MANTLE API is an initiative from AMD to create a new programming model that can fully exploit the capabilities of Modern GPUs ( Radeon GPUs).In collaboration with leading cross platform game developers, AMD has created an API specification and graphic driver that enable this model on PCs with Graphic hardware based on GCN(Graphics Core Next) Architecture.This API can fully used the Graphics power from AMD Radeon GPUs(especially HD 7000,HD 8000,R7 and R9 series).
It’s been said by AMD that Microsoft’s Directx was not able to fully utilize company’s own Graphic Architecture. Hence requirement of new API was important by AMD’s perspective.
This API has been designed to provide the right abstraction level for GPU hardware. It strikes good balance between the higher level and lower level. It provides the simplicity in understanding the GPU architectures.
Key Concepts of MANTLE API
- Pre-building and reuse of data
- Control over memory management
- Control over command generation and execution
But with these concepts, it can use the Modern GPU Architectures and not only for AMD’s GCN architecture.
But why there was a need for New API, when there was Microsoft’s DirectX 11 ?
AMD took initiative to build new API due to number of reasons:-
1. GCN Architecture:-
This Graphics Core Next Architecture provides a unified development platform for PC Gaming, Gaming Consoles and professional Workstation Graphics.
2. Developer Demand:-
Developer requested to develop the new API because games and applications were limited by the existing APIs. It was also not possible to tweak the existing API to solve the problem because there was need for fundamental changes.
3.Performance and Control:-
Due to existing APIs there was so many abstraction layers in between the application and Graphics hardware, so no direct control to hardware and less performance.
4.Excitement and Innovation:-
There was no tweak in Existing API,so whole developer community was excited to develop an API that starts as a fresh round with 3D development and new approach to GPU Programming.
Benefits of Mantle:-
Mantle is designed to solve the real world problems based on guidance of game developer. It also offers benefits to both developers and end users.
- Empowering Lower spec systems
Mantle allows higher image quality on the low end system. Due to increasing low power devices,mantle API will be need in case of it.
- Developing more predictable performance
It provides unprecedent knowledge of Graphics hardware due to thin layer between applications and driver layer to provide frame rates, in order with higher throughput.
- Sharing Optimizations with PCs and Game consoles
with GCN architecture in Gaming Consoles and PCs.It provides an optimizations and rendering techniques between Gaming consoles and PCs.
Mantle is engineered to provide the maximum GPU performance,less CPU Overhead and direct access to Graphics Hardware.
Mantle has providing solutions for
Small batch problem
From many years, developers were facing the “small batch problem” in which applications becomes CPU limited and keeping GPU underutilized.Developers tried to solve the problem by increasing large number of objects in a single draw cell but it increased the complexity in code.
By taking advantage of today’s multi-core CPU with effective multi-threading is also important. Many of the games does not use the 4,6 or 8 cores, hence most of the cores remains inaccessible. Mantle tries to unlock the potential of multi-threaded CPU by scaling draw cell throughput as many cores are available.
By providing more control over memory allocations and more flexible access to data contain, Mantle can make optimizations with PCs. This is same as making efficient management of GPU memory as they used to make with Gaming consoles.
Direct GPU Control
Lack of Direct GPU control sacrifices both CPU and GPU efficiency. It also makes latency more difficult to manage and often result in unexpected performance and behaviour. Mantle provides an efficient path to translate API commands that GPU can understand.
Mantle API have been supported by below mentioned Games :
- Battlefield 4
- Battlefield Hardline
- Star citizen
- Sniper Elite 3
Mantle is an ideal solution for those who care about maximizing performance, unlocking full feature set of Modern GPUs.