Microsoft, Along with AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm, Will Announce DirectX 12 at GDC 2014

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | March 5, 2014 - 08:28 PM |
Tagged: qualcomm, nvidia, microsoft, Intel, gdc 14, GDC, DirectX 12, amd

The announcement of DirectX 12 has been given a date and time via a blog post on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) blogs. On March 20th at 10:00am (I assume PDT), a few days into the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, the upcoming specification should be detailed for attendees. Apparently, four GPU manufacturers will also be involved with the announcement: AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm.

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As we reported last week, DirectX 12 is expected to target increased hardware control and decreased CPU overhead for added performance in "cutting-edge 3D graphics" applications. Really, this is the best time for it. Graphics processors are mostly settled into highly-efficient co-processors of parallel data, with some specialized logic for geometry and video tasks. A new specification can relax the needs of video drivers and thus keep the GPU (or GPUs, in Mantle's case) loaded and utilized.

But, to me, the most interesting part of this announcement is the nod to Qualcomm. Microsoft values DirectX as leverage over other x86 and ARM-based operating systems. With Qualcomm, clearly Microsoft believes that either Windows RT or Windows Phone will benefit from the API's next version. While it will probably make PC gamers nervous, mobile platforms will benefit most from reducing CPU overhead, especially if it can be spread out over multiple cores.

Honestly, that is fine by me. As long as Microsoft returns to treating the PC as a first-class citizen, I do not mind them helping mobile, too. We will definitely keep you up to date as we know more.

Source: MSDN Blogs

March 5, 2014 | 09:48 PM - Posted by arbiter

Has mantle just been put on life support?

March 5, 2014 | 10:51 PM - Posted by btdog

I agree, it's a little odd that AMD would just release a direct competitor to DX and now they're participating in the announcement of the next version release.

March 6, 2014 | 12:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nothing new there. Microsoft has always consulted AMD, Intel & Nvidia in DX development.

The surprise is the introduction of Qualcomm into the mix. They hold some of the old ATI patents and could signal a strong commitment by Microsoft into the DX 12 implementation into their phones/phablets going forward.

March 6, 2014 | 09:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

mantle was probably meant to kick Microsoft to update their stuff, and make it worth while. i mean DX9 is still used on most games

March 5, 2014 | 11:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wow your ignorant.

DX12 will be much easier for mobile platforms to adapt since they don't put that much effort into a app/game or aren't limited to a specific game engine. While the Desktop world is stagnating the mobile world has upgrades every year.

DX12 depending on how it stacked. Will take a while for game engines to benefit let alone hardware compliance. PC game developers are lazy and will program for the largest audience and if DX12 is a superset you can kiss any current game engine goodbye. You have to wait a few years for developers to even make use of it.

DX11 introduced multi-threading enhancements in 2009. Mantle kicked that implementation to the curb while still being in early stages in 1yr.

Unless Microsoft is willing to subsidize game developers for DX12 only game development this could be a long, long, long ways off.

March 6, 2014 | 08:00 AM - Posted by amadsilentthirst

>>Wow your ignorant.>>

Your Ignorant what?

I hope you realise the irony of your attempt at being rude, while totally proving beyond any doubt at your own ignorance.

March 5, 2014 | 10:55 PM - Posted by Ophelos

I think MS doing this is just a big waste of time, unless MS releases something huge by saying their opening DX to linux and Mac users.

March 5, 2014 | 11:55 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

That is doubtful, especially since Microsoft has moved DirectX development directly into the Windows team.

March 6, 2014 | 09:51 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

As expected from M$, but there will be OpenGL, Mantle, and other graphics APIs, that will get closer to the metal, thanks to AMD, and Gabe will be there to assist! Linux for gaming is not going away, and will only get better! M$ can give away its TIFKAM hobbled bloatware OS, but it will not stop the move away from the windows ecosystem.

March 6, 2014 | 12:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

wow people. lost of opinions and skepticism.

I having a feeling(theory) that MS will deploy this API across the win 7, 8 and 8.1 to spark the competition. They could also very allow this API to take advantage of existing GPU's
Like mantle has done with they're current and older GPU's

Existing game engines may be able to use this API with a little fine tuning by the Dev's.

Hopefully better than BF4 and mantle. That being the only game currently that "supports" mantel. It's been a lackluster launch for mantle.

March 6, 2014 | 01:23 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I seriously doubt that Microsoft will develop DirectX 12 for Windows 7 or 8. It would be weird to skip Windows 7 for so long, only to go back and support it again. (Windows 7 is like, 3 display driver model versions back and Microsoft seemed pretty uninterested in porting that... and I don't see how they could go past DirectX 11.1 or 11.2 without it...)

As for supporting older GPUs? Depending on what they do, that is a possibility. As I said in the article, GPUs have stopped meandering wildly from release to release. Since about 2010-2011, they are basically compute cores which operate on standard (like, IEEE) data types and so forth. DirectX 12 should really be less about adding extra features to the hardware, as much as it would be about keeping the teraflops of compute performance loaded at all times.

Finally, as for BF4 and Mantle, I really do not consider it a launch. A launch, to me, would be when they are confident enough to finalize the SDK and release it to the public. This felt more like a public proof of concept (again, to me).


March 6, 2014 | 02:03 AM - Posted by Bob (not verified)

Agreed. Microsoft always pushes the next OS in terms of DX. Also Mantle is still in beta drivers. As far as old GPU support... I think that's more up to AMD or Nvidia for that, in terms of driver release. That is unless you can tell me something I don't know.

Though I do hope Mantle takes off and brings Linux to a gaming platform, because we all know Microsoft isn't going to let its majority of early adopters go that easy.

March 6, 2014 | 05:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Mantle was DEAD ON ARRIVAL, this is the final nail in the coffin.

March 6, 2014 | 09:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No TIFKAM is DOA, as will be the bloat that is windows, as the Steam OS will be one streamlined gaming OS, sans the M$ built in Adware and other M$ branded resource hogging cruftware.

March 7, 2014 | 09:17 AM - Posted by Kevin Strange AMD (not verified)

Several articles were published that reported that DirectX® and OpenGL are being extended to include closer-to-metal functionality and reduced CPU overhead. AMD supports and celebrates a direction for game development that is aligned with AMD’s vision of lower-level, ‘closer to the metal’ graphics APIs for PC gaming. While industry experts expect this to take some time, developers can immediately leverage efficient API design using Mantle, and AMD is very excited to share the future of our own API with developers at this year’s Game Developers Conference

New AMD session at GDC 2014
Direct3D and the Future of Graphics APIs
Johan Andersson | Technical Director, Frostbite
Dan Baker | Partner,Oxide Games
Dave Oldcorn | Software Engineering Fellow, AMD

AMD Mantle sessions at GDC 2014:
Mantle - Introducing a New API for Graphics
Rendering Battlefield 4 with Mantle
Nitrous & Mantle: Combining Efficient Engine Design with a Modern API

March 15, 2014 | 03:30 PM - Posted by Rob (not verified)

Glad Qualcomm is in. Why do we want it ?

Run Firefox Nightly (works GREAT on my 1080P Phone), help us out with your Feedback and Crash Reports:

First Glimpse of Epic's Unreal Engine 4 Running in Firefox:

Buying the HTC One saved me the price of a Netbook / Laptop, GPS, Camera, etc., it makes Phone calls too (what a bonus).

I am satisfied with the 'old' HTC One but may trade up to the 2014 Model. It will be more powerful than my 9 year old Desktop (that I wait patiently to upgrade, RSN).

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