AMD speaks on the future of Mantle and other APIs

Published: 3rd Mar 2015, 08:50 GMT

With GDC 2015 due to open later today AMD will talk about DX12, future of Mantle, TressFX 3.0 (coming first to Deus Ex Universe), VR and other minor announcements. From last checking the GDC 2015 schedule those major announcement dates were 3rd, 4th, 5th.

AMD Blog mentions they will upload an all-encompassing 450-page whitepaper in this transitional year. What AMD are telling developers is not to support Mantle 1.0 going forwards but either work on DX12 or GLnext (perhaps OGL 5.0 with codename Vulkan meaning Volcano in many languages) as they are now heading in the right direction of low CPU usage.

Although this blog seems backhanded about Mantle despite AMD wanting to appear open. It will be interesting to read the whitepaper for anticipated improvement in at least equalling DX12 API and the potential to combine VRAM in Mantle. Assuming Robert Hallock (Head of Global Technical Marketing) wasn’t speaking personally about VRAM. As DX12 efficiencies are backwards compatible while hardware accelerated features obviously are not, Mantle will offer similar performance improvements to Mantle 1.0 but now classed as inferior compared to the newer API’s. The only new GPU in the 300-series is the Fiji architecture and offer the showcase features to come in GCN 1.3. Perhaps with scaled down effects for 1.2/1.1 because AMD likes inclusion and to ensure that Mantle stays relevant for all gamers and not just those with low powered CPUs/APUs.

AMD Blog:

This documentation will provide developers with a detailed look at the capabilities we’ve implemented and the design decisions we made, and we hope it will stimulate more discussion that leads to even better graphics API standards in the months and years ahead.   Proud moments also call for reflection, and today we are especially thoughtful about Mantle’s future. In the approaching era of DirectX® 12 and the Next-Generation OpenGL Initiative, AMD is helping to develop two incredibly powerful APIs that leverage many capabilities of the award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.

AMD’s game development partners have similarly started to shift their focus, so it follows that 2015 will be a transitional year for Mantle. Our loyal customers are naturally curious what this transition might entail, and we wanted to share some thoughts with you on where we will be taking Mantle next:

  1. AMD will continue to support our trusted partners that have committed to Mantle in future projects, like Battlefield™ Hardline, with all the resources at our disposal.
  2. Mantle’s definition of “open” must widen. It already has, in fact. This vital effort has replaced our intention to release a public Mantle SDK, and you will learn the facts on Thursday, March 5 at GDC 2015.
  3. Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs.- The Mantle SDK also remains available to partners who register in this co-development and evaluation program. However, if you are a developer interested in Mantle “1.0” functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX® 12 or GLnext.

Source: AMD

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