AMD and DICE Bring Low-Level, High-Performance Graphics API To PCs With "Mantle"

The hits have been coming (and coming, and coming) from AMD’s Hawaiian press event today, and here’s one more.  AMD has also announced Mantle, a “low-level high-performance console-style” graphics API for the PC.

Mantle will ostensibly allow developers to work “closer to the metal”, like they do with console GPUs. And wouldn’t you know it--it’s AMD GPUs that will be powering ALL next generation consoles, so the whole concept flows out of AMD’s experience with both consoles and PCs.

AMD Mantle API for Radeon GPUs
AMD’s angle is that PC graphics present several challenges that hamstring both performance and programmability. For instance, you have to support a huge range of hardware, from the slowest to the fastest platforms out there, and the GPU has to be fed workload by the CPU, limiting the full power of the modern GPU to be unleashed in some cases. The paradigm is all wrong if you want to set your GPU free, so to speak.

Essentially, AMD feels that devs can get more performance out of GPUs and tap into their real capabilities better with Mantle. AMD has already partnered with DICE to co-develop Mantle and EA's Frostbite 3 engine will render natively with Mantle as well as make use of standard DX11 rendering on Radeon GPUs.

AMD Mantle API for Radeon GPUs

AMD says that Mantle will enable parallel rendering with all 8 cores of the CPU while at the same time lower resource overhead and gain full access to the GPU’s capabilities. So when will we see it in action? In December, there will be a patch for Battlefield 4 so that it leverages Mantle. Our status? We can't wait.