AMD: Mantle is dead, focus on DirectX 12 and Vulkan instead

Posted on Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 12:57 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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AMD announced it will soon publish a programming guide and API reference documents for Mantle but stressed that developers should now focus on DirectX 12 or GLnext (Vulkan).

AMD will keep supporting Mantle for existing projects but developers are advised to move onwards as Mantle has served its purpose as a temporary bridge between DX11 and DX12.
AMD's Mantle Graphics API has gathered incredible momentum in its first year, gaining support from five advanced game engines and 10 premium applications.

Mantle has also revolutionized the industry's thinking on low-overhead/high-throughput graphics APIs as solutions that do not compromise developer productivity. Compelling content was delivered on Mantle in historically quick time, paving the way for various graphics standards bodies to move forward with conviction on their own similar API standards and specifications.

We are proud of these accomplishments, and we have been inspired by everything we have learned along the way. We also haven’t forgotten the promise we made: openness.

AMD is a company that fundamentally believes in technologies unfettered by restrictive contracts, licensing fees, vendor lock-ins or other arbitrary hurdles to solving the big challenges in graphics and computing. Mantle was destined to follow suit, and it does so today as we proudly announce that the 450-page programming guide and API reference for Mantle will be available this month (March, 2015) at

This documentation will provide developers with a detailed look at the capabilities we’ve implemented and the design decisions we made, and we hope it will stimulate more discussion that leads to even better graphics API standards in the months and years ahead.

Proud moments also call for reflection, and today we are especially thoughtful about Mantle’s future. In the approaching era of DirectX® 12 and the Next-Generation OpenGL Initiative, AMD is helping to develop two incredibly powerful APIs that leverage many capabilities of the award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.

AMD’s game development partners have similarly started to shift their focus, so it follows that 2015 will be a transitional year for Mantle. Our loyal customers are naturally curious about what this transition might entail, and we wanted to share some thoughts with you on where we will be taking Mantle next:

  • 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.

    As an API born to tackle the big challenges in graphics, much of this evolution is already well under way. We invite you to join AMD this week at Game Developer Conference 2015 to see not just the future of Mantle, but the future of PC graphics itself.

    Raja Koduri is Vice President of Visual and Perceptual Computing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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