In the 12 months since last year's AMD technical day at the Develop conference, a lot has happened. The day was dominated by ATI, Microsoft and Intel talking about D3D10 and multi-threaded game development. Since then AMD purchased ATI, creating the AMD Graphics Products Group; Microsoft shipped Vista early this year to provide the official OS platform for D3D10; AMD joined NVIDIA in shipping D3D10 hardware to accelerate the new API; and finally multi-threading for PC platforms has taken centre stage as the battle for multi-core CPU supremacy inside your development, home or gaming PC rages on.
Looking forward, Agena will fight Kentsfield and Yorkfield in short order at the tail end of this year to decide who rules the quad-core multi-threaded PC roost. NVIDIA will likely ship their next round of D3D10 acceleration before 2008, too, and AMD have a Radeon or two left up their sleeves before year's end. Microsoft recently shipped the Tech Preview for D3D10.1, too, which some of the aforementioned coming hardware might support. All these factors combine to focus AMD and its Develop Tech Day efforts. Put simply, there's enough going on in graphics and games development that such a Tech Day almost becomes mandatory.
While this year's turn out was low compared to last, those that didn't attend missed a trick in our opinion. More than enough good information was imparted -- although the crowd kept quiet feeding that back to the presenters at times -- to make us wonder why IHV devrel teams don't tour slide decks like those presented more often. Technical details, implementation tricks, things to try and experiment with in game engines and more were all thrown out there for the ISV representatives to soak up. Hopefully those not taking notes either have photographic memories, tiny Nick Thibieroz or Emil Persson clones in their shirt pockets, or they fancy a read of this article.
We'll cover what was presented by the AMD Classic, AMD Graphics Products Group and Microsoft speakers, dicussing things as we go along. The focus is definitely D3D10 on Vista and multi-threaded game programming on Windows, with a little about the upcoming new dual- and quad-core AMD processor architecture at the end. Let's forge on.