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AMD displays first DirectX 11 graphics processor

Cyril Kowaliski
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COMPUTEX — At an event here in Taipei this morning, AMD gave the first public glimpse of running DirectX 11 hardware. AMD’s Rick Bergman and TSMC’s Rick Tsai displayed a wafer of an upcoming 40nm, DirectX 11 AMD GPU scheduled for release by the end of this year.

(Check out the image gallery below for a higher-res shot of the wafer on its own.)

AMD also showed several demos of DirectX 11 in action, too. In games, the demos focused on tessellation and DirectX 11 Compute Shader. The Froblins demo showed both in action: tessellation was used to increase polygon counts for character models, while Compute Shader allowed artificial intelligence processing to run on the GPU:

If you’d like to see tessellation in more detail, AMD has put up another demo on YouTube. In essence, tessellation works somewhat like the ATI TruForm technology of old.

DirectX 11 Compute Shaders have uses outside of games, too, just like OpenCL. AMD showed a DX11, GPU-accelerated video transcoding application running on Windows 7:

A software-only transcoder was running on another display to showcase the performance gains of the GPU-accelerated version. Interestingly, though, Windows 7’s Aero graphical interface was disabled on the system running the Compute Shader transcoder.

AMD didn’t announce a specific release time frame for its first DX11 GPU. However, whispers around Computex suggest a launch could take place in the late third quarter—think late September or early October.

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