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Apple Announces A New 3D API, OpenGL Competitor: Metal

Standards

Published on 02 June 2014 03:35 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Standards
142 Comments

At Apple's WWDC conference today they have just unveiled Metal, a new 3D graphics API to compete with OpenGL.

Like AMD's Mantle and the recent complaints about OpenGL and the overhead of OpenGL drivers, Apple has devised its own graphics API that is "closer to metal" and hence its name.

Apple's Craig Federighi said during the presentation that Metal allows for up to 10x the call rates of OpenGL's current speeds while having substantially less overhead. Initially the Metal graphics API is meant for iOS with driving the mobile gaming experience.

Exactly how open the Metal API will be remains to be seen and if/when the Apple Metal API will appear on the desktop within AMD/NVIDIA graphics drivers. At the very least, hopefully all of this recent attention around 3D graphics APIs will lead to faster innovation and growth within OpenGL / OpenGL ES. Metal will premiere later this year with iOS 8 while developers have early access beginning today.

Apple also announced today OS X Yosemite, their latest OS, which will ship later this calendar year.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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