What's New in the August 2007 DirectX SDK

This version of the DirectX SDK contains the following new features, tools, and documentation.
New Release Schedule

Starting after the August 2007 release of the DirectX SDK, Microsoft will deliver future updates four times per year. The next five releases now planned for delivery are:

* August 2007
* November 2007 (instead of October and December)
* March 2008 (instead of February and April)
* June 2008
* August 2008

This delivery schedule will continue our strong track record of regularly releasing new features and tools, while allowing for longer technology development cycles.
Direct3D 10.1 Tech Preview

Direct3D 10.1 is an incremental, side-by-side update to Direct3D 10.0 that provides a series of new rendering features that will be available in an upcoming generation of graphics hardware.

* TextureCube Arrays which are dynamically indexable in shader code.
* An updated shader model (shader model 4.1).
* The ability to select the MSAA sample pattern for a resource from a palette of patterns, and retrieve the corresponding sample positions.
* The ability to render to block-compressed textures.
* More flexibility with respect to copying of resources.
* Support for blending on all unorm and snorm formats.

This tech preview provides an early look at these features and the handful of new APIs that support them. The August 2007 Direct3D 10.1 Tech Preview requires the Windows Vista SP1 Beta which will be available to MSDN subscribers once it is publicly released.
XAudio2 Beta: New Cross-Platform Audio API

The August release includes Beta 1 of XAudio2. XAudio2 is a new cross-platform audio API (Windows and Xbox 360) that is based on the Xbox 360 XAudio API. XAudio2 is a low-level audio signal processing library for Windows XP and Windows Vista providing a fully modern audio pipeline, including:

* Multi-channel and surround-sound support with full per-channel volume and mapping control.
* Programmable, cross-platform DSP effects framework.
* Per-voice filtering, arbitrary submixing, and multi-rate processing.
* Multicore optimized, non-blocking API design.
* Pluggable and generalized 3D spatialization support, with a full-featured implementation provided by the independent X3DAudio math library.

XAudio2 is designed to be the game-audio API that will replace DirectSound.

Please visit the Microsoft Connect XAudio2 Beta website for feedback, bug reporting, links to discussion forums, and an audio feedback survey.
XACT Session Windows

The XACT UI has a new feature, Session windows. Session windows allow a sound designer to create multiple virtual mixing consoles that are comprised of sounds and categories. By using a Session window, a sound designer can easily access volume controls for multiple sounds or categories with the look and feel of a multi-track mixing console. Sounds can be individually auditioned from the Session window. They can also display basic sound status, such as whether a sound is actively playing, or the number of instances of the sound. As part of the Session window functionality, auditioning Mute and Solo are now supported for categories, which allows sound designers to more easily mix sounds in their games.
GDFTrace Tool

GDFTrace.exe is a new command-line tool that displays Game Explorer metadata contained in a binary and highlights any warnings.
New and Updated Articles

This release has both new and updated articles.

* Games for Windows Technical Requirements and Games for Windows Test Requirements have both been updated for the August 2007 release with some minor requirements changes, significant clarifications, and additional supporting material.
* The article, Debugging with Symbols, provides a high level overview of how to best use symbols in your debugging process. It explains how to use the Microsoft symbol server, and also how to set up and use your own private symbol server. These best practices can help increase your effectiveness and ability to debug issues, even in cases where all the symbols and executable files that are related to a problem are not located on your computer.

New and Updated Samples

This release has both new and updated samples.

* The XAudio2BasicSound sample demonstrates how to initialize the XAudio2 library and play a variety of sound files.
* The ContentStreaming sample was rewritten to better demonstrate streaming content in the background. This is useful for applications that need to display more data than can fit in video or system RAM at any given time.