Apple seems set to unleash much-improved OpenGL performance within Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

The company promises a "dramatic increase in OpenGL performance by offloading CPU-based processing onto another thread which can then run on a separate CPU core feeding the GPU".

AppleInsider reports that in real terms this may usher in twice the performance for applications based on the standard. QuickTime will also be improved so developers can harness it to build video capture into their applications.

OpenGL (which stands for 'Open Graphics Library') is a standard for writing applications, such as games, which produce 2D and 3D graphics. It's also used in CAD, virtual-reality, scientific and flight-simulation applications.

Apple recently told developers that Leopard will offer resolution independence, confirming that modern Macs ship with displays capable of supporting native resolutions of 100dpi or more.

The company also confirmed plans to make the iCal database available for use by other applications.

"The Calendar Store framework provides access to a user’s iCal calendar data. Using the framework, you can fetch calendars, events, and tasks from iCal’s data storage. This allows your application to work with the same data as iCal, Mail, and any other application that a manager uses to interact with their schedule and to-do items," the company explains.

Leopard Server will also feature a built-in installation of the Ruby on Rails Web application framework, the company says.