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Name Strings
Graham Sellers (graham.sellers 'at'
Graham Sellers, AMD
Christophe Riccio, Unity
Copyright (c) 2014 The Khronos Group Inc. Copyright terms at
Specification Update Policy
Khronos-approved extension specifications are updated in response to
issues and bugs prioritized by the Khronos OpenGL Working Group. For
extensions which have been promoted to a core Specification, fixes will
first appear in the latest version of that core Specification, and will
eventually be backported to the extension document. This policy is
described in more detail at
Approved by the ARB on June 26, 2014.
Ratified by the Khronos Board of Promoters on August 7, 2014.
Last Modified Date: 5/31/2016
Author Revision: 4
ARB Extension #172
OpenGL 4.4 is required.
This extension interacts with EXT_direct_state_access.
This extension interacts with ARB_direct_state_access.
This extension is written against the OpenGL 4.4 (core) specification.
The ARB_sparse_texture extension adds to GL a mechanism to decouple the
virtual and physical storage requirements of textures and allows an
application to create partially populated textures that would
over-subscribe available graphics memory if made fully resident. This
extension provides like functionality for buffer objects, allowing
applications to manage buffer object storage in a similar manner.
New Procedures and Functions
void BufferPageCommitmentARB(enum target,
intptr offset,
sizeiptr size,
boolean commit);
New Tokens
Accepted as part of the the <flags> parameter to BufferStorage
Accepted by the <pname> parameter of GetBooleanv, GetDoublev, GetFloatv,
GetIntegerv, and GetInteger64v:
Additions to Chapter 6 of the OpenGL 4.4 (core) Specification (Buffer Objects)
In Section 6.2, "Creating and Modifying Buffer Object Data Stores", add
the following to the list of flags accepted by the <flags> parameter
to BufferStorage:
SPARSE_STORAGE_BIT_ARB The data store of the buffer object is sparse,
consisting only of a virtual allocation. Physical storage for buffer
contents may be later allocated and assigned using
BufferPageCommitmentARB. Initially, the entire data store is
uncommitted. As a side effect, the data specified in the <data>
parameter is discarded, although the GL may still acces the client's
address space within the specified region.
If <flags> contains SPARSE_STORAGE_BIT_ARB, then it may not also
contain any combination of MAP_READ_BIT or MAP_WRITE_BIT.
Add the following to the end of the description of BufferSubData.
If the target of the operation is sparse and the range specified by
<offset> and <size> includes uncommited regions, data destined for those
regions is silently discarded.
Add the following introduction and description of BufferPageCommitmentARB:
The command
void BufferPageCommitmentARB(enum target,
intptr offset,
sizeiptr size,
boolean commit);
may be used to commit and de-commit regions of sparse buffer storage.
<target> is set to one of the targets listed in table 6.1. <offset> and
<size> indicate the range of the data store's virtual allocation to commit.
<offset> must be an integer multiple of the implementation dependent
constant SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB, and <size> must either be a multiple
of SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB, or extend to the end of the buffer's
data store. If <commit> is TRUE, then pages contained in the specified
range become committed and become physically backed. If <commit> is
FALSE, then physical storage associated with the data store in the
specified region may be freed and those pages become uncommitted. Newly
committed pages have undefined content. However, redundantly committing
pages does not alter their content.
Additionally, the commands
void NamedBufferPageCommitmentEXT(uint buffer,
intptr offset,
sizeiptr size,
boolean commit);
void NamedBufferPageCommitmentARB(uint buffer,
intptr offset,
sizeiptr size,
boolean commit);
behaves similarly to BufferPageCommitmentARB except that the target of
the operation is the buffer whose name is specified by <buffer>.
Add subsection 6.4.1 "Effects of Accessing Uncommitted Regions of Sparse
When a buffer object's SPARSE_STORAGE_BIT_ARB is TRUE, it may be
fully or partially uncommitted. Unless otherwise noted, reads from
uncommitted regions of a sparse buffer, whether through fixed-function
logic or shader access return undefined values, but otherwise do not
negatively affect GL operation. Further, unless otherwise noted, attempts
to write to such regions are silently ignored. Exceptions to this behavior
are noted in the relevant sections of this specification.
Additions to the AGL/GLX/WGL Specifications
GLX Protocol
INVALID_ENUM is generated by BufferPageCommitmentARB if <target> is not one
of the accepted buffer targets.
INVALID_VALUE is generated by BufferStorage if <flags> contains
SPARSE_STORAGE_BIT_ARB and <flags> also contains any combination of
INVALID_OPERATION is generated by BufferPageCommitmentARB if the
SPARSE_STORAGE_BIT_ARB of the buffer bound to <target> is FALSE.
INVALID_VALUE is generated by BufferPageCommitmentARB if <offset> is not
an integer multiple of SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB, or if <size> is not
an integer multiple of SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB and does not extend
to the end of the buffer's data store.
INVALID_VALUE is generated by BufferPageCommitmentARB if either of
<offset> or <size> is negative, or if <offset> + <size> is greater than the
value of BUFFER_SIZE for the buffer bound to <target>.
New State
New Implementation Dependent State
Append to Table 23.55, Implementation Dependent Values
| Get Value | Type | Get Command | Minimum Value | Description | Sec. |
| SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB | Z+ | GetIntegerv | 65536 ** | Page size of sparse buffers in bytes. | 6.2 |
** The value of SPARSE_BUFFER_PAGE_SIZE_ARB is the largest allowed value.
Smaller values are permitted and it is recommended to implementors that it
be a power of two.
Usage Examples
Dependencies on GL_EXT_direct_state_access
If GL_EXT_direct_state_access is not supported, remove references to
Dependencies on GL_ARB_direct_state_access
If GL_ARB_direct_state_access is not supported, remove references to
1) What is the effect of reading from or writing to an uncommitted region
of a buffer's data store.
RESOLVED: This is defined (or undefined) on a case-by case basis. If it
is not defined in this specification, then reads return undefined data,
but never interrupt the GL, and writes are silently ignored. Atomics
with return constitute a read-modify-write cycle, where the read
produces undefined results and the write is discarded.
2) Should mapping a sparse buffer be allowed? What is the defined content
as seen for the client for unmapped parts of the buffer?
RESOLVED: No, it's not possible to map a sparse buffer at all. Such
functionality could always be added by a future extension. In this
extension, we disallow creation of a mappable sparse buffer, which in
turns will cause MapBuffer{Range} to fail if a mapping attempt is
Revision History
Rev. Date Author Changes
---- -------- -------- ---------------------------------------------
4 5/31/2016 Jon Leech Change dependency from GL 1.5 + ARB_vbo to
GL 4.4 (Bug 14117).
3 5/16/2014 criccio Added interactions with
2 4/17/2014 gsellers Make it illegal to create a mappable sparse
buffer. Add DSA entry point. Change name of
BufferPageCommitmentARB to go to the end of
the buffer.
1 1/1/2014 gsellers Initial revision