AMD is currently responding to reports that DirectX and OpenGL may allow low-level hardware access. An AMD rep says that the company supports and celebrates a direction for game development that is aligned with AMD’s vision.
The response stems from session descriptions pulled from the DirectX and OpenGl presentations that will take place in GDC 2014. According to one session on Direct3D, presenters will discuss future improvements in Direct3D that will allow developers an “unprecedented level of hardware control and reduced CPU rendering overhead across a broad ecosystem of hardware”.
“You asked us to do more,” the DirectX session reads. “You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.”
For OpenGL, we have this session description: “Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today's OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead--by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms.”
In a way, AMD’s Mantle has pushed the Khronos group (OpenGL) and Microsoft (DirectX) to take the “lower level” route. However the question is: what will happen to Mantle then? Will developers no longer need Mantle with DirectX and OpenGL hovering at the same level in the software stack?
“AMD would like you to know that it supports and celebrates a direction for game development that is aligned with AMD’s vision of lower-level, ‘closer to the metal’ graphics APIs for PC gaming,” reports an AMD rep. “While industry experts expect this to take some time, developers can immediately leverage efficient API design using Mantle, and AMD is very excited to share the future of our own API with developers at this year’s Game Developers Conference.”
“We’ll be sure to share more news and detail with you closer to GDC,” the rep adds.
What will be interesting to see is where all three will go from here. Will Mantle and DirectX somehow merge ideas so that AMD gamers still get the Mantle benefits when using DirectX to run a game? As AMD points out, we’ll find out more at GDC 2014.