With the annual Game Developer Conference taking place next month in San Francisco, the session catalogs for the conference are finally being published and it looks like we may be in for some interesting news on the API front. Word comes via the Tech Report and regular contributor SH SOTN that 3 different low level API sessions have popped up in the session catalog thus far. These sessions are covering both Direct3D and OpenGL, and feature the 4 major contributors for PC graphics APIs: Microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel.

The session descriptions only offer a limited amount of information on their respective contents, so we don’t know whether anything here is a hard product announcement or whether it’s being presented for software research & development purposes, but at a minimum it would give us an idea into what both Microsoft and the OpenGL hardware members are looking into as far as API efficiency is concerned. The subject has become an item of significant interest over the past couple of years, first with AMD’s general clamoring for low level APIs, and more recently with the launch of their Mantle API. And with the console space now generally aligned with the PC space (x86 CPUs + D3D11 GPUs), now is apparently as good a time as any to put together a low level API that can reach into the PC space.

With GDC taking place next month we’ll know soon enough just what Microsoft and its hardware partners are planning. In the meantime let’s take a quick look at the 3 sessions.

DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform

Presented by: Microsoft; Anuj Gosalia, Development Manager, Windows Graphics

For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.

However, you asked us to do more. 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.

Come learn our plans to deliver.

Direct3D Futures

Presented by: Microsoft; Max McMullen, Development Lead, Windows Graphics

Come learn how future changes to Direct3D will enable next generation games to run faster than ever before!

In this session we 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.

If you use cutting-edge 3D graphics in your games, middleware, or engines and want to efficiently build rich and immersive visuals, you don't want to miss this talk.

Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL

Presented By: NVIDIA; Cass Everitt, OpenGL Engineer, NVIDIA; Tim Foley, Advanced Rendering Technology Team Lead, Intel; John McDonald,  Senior Software Engineer, NVIDIA; Graham Sellers,  Senior Manager and Software Architect, AMD

Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious--robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, 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. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.

Source: SH SOTN (via the Tech Report)



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  • Kamus - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    It's hilarious to see the amount of trash talk towards mantle here.
    These are the facts:
    Mantle works as advertised, and it's available now.
    I'm sure in a year or two the new APIs will start to become relevant... but for now, Mantle is the only way to play BF4 with 64 players with out the frame rate being inconsistent.

    Yes, you can argue that BF4 is just one game, but for those of us that do play that one game a lot online, this has been a very welcome and noticeable performance boost.

    So all you haters out there, keep on hating, meanwhile those of us that are actually taking advantage of this free performance boost on BF4, have nothing to complain about.
  • remc86007 - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    I do agree with you, but I thought I'd mention that my two 660tis and 4770k never drop below 60fps even in the craziest of 64 player battles. Reply
  • Kamus - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    Forgot to add...

    To those people claiming that mantle will fail because no one will support it you are missing a huge little fact:

    Most "AAA" games (you know, the ones with huge budgets) are for consoles... and guess which consoles are using GCN?
    This is why mantle can be relevant for the foreseeable future.

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