and platforms[15]
  • OpenCL, a cross-platform computation API[16][17]
  • OpenGL, a cross-platform computer graphics API[18]
    • OpenGL ES, a derivative of OpenGL for use on mobile and embedded systems, such as cell phones, portable gaming devices, and more
    • OpenGL SC, a safety critical profile of OpenGL ES designed to meet the needs of the safety-critical market
  • OpenVG, an API for accelerating processing of 2D vector graphics
  • OpenVX, Hardware acceleration API for Computer Vision applications and libraries
  • OpenXR, an open and royalty-free standard for virtual reality and augmented reality applications and devices[19]
  • SPIR, an intermediate compiler target for OpenCL and Vulkan
  • SYCL, a single-source C++ DSEL for heterogeneous computing[20]
  • Vulkan, a low-overhead computer graphics API[21]
    • Vulkan SC, based on the existing Vulkan API specification to enable safety critical industries
  • WebGL, a JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES within a browser on any platform supporting the OpenGL or OpenGL ES graphics standards

A timeline of API Specification ratification and releases can be found on the Khronos Group website.[22]

Exploratory Groups

  • HetComm Exploratory, working on a new low level API to facilitate communication between hardware components in heterogenous systems[23]
  • ML | Machine Learning Forum, standards on machine learning[24]
  • SYCL, a single-source C++ DSEL for heterogeneous computing[25] (already a standard)

Other activities

  • Member of the Metaverse Standards Forum, working on development of interoperability standards for an inclusive and open metaverse, in conjunction with other international standards organizations[26]

Inactive standards

  • OpenML, an API for capturing, transporting, processing, displaying, and synchronizing digital media
  • OpenKODE, an API for providing abstracted, portable access to operating system resources such as file systems, networks and math libraries
  • OpenKCam, Advanced Camera Control API
  • OpenMAX, a layered set of three programming interfaces of various abstraction levels, providing access to multimedia functionality
  • OpenSL ES, an audio API tuned for embedded systems, standardizing access to features such as 3D positional audio and MIDI playback
  • OpenWF, APIs for 2D graphics composition and display control
  • StreamInput, an API for consistently handling input devices
  • WebCL, a JavaScript binding to OpenCL within a browser


Membership and contributions

Khronos members may contribute to the development of Khronos API specifications, vote at various stages before public deployment, and accelerate delivery of their platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests.[1] To ensure that the standards are consistently implemented and to create a reliable platform for developers, any product that implements a Khronos API standard must pass conformance tests. An API Adopter Program enables companies to test their products for conformance.[27] Membership in Khronos Group provides access to an IP framework designed to protect participant IP. Khronos members agree not to assert IP rights against adopters implementing Khronos specifications. The IP framework protects Khronos members from exposure to patent lawsuits and reduces the amount of IP that needs to be licensed from other group members.[28]

Membership levels

  • Promoter: Full working group participation with voting rights, plus the right to designate a Director to the Khronos Board.
  • Contributor: Full working group participation with voting rights.
  • Non-Profit: Full working group participation. Available to registered non-profit organizations.
  • Academic: Full working group participation. Available to accredited academic institutions.
  • Associate: Full working group participation. Available to companies with up to 100 employees.


  1. ^ a b c "OGC seeking participants in the Second Interoperable Simulation and Gaming Sprint". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Khronos Outlook and Web3D Consortium Town Hall". Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "Khronos and EMVA collaborate on embedded camera standards". February 24, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  4. ^ "Khronos Group Conformant members". April 13, 2023.
  5. ^ Blackert, Axel (2016). "Evaluation of Multi-Threading in Vulkan". S2CID 16990966. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Yoshida, Junko (February 22, 2021). "Looking for APIs that Sit Between Sensors and Vehicle Apps?". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Khronos Group exploring industry interest for new open standard for high performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "The Khronos Group". The Khronos Group. June 29, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  9. ^ "3D Commerce - Render Everything Everywhere". The Khronos Group. July 28, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  10. ^ "The future of pervasive 3D". December 8, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  11. ^ "Camera". The Khronos Group. January 19, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  12. ^ "EGL Overview". Khronos website. October 15, 2009.
  13. ^ "glTF". Khronos website. September 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "Khronos Ratifies KTX 2.0". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  15. ^ Neural Network Exchange Format (NNEF)
  16. ^ "Khronos launches heterogeneous computing initiative". Khronos press release. June 16, 2008. Archived from the original on June 20, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  17. ^ "Khronos Announces OpenCL 3.0". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "WebGL 2.0—Why It's the Path to Stable Open Standards-based 3D Web Graphics". February 12, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  19. ^ "Khronos Group announces multiple OpenXR conformant devices". July 29, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  20. ^ "Khronos Releases SYCL 2020 Specification". February 9, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  21. ^ "Khronos releases Vulkan 1.0 specification for GPU use". February 16, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "Khronos Timeline". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  23. ^ "Exploratory Group - Heterogeneous Communication". The Khronos Group. August 1, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  24. ^ "Khronos Machine Learning". The Khronos Group. April 20, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  25. ^ "SYCL SC". The Khronos Group. March 23, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  26. ^ jriordon. "The Metaverse Standards Forum". Metaverse Standards Forum. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  27. ^ "API Adopter Program". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  28. ^ "Khronos Background". Retrieved August 19, 2021.