The Mantle API

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2015

AMD just released the programming guide and reference for the Mantle API (PDF). This should give us an idea of what the Vulkan API will be like.

I've only skimmed the document so far, but I'm surprised by how much Mantle resembles OpenCL and how little it resembles OpenGL. GPUs are represented by device structures that receive data packaged in memory objects. "Commands are sent to the GPU by recording them in command buffers and submitting command buffers to the GPU queues." Sounds familiar.

Mantle provides lower-level access to GPUs than OpenCL. It's reasonable to assume that a well-coded Mantle/Vulkan compute application will outperform a comparably well-coded OpenCL application. Of course, this only applies to applications that target GPUs.

Mantle has a window system interface specifically for the Windows operating system. Interesting. I wonder if Vulkan will have similar interfaces for different operating systems.

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