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Report: Intel Looking for Access to Mantle API

By - Source: PC-World | B 51 comments

PC-World claims that Intel has approached AMD asking for access to the Mantle API.

According to a report in PC World, Intel has asked AMD for access to the Mantle API. Both companies have also confirmed this, according to the report.

"I know that Intel [has] approached us for access to the Mantle interfaces, et cetera. And right now, we've said, give us a month or two, this is a closed beta. And we'll go into the 1.0 [public release] phase sometime this year, which is less than five months if you count forward from June. They have asked for access, and we will give it to them when we open this up, and we'll give it to anyone who wants to participate in this," said Richard Huddy from AMD.

The exact motives behind Intel wanting access to the Mantle API are unclear, but given that the Mantle API allows developers to code games to run a lot more efficiently, along with the fact that Intel's GPUs aren't very powerful, it would benefit Intel to have Mantle support on its GPUs. This is because it will give the Intel GPUs a bit more gaming power, and while it won't make the GPUs perform on par with high-end GPUs, it will certainly make a number of previously unplayable games playable on the iGPUs. According to Intel, this is for an experiment, and DirectX12 remains its primary focus.

"At the time of the initial Mantle announcement, we were already investigating rendering overhead based on game developer feedback. Our hope was to build consensus on potential approaches to reduce overhead with additional data. We have publicly asked them to share the spec with us several times as part of examination of potential ways to improve APIs and increase efficiencies. At this point though we believe that DirectX 12 and ongoing work with other industry bodies and OS vendors will address the issues that game developers have noted," an Intel Spokesperson told PC World.

Mind you though, this should be treated as a rumor for the time being, as only PC World has verified the information. Despite that, it's nice to see things the other way around for a change: AMD having something that Intel wants.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 0 Hide
    jkhoward , June 25, 2014 1:19 PM
    OH SHOOT!

    This could be game changing!
  • 0 Hide
    BleedingEdgeTek , June 25, 2014 1:54 PM
    I thought Mantle was to offload CPU processing to the GPU? Intel's CPUs are far superior to how their iGPUs are compared to AMD, so wouldn't this have the opposite effect?
  • -4 Hide
    skit75 , June 25, 2014 2:00 PM
    "This could be game changing!"

    Only if your playing games on your work computer or a computer that was never intended for gaming.
  • Display all 51 comments.
  • 9 Hide
    mitch074 , June 25, 2014 2:11 PM
    No, Mantle is a way to address the GPU more directly, which reduces driver overhead (and thus, CPU use goes down) and optimizes GPU use (a given result can be computed faster by making use of a particular GPU's strengths).

    When most graphics accelerators were mostly fixed function processors, using unified APIs to address them (DirectX, OpenGL) made a lot of sense. Now that they have all turned into dedicated computing units, something looking more like a computing language+compiler (Mantle) than a simple API is becoming quite tempting.
  • 2 Hide
    BleedingEdgeTek , June 25, 2014 2:50 PM
    Thank you mitch for clearing that up. I had always understood it to be (admittedly, didn't really look all that into it, as I use NVIDIA) a way of taking CPU processing weight and placing it onto the GPU. That basic 'understanding' was 'backed up' when seeing that Mantle had more effect on the lower end CPUs than the higher end when dealing with the same card.
  • 2 Hide
    alextheblue , June 25, 2014 4:15 PM
    Quote:
    Thank you mitch for clearing that up. I had always understood it to be (admittedly, didn't really look all that into it, as I use NVIDIA) a way of taking CPU processing weight and placing it onto the GPU. That basic 'understanding' was 'backed up' when seeing that Mantle had more effect on the lower end CPUs than the higher end when dealing with the same card.

    The reduced overhead can be used for more draw calls, but it can also reduce the drag on the CPU. This frees up more CPU cycles for the game to use elsewhere. When you've got a slower/older system that is CPU-bound, switching to a Mantle rendering path (if the developers take advantage of it) typically gives a larger boost.

    The systems that will probably benefit the most from this? Laptop APUs with GCN.
  • 7 Hide
    TechyInAZ , June 25, 2014 5:13 PM
    Interesting. This would defiantly help the new Steam Machines that have Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics only.
  • -9 Hide
    firefoxx04 , June 25, 2014 5:24 PM
    Why does the author think mantle in Intel 'apu' chips would be beneficial? Mantle removes the cpu overheard (or tried too) in an effort to remove a cpu bottle neck.

    That said, I Intel chips don't really bottleneck in gaming unlike Amd chips which are much weaker. Mantles appeal is that you could run a high end gpu like the 290x or 295 with a weak cpu like the Athlon fm2 chip without bottle nicking.

    Intel has the opposite problem with their chips. Strong cpu and weak gpu
  • 5 Hide
    tomfreak , June 25, 2014 8:13 PM
    Intel& AMD has the history of sharing technologies & ideas. SSE/Athlon64 integrated memory controller, APU, x86, x86-64. I would not be surprise they adopt Mantle. The only one left out now is Nvidia, which isnt willing to share technology openly. I still recall Nvidia are restricting Intel chipset from having SLI compatibility when they have Nforce. All that end when intel decide to kill off their chipset business.
  • 4 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , June 25, 2014 10:12 PM
    amd and intel working together is great to hear. this will open the gates for future mantle versions for intel as well.
  • 3 Hide
    Jarmen Kell , June 25, 2014 11:04 PM
    this is true,Richard Huddy did say that and more about GameWorks ,interview with maximumpc

    and about Nvidia he said (their pride prevents them from using mantle)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZGV5z8YFM8
  • 0 Hide
    wurkfur , June 26, 2014 12:09 AM
    Mantle doesn't hardly do crap in GPU limited scenarios as demonstrated by this website and others. Any integrated GPU on die is going to be the limiter, especially on an Intel based chip.

    If Intel had access to Mantle, the true benefit would be reduced CPU overhead which would allow more power for the GPU portion of the chip in thermally limited scenarios like notebooks, tablets, and mobile.
  • 3 Hide
    Brendan Goodbody , June 26, 2014 12:37 AM
    What you guys may be forgetting is that these APUs (Intel and AMD) are generally hitting thermal (TDP) limits when playing games and so throtling already. If the overhead on the CPU can be reduced, then this may leave more room for the GPU to clock a bit higher etc. Therefore, even if it only reduces the burden on the CPU part of the chips, it can improve the performance of the limited GPU parts of the chips by allowing more boost room.
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , June 26, 2014 3:31 AM
    Quote:
    OH SHOOT!

    This could be game changing!


    actually this is not new. i heard about intel has been asking mantle spec in forum discussion before but note in article above that intel says they have been asking for several times. why they repeatedly asking AMD for it? because AMD has denied intel request. AMD so eager for game developer to take mantle but when hardware vendor ask for the spec (well AMD has been touting mantle to be Open since day one) their response was "we cannot give you the spec yet since it is still beta" and at the same time they have no problem inviting game developer to have an early look at mantle. even better they already have two commercial games running mantle right now. did you still call it beta when there are already commercial games running your tech? if AMD accept intel request since day one maybe intel can help them refining Mantle 1.0 spec. even better Mantle might work on intel igpu by the time they release the spec to the public. why AMD cannot give other hardware vendor the spec now? why need to wait for a year to release it? what did they afraid of? did they afraid they lose the advantage being the sole company capable of running mantle for a period of time? what about future version of mantle? will other hardware vendor have their hands on deciding the spec like OpenGL or will AMD will be the only company controlling Mantle direction?
  • 3 Hide
    virtualban , June 26, 2014 5:54 AM
    They want the mantle api for directx 12, to just copy-paste the code :p 
  • 3 Hide
    DjEaZy , June 26, 2014 11:55 AM
    ... intel cpu's work fast with old ways to do things, where is a need for a powerful cpu... but the new things to do is with not just cpu's, but gpu's and the parallel processing power of that... Mantle, APU's, OpenCL start to mature and by doing that, it shows, why a powerful CPU can get more irrelevant... rendering videos with OpenCL is more faster, than just cpu, even the most expensive one... gaming with Mantle makes the CPU part more irrelevant, but let the GPU shine, because the workload is now more direct... and now with HSA... AMD with ARM in serverspace... when you see it from different angles... intel could be the next nokia: once powerful, but then, when the shift comes, the most unprepared... so they need to know, how AMD bypasses the CPU... so they need to know, how to build the hardware, to make Mantle work... on the other hand, intel could do, what they done before... take AMD's idea, like: x86/x64; Multicore, Ghz, performance rating, APU and others, and make it better and then slap AMD with it own idea... so... it will be interesting... i hope, AMD will get some thing out of it, because we all need them well and
    competing...
  • 0 Hide
    Haravikk , June 26, 2014 12:54 PM
    While I'm sure Intel are investigating this kind of acceleration, I'd really rather see them put their weight behind pushing OpenGL to adopt some of the same features, as that'd be better for everyone.
  • 4 Hide
    laststop311 , June 27, 2014 1:32 AM
    the guy writing this is an idiot. He says intel may want this to help its gpu play games it previously couldnt.. Here's the issue with that statement. Mantle is for CPU limited scenarios. It boost performance when the cpu is what is holding it back. Intels gpu's are almost 100% bottlenecked due to the gpu shaders and such not being very powerful. Mantle will do nothing to alleviate that situation. I expect better from these writers.
  • 2 Hide
    tea urchin , June 29, 2014 4:29 PM
    I was under the impression Mantle improved games with weaker cpu's, not so much because it 'reduced the load' on the cpu,but because it reduced waiting or dead times on the cpu.
    It does not do much for weak graphics units and less for strong processors.
    I can see where this may help in low power uses but no game changer.
    Once the idea to allow more direct access to the gpu was out of the bag everybody will take it up in one form or another (Nvidia already started).
    Yes, it is most likely DX 12 will be re worked to incorporate something similar as it is most likely it will require more cpu power.
  • 0 Hide
    Tem B , July 4, 2014 5:45 AM
    Some of you are assuming its all for Intels high end GPUs. They have laptop APUs etc and lower end desktop ones I think. Freeing up the high end CPUs to do more could also be beneficial.

    AMD isn't sharing it yet because its in beta. If they did and it failed that could hurt it's adoption. They are getting it right first
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