‘DirectX 12 does not spell the death of Mantle’ – AMD

AMD has said that the arrival of Windows 10 and DirectX 12 does not mean it’s the end for its own Mantle application programming interface (API).

Windows 10 launched last week and with it came the latest version of DirectX, which has been well received by the industry, with big performance gains over the prior version.

"The arrival of DX12 is a huge deal for us and we are very, very positive about that," AMD gaming scientist Richard Huddy told PCR.

"The initiative we started with Mantle now sees a logical conclusion, where Microsoft is bringing its excellent API to market, so we’re pleased with that."

When asked what he means by a logical conclusion, and if DX12 spells the end of Mantle, Huddy responded: "The answer is no, but it’s not obvious why not.” Quite a few people have speculated that DX12 kills Mantle, but it doesn’t do that – and the reason is because that’s not what Mantle is about.

"When we invented Mantle, it’s because it solved a problem that games developers cared about. And that’s the really important emphasis there. If we’re able to use Mantle in the future to solve problems that games developers care about, then it’s obvious we should continue with Mantle.

"DX12 has arrived with Windows 10 and that’s all good, Mantle has achieved its aim – but of course, take it generically. For example, our Liquid VR is an SDK built for virtual reality but it solves a number of problems which are not pure graphics performance plays. And that’s built on Mantle, so Liquid VR, although we don’t talk about it, is actually a Mantle based driver.

He added: "If you ever use it as a consumer, you won’t know that you’re downloading Mantle, but of course the Mantle driver is integral to it. If you’re a developer then you probably would see that and you might indeed think about whether the Mantle API could help you with other stuff, in which case we’ll of course talk such a developer.

"But Mantle doesn’t die – it just finds itself solving different problems. We’ve nailed performance and power efficiency for pure graphics scenarios, but there are other things we are able to do with it. This single example of Liquid VR is a really strong one – problems we could not have solved without our own API."

You can read more about DX12 and Mantle here.

Read the full interview with AMD in the September issue of PCR

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