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ATI: Expect DirectX 11 and 40 nm GPUs in 2009

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 16 comments

During Ceatec in Japan this past week, ATI said that it expects to see DirectX 11 GPUs based on a 40 nm manufacturing tech sometime next year.

DX11 is expected to bring several substantial advancements over DX10, including the introduction of Shader Model 5.0, as well as GPGPU support and multithreading support, both of which are essential for the graphics industry and the myriad of multi-core graphics cards that exist today. Also, hardware tessellation will be supported by DX11. Hardware tessellation has been supported by ATI cards going back to the 2000 series, but has never been popular with PC game developers. Tessellation, which allows for a low-polygon model to see a real-time increase in polygon density with minimal performance loss, was part of the GPU ATI designed for the Xbox 360, and with DX11, may finally be a feature utilized by PC game developers.

While DX11 is expected to improve visuals over DX10, according to Ars Technica, the bulk of improvement is reserved for "...improving GPU computational capabilities and efficiency in a variety of environments." Now that the software will be in place, we may see the GPGPU become a widespread trend.

While a specific date is not yet clear, we will see a 40nm GPU form ATI sometime in 2009. This means that we will most likely see DX11 cards based on an older manufacturing tech for the time being. While we will wait for 40 nm, ATI did say that GDDR5 will be its dominant memory standard starting next year.

ATI is also looking forward to other advances in the field, including GPGPU support, OpenCL (Open Computer Language), support, and an increase in the number of programs that can utilize GPU computing capabilities effectively. "The push here is to drive the idea of the video card as a computing platform in its own right, out of the supercomputer/HPC arena and into the home," observed Ars Technica.

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  • -1 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , October 8, 2008 10:46 AM
    Ummmm, is it just me, or am I the only person to see the improvements made by DX10.1, which wasnt mentioned here at all? The 4xAA minimum AA shows a nice improvement in performance, yet again, its not mentioned here. Was the writer prohibited to whats only been mentioned before, or does the writer have the ability to go beyond what others have said and bring more to the article? We all know DX10.1 has been out for quite some time, and to go completely unmentioned in the article shows a lack of either knowledge, or a shunning of something that will be seen as relvent. When DX11 comes out, how much of the "improvements " will actually be DX10.1?
  • 2 Hide
    ckthecerealkiller , October 8, 2008 11:31 AM
    jaydeejohnUmmmm, is it just me, or am I the only person to see the improvements made by DX10.1, which wasnt mentioned here at all? The 4xAA minimum AA shows a nice improvement in performance, yet again, its not mentioned here. Was the writer prohibited to whats only been mentioned before, or does the writer have the ability to go beyond what others have said and bring more to the article? We all know DX10.1 has been out for quite some time, and to go completely unmentioned in the article shows a lack of either knowledge, or a shunning of something that will be seen as relvent. When DX11 comes out, how much of the "improvements " will actually be DX10.1?


    Because nobody wants to read about a theoretical article on what they believe DX11 will be. This is about what ATI's 09 cards are going to include, not DirectX. Besides nobody wants to hear about Microsoft unless they are shunning Vista or releasing info on Windows 7.
  • 2 Hide
    starhoof , October 8, 2008 11:56 AM
    I know this might be little out of theme but couldnt resist to express my feelings about DX11

    well i wonder if we can just install DX 11 with our current GPUs and
    with Vista, or will we have to purchase a new GPU that supports it, and a windows 7 ?

    if it will not work with at least current GPUs:
    honestly dropping one thing after another makes me sick, because here you spend $400-$500 on a new GPU, and $250 on new OS and then they release new standard next year and say "oh well, you cant play DX11 because your (top of the line) GPU doesn't support it."
  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , October 8, 2008 12:06 PM
    starhoofI know this might be little out of theme but couldnt resist to express my feelings about DX11well i wonder if we can just install DX 11 with our current GPUs and with Vista, or will we have to purchase a new GPU that supports it, and a windows 7 ?if it will not work with at least current GPUs:honestly dropping one thing after another makes me sick, because here you spend $400-$500 on a new GPU, and $250 on new OS and then they release new standard next year and say "oh well, you cant play DX11 because your (top of the line) GPU doesn't support it."

    I'm positive it will,just that they're not going to optomized towards running Direct-X 11 but only 10. It's probably why the 3800 series from ATi didn't beat Nvidia all too well.
  • 0 Hide
    zengrath , October 8, 2008 3:11 PM
    I would like to know more about this better multi-threading support with the new DX myself. It seems more and more GPU is taking over most the computations in-games but also if your using a single core CPU it's always at 100% while in a game, and 50% with most games with dual cores. So I'm curious, what is the CPU doing all that time? And i keep getting the impression that allowing games to utilize multiple cores better would not have much effect to be worth it.. but how is that possible?

    Would games in the future that are able to utilize 4 cores fully really benefit? This excites me but at same time it is disappointing that so many people seem to not care.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , October 8, 2008 3:52 PM
    I imagine DX11 will include the virtualization part that was knixed from DX10, it will have hardware tesselation which isn't hard to implement on a game designed with atleast shader 3.0, Ray-Tracing, and Touch Screen Support. This is the difference I imagine it will possess over DX10. However, some of it is included in DX10.1.

    If you have a bump map (Bump, Normal, or Parallax), you can tesselate.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , October 8, 2008 4:23 PM
    I'm fairly certain you'll have to be running vista to use/install dx11 and it will not work under XP. All hail MicroSoft!
  • 1 Hide
    killerb255 , October 8, 2008 4:56 PM
    I can't recall where I heard this from, but I did hear that DX11 will work with Vista and 7. So it won't be 7 only like DX10 was Vista only...
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , October 8, 2008 5:09 PM
    hmmm... i doubt this will be for little dragon, so this must be for the hd 6000 series... too far for my taste -_-... but they do release 2 generations a year
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 8, 2008 5:26 PM
    Older GPUs will be supported but they cant do things the newer GPUs will be capable of. Just like Directx 9 would run on anything from a Ti 4200 to a 7900 GTX, 11 should run on anything supporting 10. The new advances just get lost. Basically what should happen is if a card doesnt support a specific 11 feature it gets mapped to what handles a similar function in 10 or 9 if thats the case. Some games of course may not run if you dont have the correct graphics card. Due to the XP/Vista Snafu with 9 and 10 most game makers wont cut their user base by only supporting 11. It just wont look quite as pretty or run as fast.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , October 8, 2008 8:44 PM
    Yep. We will see dx11 cards in 2009. We will see dx11 games 2010 or 2011, games that are dx10 with some dx11 features... real dx11 games will come at time far far away...
  • 0 Hide
    traviso , October 9, 2008 10:45 PM
    Just to clear up some confusion in the other comments.... newer versions add features that haven't been implement in previous hardware. So your current hardware WILL NOT use DX11, it will use DX10 or DX10.1, and no more. You may be able to install the DX11 setup (which includes previous DX packages) but you won't be able to see the newer DX11 effects or speedups.

    DX11 will only be available on Vista an Windows 7.
  • 0 Hide
    maximiza , October 22, 2008 2:15 PM
    I was just about to get a DX10.1 card,,,, damm you progress!!!
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , October 22, 2008 8:55 PM
    Wait for dx11 and and you will hear the rumours of upcoming dx12...

    That's the life. You have to develop new specs and whistles to sell customers more new devises. I think that it's called forsed aging or something like that...
    Well, in anyway my knowledge of commercial gimmicry is guite poor. So in real life there is not such conspiracy in corporate headquarters, is there?
  • 0 Hide
    donkyluv , January 20, 2009 5:16 PM
    It's called consumer obsolescence hannibal :) 
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , January 22, 2009 5:20 PM
    ;)