Maximum PC interviewed Oxide Games Dan Baker and the topic of discussion was all about AMD Mantle.
“Maximum PC: Most believe Mantle is a low-level API that is very close to the metal. Can you explain why this concept is wrong?
Baker: Relative to Microsoft's Direct3D (D3D), Mantle is indeed more low-level. But it's not low-level in the sense that we are exposed to individual architectural decisions. For example, Mantle still abstracts the details of the shader cores themselves, so that we don't even know if we are running on a vector machine or a scalar machine. What isn't abstracted is the basic way a GPU operates. The GPU is another processor, just like any other, that reads and writes memory. One thing that has happened is that GPUs are now pretty general in terms of functionality. They can read memory anywhere. They can write memory anywhere. A lot of the things an API has traditionally managed aren't really necessary any more. Mantle puts the responsibility onto the developer. Some feel that is too much, but this really isn't any different than managing multiple CPUs on a system, which we have gotten pretty good at. We don't program multiple CPUs with an API, we just handle it ourselves. Mantle gives us a similar capability for the GPU.”
Read the full interview at Maximum PC.