Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jun 2014 17:42 UTC
Apple

Metal. If the name sounds hardcore, it's because it's a hardcore improvement to the way games will be able to perform on iOS 8. Metal represents a much more no-nonsense approach to getting the most out of the Apple A7's gaming performance, assuring users of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that their devices will continue to be top-notch game systems come this fall.

Right now in iOS 7 software called OpenGL ES sits in between the game and the core hardware that runs it, translating function calls into graphics commands that are sent to the hardware. It's a lot of overhead. And iOS 8 is getting rid of a lot of it.

A nice overview of Apple's Metal.

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RE[2]: Simple question
by Luis on Fri 27th Jun 2014 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Simple question"
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

Thanks for that very detailed answer!

So it seems that modern GPUs are quite more "generic" than they used to be, so they give more flexibility for the way software can use them. That's why Metal can actually exist without a specific hardware design for it.

It sounded ironical to me when you explained this because I remember somewhere around 2008 (?) that Intel had some "project Larrabee" (that never was realized) that had this very same principle, and Nvidia was laughing a these efforts saying it looked like a GPU designed by a CPU team (or something similar). And in the end the GPU market has gone exactly that way for allowing GPGPU and things like Mantle and Metal.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Simple question
by _txf_ on Fri 27th Jun 2014 21:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple question"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Technically Apple does have a hardware design under it. Low level APIs are tethered to the underlying hardware to a greater degree than generic OGL and D3D.

Apple has a stake in ImgTec so it seems likely that for the foreseeable future they only have to tailor Metal for that particular architcture.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Simple question
by burnttoys on Sun 29th Jun 2014 19:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple question"
burnttoys Member since:
2008-12-20

Larrabee? Kinda turned in to Xeon Phi via Intel's Terascale plan.

There was some interesting papers about using _very_ wide SIMD engines for graphics.

Reply Parent Score: 2