MadShaders 0.3.0 for Windows, Linux and OS X
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Windows 7 builds on past graphics successes with the DirectX (DX) APIs and provides improvements in both Direct3D and Direct2D graphics capabilities. DX 11 provides the foundation for developers to take advantage of the latest generation of GPUs as well as modern multi-core CPUs. Tessellation and compute shaders, two of the most important new DX 11 features, and have now become industry standards. AMD first introduced integer tessellation in 2001 on the ATI Radeon™ 8500 graphics card and later added floating point tessellation in 2006 on the ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 graphics card. In addition, the Direct3D runtime will be capable of running on older DX 9 and 10 hardware. This permits you to exploit multithreading capabilities and enables better resource administration even on previous-generation cards. To get a more comprehensive view of the capabilities provided by these new features, refer to the AMD articles listed in Resources.Perhaps one of the most exciting new features enabled by Windows 7 is compute shaders. Compute shaders allow you to harness the computational power in the GPU in addition to what the CPU offers by exposing the shader pipeline to tasks that the CPU would traditionally handle. Compute shaders can dramatically speedup computation involving physics acceleration, audio signal processing, digital image processing, stream processing and many other tasks. Windows 7 will specifically leverage compute shader support to speed up transcoding of video files. To get a feel for what compute shaders and tessellation make possible, check out the Froblins demo on AMD.com, which showcases these two features running side by side! AMD plans to release DX 11 solutions that will coincide with the release of Windows 7 later in 2009.