GPU for the Web Working Group Charter

This charter has been replaced by a newer version.

The mission of the GPU for the Web Working Group is to provide an interface between the Web Platform and modern 3D graphics and computation capabilities present on native system platforms.

Join the GPU for the Web Working Group.

Start date 20 August 2020
End date 30 November 2022
Charter extension See Change History.
Chairs Kelsey Gilbert (Mozilla)
Corentin Wallez (Google)
Team Contacts François Daoust (0.05 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: weekly or bi-weekly calls, as necessary.
Face-to-face: 3 times per year as necessary, including during W3C's annual Technical Plenary week.


In this document, the term GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit, typically a piece of hardware dedicated to efficiently processing graphics and related features.

This Working Group will recommend a Web programming interface for graphics and computation that:

  1. enables rendering of modern graphics to both onscreen and offscreen drawing surfaces
  2. enables computation tasks to be performed, and the results of such tasks to be retrieved
  3. This group will also recommend a companion Shading Language that describes the graphics and computation tasks in a format that can be translated or compiled into platform-specific instructions

The API will not be restricted to any particular platform technology. Instead, it will be generic enough to be implemented on top of modern GPU system APIs, such as Microsoft's Direct3D 12, Apple's Metal, and Khronos's Vulkan.

This Working Group will investigate and document threat mitigation strategies for the API, notably to address fingerprinting issues and to prevent unauthorized use of computational resources.

Note that the majority of the input to this Working Group will come directly from the GPU for the Web Community Group. No major development will happen in the Working Group itself. Instead, the Community Group will be driving the technical work.

Out of Scope

The scope of work is restricted to the development of a programming interface between the Web Platform and modern 3D graphics and computation capabilities present on native system platforms. The work will not define hardware features or algorithms, and the interface it defines is not intended to be directly exposed by a GPU driver.


Normative Specifications

An API for performing operations, such as rendering and computation, on a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).

Draft state: Adopted from the GPU for the Web Community Group

Recommendation expected completion: Q1 2022

WebGPU Shading Language
A Shading Language specification that defines the programmable interface to the GPU for the Web graphics and computation pipeline, convertable to Khronos' SPIR-V language and composed of constructs defined as normative references to their SPIR-V counterparts.

Draft state: Adopted from the GPU for the Web Community Group

Recommendation expected completion: Q1 2022

Other Deliverables

This Working Group will produce conformance test suites and implementation reports for its normative deliverables.

Other non-normative documents may be created, including:

  • Reference implementations of the group's deliverables
  • Use case and requirement documents
  • Explainers, primers and best-practice documents

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security, fingerprinting, and privacy implications, and suggested mitigation strategies for implementers, web authors, and end users. The group should not publish a specification if acceptable mitigation strategies cannot be found.

Each specification should contain a section describing known impacts on accessibility to users with disabilities, ways the specification features address them, and recommendations for minimizing accessibility problems in implementation.

Normative specification changes are generally expected to have a corresponding set of tests, either in the form of new tests or modifications to existing tests, or must include the rationale for why test updates are not required for the proposed update.


For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD. The Working Group is encouraged to engage collaboratively with the horizontal review groups throughout development of each specification. The Working Group is advised to seek a review at least 3 months before first entering CR and is encouraged to proactively notify the horizontal review groups when major changes occur in a specification following a review.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

GPU for the Web Community Group
The GPU for the Web Community Group developed the specifications adopted by this Working Group. It is expected that the Community Group will continue to drive the technical work on the specifications and incubate new features. This Working Group will work with the GPU for the Web Community Group on shaping the specifications for the Recommendation track.
Immersive Web Working Group
The Immersive Web Working Group produces specifications to interact with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices and sensors, and may add a 3D rendering layer based on the WebGPU API.
Web Applications Working Group
The Web Applications Working Group (WebApps WG) produces specifications that facilitate the development of client-side web applications.
Web Application Security Working Group
This Working Group develops security and policy mechanisms to improve the security of Web Applications, and enable secure cross-site communication.
Web Assembly Working Group
This Working Group develops a size- and load-time-efficient format and execution environment, allowing compilation to the web with consistent behavior across a variety of implementations.
Machine Learning for the Web Community Group
This Community Group incubates a dedicated low-level Web API for machine learning inference.

External Organizations

Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG)
The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is a community of people interested in evolving the web through standards and tests.
The Khronos Organization is a standards body that develops many graphics-related technologies, including OpenGL, Vulkan and SPIR-V.


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 5 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Participants in the group are required (by the W3C Process) to follow the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

As stated above, the majority of the technical work for this Working Group will take place in the GPU for the Web Community Group.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public. Meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the GPU for the Web Working Group home page.

Most GPU for the Web Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work in its public repositories. There is also a public mailing list (archive). The public is invited to contribute to the github repositories and post messages to the list. Regular activity summaries around the github repositories will be provided.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional until 10 working days after the publication of the resolution in draft minutes sent, which will be published within 5 working days of the meeting to the working group's mailing list with a 'call for consensus' in the subject line. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 15 September 2020). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.


This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter History

The following table lists details of all changes from the initial charter, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.3):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter 20 August 2020 31 August 2022 Initial charter
Rechartered 15 December 2020 31 August 2022 New Patent Policy
New co-chair 07 April 2021 31 August 2022 Jeff Gilbert replaces Dean Jackson as co-chair
Co-chair update 17 February 2022 31 August 2022 Reflect change of firstname for Kelsey Gilbert
Charter Extension 07 September 2022 30 November 2022 None