The EXT_texture_norm16 extension is part of the WebGL API and provides a set of new 16-bit signed normalized and unsigned normalized formats (fixed-point texture, renderbuffer and texture buffer).

When this extension is enabled:

WebGL extensions are available using the WebGLRenderingContext.getExtension() method. For more information, see also Using Extensions in the WebGL tutorial.

Availability: This extension is only available to WebGL 2 contexts.


Red 16-bit unsigned format. Color-renderable.
RG 16-bit unsigned format. Color-renderable.
RGB 16-bit unsigned format.
RGBA 16-bit unsigned format. Color-renderable.
Red 16-bit signed normalized format.
RG 16-bit signed normalized format.
RGB 16-bit signed normalized format.
RGBA 16-bit signed normalized format.


Enabling the extension

let ext = gl.getExtension('EXT_texture_norm16');

Texture formats

The WebGLRenderingContext.texImage2D() method accepts new formats when EXT_texture_norm16 is enabled. Example calls:

// imageData = Uint16Array
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.R16_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RED, gl.UNSIGNED_SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RG16_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RG, gl.UNSIGNED_SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RGB16_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RGB, gl.UNSIGNED_SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RGBA16_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RGBA, gl.UNSIGNED_SHORT, imageData);

// imageData = Int16Array
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.R16_SNORM_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RED, gl.SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RG16_SNORM_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RG, gl.SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RGB16_SNORM_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RGB, gl.SHORT, imageData);
gl.texImage2D(gl.TEXTURE_2D, 0, ext.RGBA16_SNORM_EXT, 1, 1, 0, gl.RGBA, gl.SHORT, imageData);

Renderbuffer formats

The WebGLRenderingContext.renderbufferStorage() method accepts ext.R16_EXT, ext.RG16_EXT and ext.RGBA16_EXT as internal formats to create renderbuffers in these formats. Example calls:

gl.renderbufferStorage(gl.RENDERBUFFER, ext.R16_EXT, 1, 1);
gl.renderbufferStorage(gl.RENDERBUFFER, ext.RG16_EXT, 1, 1);
gl.renderbufferStorage(gl.RENDERBUFFER, ext.RGBA16_EXT, 1, 1);


Browser compatibility

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See also