Linux Gaming News

AMD and CryEngine to integrate Mantle API

CryTek has announced another big tie-up with the hardware manufacturing giant AMD. At this year’s Games Developer’s Conference, CryTek officially announced that they will be integrating AMD’s Mantle APIs in to their #game #engine.

According to Matt Skynner, Corporate VP and GM of Graphics Business Unit at AMD, the German gaming #developers have formally pledged to integrate AMD’s proprietary Mantle APIs into their game engine, the Cry Engine. This would be an added advantage for developers looking to develop games for the consoles, since both the next generation consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 uses semi-custom AMD APUs. Thus games built using the CryEngine would be automatically optimized from the get go for AMD hardware.

Mantle is what’s known as a low-level API, and it gives game developers “closer-to-the-metal” access to the PC hardware they’re developing for. It streamlines communication between a gamer’s CPU and GPU. Essentially this results in significant performance uplifts when compared to DirectX 11 on AMD hardware.

This move from AMD kind of gets development world a bit skewed towards their hardware and if pitched right, they could very well get the hardware segment titled to their favour. With a lower monthly subscription along with being royalty free, the CryEngine was an already tempting offer, and now with the integration of low level APIs that would optimize the games automatically for AMD hardware, which includes the next gen consoles, might be just the thing development houses are weighing before deciding on an engine. Add to those arguments that the CryEngine is already licensed to over 35 game studios already with about 50 games using this engine; AMD just might be in for a major market share.

AMD goes even further inn announcing that in addition to the integration of low level APIs, AMD also encourages and releases all their source codes of the various tools, like TressFX, available to the developers. According to Skynner, this kind of Open Source technique versus the “Black Box” technique which is practiced by their competitors (no cookies for shouting nVidia), allows both the developers and AMD to learn, adapt and evolve the various technologies that is leading the game industry today.

All of these talks of Open Source beg to ask one very important question, will the Mantle API be available on Linux? Given that the CryEngine is going to be on Linux, it seems obvious. Skynner had this to say “Those developments are unrelated,” Chris Hook answers. “But right now we’re doing a feasibility study to determine how and when to bring Mantle to Linux. Regardless of the trajectory, you can see our efforts to support it. AMD cards got added to the main SteamOS build this January, and we’re making a load of contributions to the Linux kernels to improve power management, performance, features, and all that good stuff. We take the SteamOS movement very seriously.” Seems like it is on queue and will get attention when the line reaches it.

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