The Battlefield 4 Mantle patch by AMD has been delayed to some time in January 2014. A survey has been mailed to all active EA account holders, who have played or are still playing the game, though there is no clarification whether only PlayStation 4 users got the emails.
A Look into AMD’s Revolutionary Mantle API
The basic problem: Game developers face two programming challenges
Making games that run and play well on PCs is an enormous challenge. That’s largely due to the fragmented nature of the gaming industry.
Traditionally, each game console has operated on different graphics architecture from the next, and each of those consoles differed substantially from the graphics hardware available in the latest PC video cards. That meant that the time and effort expended in developing a game for one platform couldn’t be re-purposed to another. Adding new platforms multiplied the programming effort required.
Programmers get around the compatibility problem by relying on higher-level programming interfaces that get adopted as industry standards. A PC maker can make sure their products support these standards, and programmers can write for them.
That helps solve the compatibility challenge. But these high-level interfaces aren’t nearly as efficient as the lower-level programming techniques that happen in consoles. Consequently, PC games aren’t making as good use of the hardware as they could be, and powerful hardware is what PC gaming is all about.
The solution: a unified industry
The preeminence of the Graphics Core Next architecture in many of the new generation of game consoles is the hardware answer to these concerns, unifying the console ecosystem (and much of the PC market) under a common graphics architecture.
Mantle is the software component that makes it easy to apply programming techniques and optimizations written for consoles to PC’s with GCN architecture. The chasm between consoles and PCs has been closed.
Mantle is the harmony of three essential ingredients:
A driver within the AMD Catalyst™ software suite that allows applications to speak directly to the Graphics Core Next architecture
A Graphics Core Next GPU, like the AMD Radeon™ R9 Series, R7 Series or HD 7000 Series GPUs
An application or game engine written to use the Mantle SDK
What it means: better, faster games
While the initial iteration of Mantle is intended specifically for PCs, it has been designed from the beginning to be extensible to other platforms.