updated 08:00 am EDT, Wed June 3, 2009
AMD Demos DX11 GPU
AMD this morning said it has demonstrated the world's first graphics processor capable of supporting DirectX 11 and matching features in other software standards. The part is capable of tessellating polygons in real time, or breaking them down automatically into smaller shapes. Games and other apps that use the feature can have smoother details to characters or terrain without requiring as much processing power or that artists add all the information themselves.
The hardware also now allows for a standardized treatment of compute shaders, or graphics cores on a chipset put aside solely to calculate non-visual tasks like physics or video encoding; the approach could give systems using AMD's hardware added acceleration for tasks that would normally need a central processor. Compute shaders should also be used for OpenCL both on Windows and in Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
DirectX 11 and OpenCL also better use of multi-core CPUs to help render images more quickly.
AMD doesn't say when its graphics cores will ship but is unofficially expected to have the first Radeon HD hardware supporting DirectX 11 on the market before Windows 7, which comes with the new standard but isn't required. It's already known to be made on a very dense, efficient 40 nanometer assembly process and, unofficially, is believed to be shipping sometime in late September or early October.