A couple of sessions at next month's Game Developer's Conference (GDC) seem to suggest that AMD's Mantle is going to way of 3dfx's Glide API as both Microsoft and the Khronos Group are working on new solutions to bring their platforms closer to the metal.
Microsoft will present a session that reveals what the software giant has in store to bring DirectX closer to the metal to improve performance, as well as a session that talks about the future of Direct3D and the techniques Microsoft will use to deliver unprecedented hardware control and a reduction in CPU rendering overhead.
Besides all the sessions about DirectX, a team of presenters from AMD, NVIDIA and Intel will be talking about approaching zero driver overhead in OpenGL:
Driver overhead has been a frustrating reality for game developers for the entire life of the PC game industry. On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate, while on mobile devices driver overhead is more insidious--robbing both battery life and frame rate. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today's OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead--by up to 10x or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. Additionally, they will demonstrate practical demos of the techniques in action in an extensible, open source comparison framework.