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Source:  3Dup.com - The Computer Graphics Portal
URL:  http://3dup.com/news/view.vfx?nid=221
Category:  Games
A Overview about the Features and Benefits of this New API
3Dup.com - September 15, 2009 - 22:48
Game Developers are implementing in their new titles and updates, the new DirectX 11 API which will be released as one of new features of Windows 7 next October. At this point, we would like to remark the benefits of this technology for users and consumers publishing two videos, first with several interviews to developers, and the second one with a rendering in real-time using this technology as a sample about what you can expect from DirectX 11. Some of the new features are as follow ...

It is a technology that has been around for a few GPU (graphics processing unit) generations. AMD has had Tessellation support since 2001, which was then called Truform; we also implemented Tessellation in the XBOX 360 GPU, then codenamed "Xenos". Tessellation is a feature which increases the number of polygons in an image.

Basically, Tessellation enables a more lifelike image, both of objects and landscape. Back in the day characters who were CG (computer generated) looked very blocky, almost cartoon like; with the use of Tessellation, developers are now able to significantly increase the number of triangles to draw an image, thus creating a more lifelike quality in games.

Multithreaded Rendering
It is a feature which allows DirectX to be processed via multiple CPU threads. This means that a dual-, triple- or quad-core CPU can have a higher utilization across all cores than DirectX APIs in the past. Historically the OS would load up a single core for commands to the GPU, in essence creating an overload on the first core and under utilizing the additional cores. With only one core issuing commands to a GPU, we have seen CPUs hold back the potential performance of the GPU. With Multithreaded Rendering, DirectX will take better advantage of all the available cores. This should result in a better experience for the multi-core user because of a faster processing pipeline and increased scaling.

It is a feature which allows access to the shader cores/pipeline for Stream Computing (graphics acceleration) type applications and physics acceleration. One of the biggest technology breakthroughs of the past 5 years has been the notion that processing can be moved from the traditional CPU to the much more parallel GPU. Simply put, the CPU manages tasks sequentially; it accomplishes a task then moves on to the next task in a very orderly fashion and with tremendous speed. Today's CPUs can work at speeds of up to 108.8 GigaFLOPS (Floatingpoint Operations Per Second).

Ocean View: Real-Time Rendering with DirectX 11

A GPU is designed to work with many slower cores in parallel, giving a much wider vector -meaning a wider road for more cars to travel on - than a CPU. This allows tasks to be completed faster if the program or software is developed to take advantage of many-many cores, albeit slower ones.

Today's GPUs can work at speeds up to 1.36 TeraFLOPS, giving the GPU a significant (almost 11 times faster) advantage when the proper software is run. This advantage truly delivers on the processing capabilities of Stream Computing.

DirectCompute allows easier access to the GPU's many cores for parallel processing; if the user is running applications that take advantage of Stream Computing then the performance experience increases considerably. We are seeing transcoding as the first type of task that is seeing tremendous benefit using Stream Computing.

More Information at www.microsoft.com. Image and Video Courtesy of AMD Inc., and NVIDIA Corp.