AMD signs up 40 development studios for private Mantle SDK

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AMD said Thursday that the company has signed up 40 developer studios wishing to use its Mantle technology, and is issuing another round of invitations for others to access a new portal.

AMD wouldn’t say who those developers were, or whether the company had extracted firm commitments from those who had signed up to develop for AMD’s technology. But the company is trying to generate buzz surrounding the sheer numbers of those who have signed up.

“There are no objective criteria for being selected, as we are interested in talking to developers of all shapes and sizes,” the company said in a statement. “Past development experience is encouraged, however.” The password-protected developer portal is now live, AMD said.

AMD launched Mantle in September of last year as a low-level programming interface. Unlike the more abstract Microsoft DirectX, Mantle was written by AMD specifically to accelerate games and other apps written for its chips and its Graphics Core Next architecture. (What’s the difference between DirectX 12 and Mantle? We break it down.)

Mantle optimizations, then, translate into dramatically better performance for games running on the GCN hardware.  According to AMD, gamers who used AMD’s latest Catalyst driver hould see a 50 percent increase in frame rate running EA’s Battlefield 4. Depending on which CPU and GPU you own, your mileage may vary. Other games that have been optimized for Mantle include the Thief reboot, and the upcoming Star Citizen, from Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts. 

AMD is clearly hoping that attracting a sizeable base of developers will create a critical mass of titles which will, in turn, entice gamers to buy only AMD parts when either upgrading or outfitting new PCs. If those gamers know they’ll receive substantial performance improvements because their favorite games have been coded for and optimized for AMD hardware, then AMD stands to gain a rather commanding market share. 

And if the Mantle strategy fails, AMD already supplies chips to all three major game consoles. It’s a stable revenue stream that will be there even if the Mantle bet fails.

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