About Mantle and the Future of AMD With Richard Huddy, Gaming Scientist
N2: AMD is also THE top name when it comes to console gaming hardware, as it powers both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. What can PC gaming learn from the development of console specific hardware, and what improvements should we expect for future console generations, inspired by PC gaming?
Richard: Inside AMD we have a tag line which reads simply, “Radeon _is_ Gaming”. And when you look at our astonishing success in both consoles and PC you can see why we say that.
No other company has ever managed a clean sweep of the gaming consoles – and I believe that is strong testimony to the technologies that AMD provide and how AMD is to work with as a partner. We believe in creating win-win situations and we do that all in a way that makes us easy and pleasing to work with.
The core tech in the PS4 and Xbox One consoles is all based on the key foundations of GCN and our modern APUs. We’ve taken the best of both of those building blocks, and from them we’ve created machines which, at first glance and if you just reads the specs, can look less powerful than a high end PC, but in fact these new consoles deliver an experience which is head and shoulders above that of the previous generations of consoles and in for many users it beats typical PC gaming. The source of that strength is complex… It has to do with some of the nuances of the architectures, with the thinness of the console driver layers, the aggressive approach of games programmers on consoles – a whole slew of considerations which make an AMD-based console much more than just ‘the sum of its parts’. In addition AMD is doing everything possible to bring the goodness of console gaming to PCs. We have the same unified architecture at the heart of our APUs, and we have Mantle – which brings a console like programming experience to the PC – and which has proved wildly popular with developers.
N2: AMD’s Mantle seems to be a revolutionary idea. A lot of game developers say that Mantle represents one of the most important changes to PC graphics in many years. How will you continue the improvement of this new technology and what other changes do you believe it will bring to the gaming industry? Will the lower end segment benefit from it?
Richard: I agree with the games developers… Mantle is AMD’s effort, in conjunction with a few astonishingly bright and highly motivated PC developers to give PC games developers the software advantages of consoles. What we see from this collaboration is amazing. AMD now has somewhere in the region of 70 registered developers actively working on Mantle coding, we expect to have more Mantle games in one year than there were DirectX 11 games in its first year! When you think about that last fact you understand just how big a deal Mantle is.
Games developers love working with Mantle and, because AMD believes in giving game developers what they want, we will open up the spec for Mantle later this year and all of the other hardware companies will be free to implement Mantle drivers. AMD is creating an open standard which enables games developers to deliver better games.