http://techreport.com/news/25651/mantle ... or-support
Mantle to power 15 Frostbite games; DICE calls for multi-vendor support
by Cyril Kowaliski — 7:31 PM on November 13, 2013
Johan Andersson, the man behind DICE's Frostbite game engine, spoke today at the APU13 conference in San Jose. After getting into the nitty-gritty details of AMD's Mantle API (more on that as soon as I wrap my head around it), Andersson shared an update about the upcoming Mantle version of Battlefield 4. He also brought up other Frostbite games that will support the API, and he shared his own wish list for Mantle's future.
The Mantle version of Battlefield 4 is on track to be released as an update in late December. Andersson said creating a Mantle version of the Frostbite 3 engine took about two months of work. The Mantle release's core renderer is closer to the PlayStation 4 version than to the existing DirectX 11 one, and it includes both CPU and GPU optimizations. Andersson didn't bring up performance estimates, but other developers who discussed Mantle at APU13 did. Jorjen Katsman of Nixxes, the firm porting Thief to the PC, mentioned a reduction in API overhead from 40% with DirectX 11 to around 8% with Mantle. He added that it's "not unrealistic that you'd get 20% additional GPU performance" with Mantle.
Andersson also revealed another Frostbite 3 game that should have Mantle support "out of the box": Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. But it's not the only one. A whopping 15 other Frostbite 3-powered games currently in development will support Mantle. Based on the slide above, it looks like the Mirror's Edge prequel and Dragon Age: Inquisition will support Mantle, as will future Mass Effect, and Need For Speed, and Star Wars games. That's in addition to titles from other studios, such as Thief and Star Citizen.
Right now, Mantle only supports GCN-based Radeon GPUs in Windows. Andersson acknowledged that shortcoming, but he was very vocal about his desire for broader support for the API.
For starters, Andersson would like to see Mantle on Linux and OS X. It's "significantly easier" to build an efficient renderer with Mantle than with OpenGL, he explained, and coupling Mantle with Valve's SteamOS in particular would make for a "powerful combination." He also sees potential for Mantle on mobile devices—including those from Google and Apple—on which the API would purportedly allow games to "fully utilize the hardware."
But the "pink elephant in the room," as he called it, is multi-vendor support. Andersson made it clear that, while it only supports GCN-based GPUs right now, Mantle provides enough abstraction to support other hardware—i.e. future AMD GPUs and competing offerings. In fact, Andersson said that most Mantle functionality can work on most modern GPUs out today. I presume he meant Nvidia ones, though Nvidia's name wasn't explicitly mentioned. In any event, he repeated multiple times that he'd like to see Mantle become a cross-vendor API supported on "all modern GPUs."
I've gleaned more details about Mantle, and I'll share those with you guys when I'm not scurrying between keynotes and meeting rooms. The sense I get from the developers AMD invited to APU13, though, is that Mantle yields considerable benefits in terms of development flexibility and performance, and it's worth implementing even in its current, vendor-locked state. Andersson wasn't the only developer to express a desire for multi-vendor support.
There's no telling yet whether Mantle will ever become a cross-vendor, cross-platform standard, or whether the future holds something different, such as a competing Nvidia API or a future version of DirectX with some of the same perks. One thing is clear, though: Mantle looks set to shake up the industry in a very real way.
This is very exciting news in the gaming world actually...
nVidia's proprietary "PhysX" is stagnating ( in my humble opinion ), although they finally allowed it to run on an AMD gpu in the new PS4 and Xbone consoles http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/co ... s4-1136063
I don't think PhysX is all that relevant anymore, AMD's Mantle is the next "big thing" in improving performance significantly in modern games and it is possible that AMD will let them use it on nVidia gpu's ( with licensing fee/royalties paid to Daamit of course ) in the future.
However, new stories like this make me think that PhysX might still have some place in the future:
http://www.slashgear.com/nvidia-gamewor ... -19302116/
NVIDIA GameWorks gets real: Flame Works, FLEX for PhysX, GI Works for shadows
Chris Burns, Oct 19th 2013
In an effort to expand the understanding the public has of the developer program NVIDIA has in GameWorks, this week they’ve taken the stage with showings of a couple of new (or otherwise newly branded) technologies called FLEX and Flame Works. With FLEX, you’re working with a newly collected set of unified GPU PhysX – bouncing effects, water effects, and cloth. With Flame Works you’re working with volumetric effects like smoke and fire – demonstrated by a friendly dragon in a short demo in tune.
FLEX is a unified simulation system for PhysX – PhysX being the core physics environment for both Unity and Unreal engine and a host of future games, if you did not know. PhysX is used by, as NVIDIA noted this week, over 500 games in the wild today, making the simulation system FLEX significant for the upcoming generation especially.
Explained by NVIDIA’s SVP of Content and Technology Tony Tamasi, FLEX is an environment in which effects are allowed to influence each other. One demonstration shows a set of water balloons falling on top of one another, bouncing away, and ripping – water then spilling out as a result. Another demonstration shows a set of three pieces of cloth suspended invisibly, with water falling from above – only to be held by the cloth in an abundantly realistic manner.
This FLEX system works with a unified solver, shared collision detection, two-way coupling effects, and parallelism from start to finish. Then there’s Flame Works, a system that’s ready to take on volumetric effects with top-tier film quality – here for games.
With Flame Works, developers are invited to work with a multi-grid solver, stochastic shadows as well as scattering, and – again – “film-quality” volumetric effects in smoke and fire. This system in particular has already been being pushed to developers for integration into core gaming engines for the games of our immediate next generation.
NVIDIA also showed off a system called GI Works, revealing here some real-time global illumination action. You’ll find scalable architecture, color bleeding for light and shadow, specular effects, emissive materials, and a fully dynamic environment. This system takes shadows – hard, soft, black, colorful, and everything in-between – to a newly refined universe.
This is all part of GameWorks, the system named as king for NVIDIA’s developer relations efforts throughout the world of gaming. Have a peek at the timeline below for additional moments of GameWorks expression from the past couple of days as well.