At AMD's GPU14 Tech Day event in Hawaii, alongside the brand new Radeon R9 290X GPU, the company has also unveiled a new development model called 'Mantle'. As a combination of both API specifications and GPU drivers, Mantle will allow developers to fully unlock the graphics potential of the GCN architecture of the new (and likely the previous) Radeon series, through low-level high-performance drivers.
Battlefield 4 will be the first title to use Mantle, with the technology coming through a free update in December. Mantle brings greater control of the GPU and CPU to game developers, especially in the memory department, which will allow games to harness the full potential of graphics cards. This model will be more similar to what is found on consoles, where developers have huge control over what hardware they use in their games.
While the technology is still in early stages, EA says it will allow PC game developers to harness even more graphics power than ever before. Where possible, Mantle will be used instead of DirectX 11 on compatible AMD hardware, although it's still compatible with other rendering APIs. AMD claims Mantle enables nine times more draw calls per second than other APIs, which is a huge increase in performance.
We've been told at the GPU14 Tech Day event that the Mantle API is open, so theoretically Nvidia could purpose the technology in their GPUs. It should also make cross-development between PC and console games a lot easier, and also more incredible for those with a high-performance AMD GPU.
More information on Mantle will be available at the AMD Developer Summit in November.