AMD changes plans for public Mantle SDK, hints at evolution of API

At PDXLan in November, AMD Gaming Scientist Richard Huddy reportedly promised that the firm would release a public Mantle SDK by the end of 2014. The in-house API has been available as part of a private beta since May, but the nitty gritty details of the supposedly open standard still aren't accessible to the public. Now, an official blog post attributed to Vice President of Visual and Perceptual Computing Raja Koduri suggests AMD has changed its plans for the public SDK—and possibly for the very future of the API.

2015 "will be a transitional year for Mantle," Koduri says. He suggests game developers have shifted their focus to DirectX 12 and glNext, and he clarifies Mantle's future with the following points:

  • AMD will continue to support our trusted partners that have committed to Mantle in future projects, like Battlefield™ Hardline, with all the resources at our disposal.
  • Mantle’s definition of “open” must widen. It already has, in fact. This vital effort has replaced our intention to release a public Mantle SDK, and you will learn the facts on Thursday, March 5 at GDC 2015.
  • Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs.
    • The Mantle SDK also remains available to partners who register in this co-development and evaluation program. However, if you are a developer interested in Mantle "1.0" functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX® 12 or GLnext.

So, AMD's "intention" to release the SDK has been replaced by an "effort" to widen the definition of open. Or something. Koduri plans to clear up that obfuscation at the Game Developers Conference on Thursday. Scott is at GDC this week, and he should be able to get us the straight dope on exactly what's going on.

In the meantime, Koduri says AMD will release a Mantle "programming guide and API reference" this month. The 450-page document will provide a "detailed look at the capabilities we’ve implemented and the design decisions we made," he adds.

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