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AMD wants to improve gaming in Linux and Steam boxes with its Mantle tools

Agam Shah | June 18, 2014
AMD is getting requests from game developers to port its Mantle API to Linux.

Mantle improves the gaming experience by allowing the graphics computing units to execute tasks quicker. The primary advantage for now is preventing the CPU from becoming a bottleneck by queueing up execution of tasks within the graphics processor. AMD continually adds hardware features to its graphics cards for better video effects, and Mantle will consistently provide game developers with tools to take advantage of those features, Huddy said.

"Expect more. This is only the first iteration" of Mantle, Huddy said.

Mantle only works with AMD's graphics processors. However, both AMD and Nvidia support DirectX, which is expected to remain the dominant set of tools to write games. Microsoft has already announced DirectX 12, and games based on the APIs are due by the end of next year.

Huddy claims Mantle has advantages over DirectX, including the ability to expose new hardware features faster with consistent updates. But DirectX has one big advantage: it will also improve gaming on smartphones running the Windows Phone OS. AMD does not sell chips for smartphones, and that handicaps the company's ability to bring Mantle to handsets.

"We're not targeting smartphones at the moment," Huddy said. "It's not the primary focus of AMD."

 

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