ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine) is an open source, zlib-licensed graphics engine abstraction layer developed by Google. The API is mainly designed to bring high performance OpenGL compatibility to Windows desktops and to Web Browsers such as Google Chromium by translating calls to Direct3D, which has much better driver support. There are two backend renderers for ANGLE: the oldest one uses Direct3D 9.0c, while the newer one uses Direct3D 11.
The project started as a way for Google to bring full hardware acceleration for WebGL to Windows without relying on OpenGL graphics device drivers. Google initially released the program under the BSD license.
The current production version (1.0.x) implements OpenGL ES 2.0 and EGL 1.4, claiming to pass the conformance tests for both. Work has started on the future OpenGL ES 3.0 version. This however works only with the Direct3D 11 backend.
Software Utilizing ANGLE
ANGLE is currently used in a number of programs and software.
- Chromium (web browser) and Google Chrome. Chrome uses ANGLE not only for WebGL, but also for its implementation of the 2D HTML5 canvas and for the graphics layer of the Google Native Client (which is OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible).
- Firefox uses ANGLE for as the default WebGL backend on Windows
- Qt 5 uses ANGLE as the default renderer for its OpenGL ES 2.0 API wrapper and other Qt elements which use it on Windows
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