The next in line of the popular Windows codecs, Direct X11 is a successor to Direct X10 and 10.1, both of which came standard with Windows Vista or as a free online download.
AMD have taken Microsoft's work with the new set of API's and appeared to have re-engineered and re-jigged their own graphics line-up to take advantage of the subsequent codec changes found in the new codec. Gamers and Windows 7 multimedia content users appear to be the biggest winners so far.
It's not just a clever company strategy either: if AMD is first to market with the new codec supporting graphic technology, it will beat rival graphics card maker Nvidia to the punch and benefit its users greatly by improving 3D and high definition video content possibilities across AMD type systems.
According to a news report at PC World, Windows 7 users should be particularly pleased with the announcement. The Direct X11 API's will enhance Windows 7 multimedia functions and recognise multicore systems, thereby taking the strain off the CPU and giving the CPU more power to concentrate on intensive processing jobs such as HD, Blu-ray and gaming processes.
Richard Huddy is senior manager of developer relations for AMD. His official AMD blog cites some useful info, why we might get excited by Direct X11:
- 'Tessellation': for more organic graphic textures in gaming
- GPGPU - a new way to program AMD chips so gaming programmers can treat the GPU as another CPU of sorts.
- More efficient at working with multiple CPUs: big support for dual and triple core AMD processors moving forward
In addition to these main three, the blog also cites Direct X11 improvements helping to implement higher frame rates and more realistic gaming as a result of the hardware and software changes stemming from Direct X11.
In an earlier blog post, Huddy waxes lyrical about multithread rendering (multiple CPU work) and directcompute (for work with Steam applications primarily) - both of which are gearing up to be substational CPU and GPU advances, made possible by Direct X11. If AMD gets a jump on Intel and others, they have the chance to revitalise a flagging brand and punch up soft sales worldwide for AMD hardware.
While desktops are expected to benefit from AMD's Direct X11 supported graphic improvements, it's expected that the technology will also wind up in laptops early next year, according to the report.