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AMD Opening Up Mantle to Additional Developers

On Thursday, AMD announced via email that the Mantle Graphics API is entering a new phase of its development cycle, spearheaded by the launch of a new private beta program for the Mantle SDK. The company also revealed that AMD now has 40 unique development studios already preregistered for the private beta.

AMD is now reaching out to additional developers by way of a new portal so that they can claim a spot in the next wave of invitations. An AMD rep said that Mantle is now ready for a broader audience in the developer community after reaching the necessary stability, performance and functionality milestones.

The freshly launched portal will "allow new game developers to experience the benefits of low-overhead graphics APIs for themselves." Past developer experience is encouraged, the rep said, but there are no objective criteria for being selected; AMD is interested in talking to developers "of all shapes and sizes."

"Together, AMD and this large community of experienced game developers will help to shape the future of Mantle, and pioneer best practices for working with low-overhead graphics APIs broadly in our industry," the AMD rep said.

The portal reads that "only a limited set of developers are provided access to the Mantle NDA Developer SDK and access is subject to a selection process."

Just this past Tuesday, AMD officially released its Mainstream "Beema" and Low-Power "Mullins" Mobile APUs, two new mobile APUs with up to four "newly-designed" x86 CPU "Puma" cores, Radeon graphics and hardware-level data security based on the Cortex-A5, all packed on a "power-sipping" system-on-a-chip. These two chips are the successors to the Kabini and Temash APUs.

The company introduced Mantle back in September 2013, a low-level alternative to DirectX and OpenGL. Mantle works with AMD GPUs and APUs using the Graphics Core Next architecture, allowing developers to get better performance out of games that are running on said hardware.

"With Mantle, games like DICE's 'Battlefield 4' will be empowered with the ability to speak the native language of the Graphics Core Next architecture, presenting a deeper level of hardware optimization no other graphics card manufacturer can match," AMD said last year. “Mantle also assists game developers in bringing games to life on multiple platforms by leveraging the commonalities between GCN-powered PCs and consoles for a simple game development process."

Developers such as DICE, Crytek, Square Enix and 2K Games are among the many developers that are designing games with support for Mantle.

  • somebodyspecial
    OpenGL does the same stuff as they showed already. DX12 may not do it for a while (2015?) but OpenGL does it already and has for a few years. So devs, write for AMD's small subset of their own cards (only GCN) or just use OpenGL which runs on everything easily portable to everywhere. I really thought AMD would have dropped this by now and started spending more of this money on DRIVERS for all their current cards! You know, to avoid a phase4 soon etc or more driver phases for the next chips... :(

    http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/03/20/opengl-gdc2014/
    Watch the vid at bottom AMD ;) One of your people was involved in this show, so why keep pushing proprietary for something that is already working on all cards TODAY? Proprietary crap works when you get there first and are special (doing something others can't, thus a NEED for your tech, like Cuda, it was their only choice back then, so it got entrenched). It doesn't work when there is an established product already out that does everything your proprietary stuff does cheaper. This would make more sense if OpenGL didn't exist, and only options were Mantle or DX12 which is ages away (thus Mantle would have a chance to get entrenched). SteamOS will be pushing OpenGL, and same for Android etc if a game needs a high number of draw calls etc.
    Reply
  • knowom
    OpenGL is defiantly the way to go for developers open source and easy to port to whatever platform.
    Reply
  • TechnoD
    OpenGL is, as others have stated, a better option (multi-platform). However, I do believe AMD is pushing mantle for profit only; when a user starts a game and sees "open-gl" they don't really know/care what it is. However, when a user starts a game using mantle and sees a mantle logo with AMD logo, they associate the software with AMD, and thus, AMD gains brand recognition. Other than that i don't see any other reason for mantle.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    Mantle is faster than OpenGL. Since it is developed for just one card it is able to work with much less overhead than OpenGL or any other general use API. This not only is letting them have faster performance but makes porting games with higher quality settings enabled to consoles easier. If it wasn't better, then the many major companies turning to use it, wouldn't be turning to use it.
    Reply
  • somebodyspecial
    AMD might like this idea, but I fail to see how anyone will want to use it without an AMD check tied to using it. It just makes no sense for a dev to show any interest without a check first. No matter how good or bad it is, Mantle requires EXTRA work over what you already have to do to support your main users (DX, OpenGL etc, whatever you use for the rest of the world not on GCN cards).

    Extra work/cost for no financial gain in a crap economy? Not even if I am in love with Mantle and how it works. Not even if my (future?) wife was the one who came up with it...LOL. OK, maybe then...But only because she'd have something I want daily...ROFL. All AMD has for my EXTRA work is what, a pat on the back and thank you for helping them tackle NV? Come to me with an idea that makes me MORE money and I'll adopt it. Come with more work for ZERO extra money and you'll be denied.
    Reply
  • somebodyspecial
    13212952 said:
    Mantle is faster than OpenGL. Since it is developed for just one card it is able to work with much less overhead than OpenGL or any other general use API. This not only is letting them have faster performance but makes porting games with higher quality settings enabled to consoles easier. If it wasn't better, then the many major companies turning to use it, wouldn't be turning to use it.

    Please watch the vid link I pointed to. 15x faster draw calls. AMD set out to solve a problem OpenGL already had licked ages ago. As he shows in the video, people just didn't know how to fix it, but it was in there as he demonstrated. Just changing one dev's code with a few lines caused a 4x draw call speed up and he comments you can double that easily with more than the simple short phone call they had.

    You're not making sense. Nobody is turning to it that has NOT been paid (IE EA got $8mil to use it etc). We will see how many sign up to do FREE WORK to help AMD's cards (a small subset of them, only GCN) look better when their time could be spent on EVERYONE else at once with OpenGL. The people in the audience for that vid skipped the VR session next door (oculus stuff) to see the DRAW CALL session for OpenGL. Even the guys on stage were surprised people did that. Clearly a lot of interest in finding out about some stuff in OpenGL already that they were NOT aware of. The guys doing the speech admitted they'd be next door in VR session if they weren't giving the speech...LOL. They thought the room would be empty, but it was full. NV should have done this speech the day AMD said we needed Mantle.
    Reply
  • photonboy
    If you think Mantle is pointless then you haven't done enough research. People point to "draw calls" but it's far more than that. Also, OPENGL does not solve all the issues which is why developers asked for a new API built from the ground up to solve some headaches.

    With DX12 coming I'd normally say Mantle might be doomed but since the Steambox is likely to be a huge success (albeit slowly) and can only use Mantle or OpenGL I think Mantle will be successful.

    No DX on Steambox but both NVidia/AMD so it will be interesting to see if programmers just stick with OpenGL (especially when it improves) or what.

    This is pretty useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSY2KXBoro0
    Reply
  • BriboCN
    I think those judging Mantle against OpenGL and DirectX need a bit of perspective. Although it is absolutely fair to compare Mantle against its competitors, it is important to remember that OpenGL initially released in 1992. DirectX released in 1995. The fact that Mantle is at least on par with, and in many cases beats OpenGL and DirectX deserves consideration.
    I think the fault of Mantle thus far is in its marketing. Like other members of the video gaming industry they have chosen to market their product based on an ideal, and absolutely unrealistic, set of hardware and circumstances. This approach works wonderfully for selling individual graphics cards, but terribly for an API designed to be used on an entire product line with an infinite number of hardware configurations.
    I believe that if AMD was absolutely honest about Mantle it would still be successful.
    If they told the gamer crowd, you paid top dollar to get the best performance possible, and we can give you an extra 3-5% gain for nothing. It would be embraced by that crowd.
    If they tell the casual crowd, we created this API so you can run the games you want and won't have to upgrade your PC this year. It would be embraced by that crowd as well.

    Mantle is in the position to thrive, they just need to fire their marketing department.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    I agree that AMD markets Mantle in the wrong manner.

    At first everyone thought it would just be a performance boost for everyone.. truth is only those with weaker CPUs see the gain. Fortunately, anyone with an AMD cpu will see a gain more than likely simple because they are easier to bottneck on than any i5 or i7 cpu.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    I haven't looked too much at the marketing of it, just thought the benchmarks and reviews were following the R9 290x cards.

    It would make a lot more sense for them to run the marketing and development on a PS4 or a Radeon 7850 or R9 270 with a FX 6300 CPU. That would put it much more mid-range. Also help get more funding for the program if they did it on the PS4 side also.
    Reply