DirectX 11.1 Details

Details on the next revision of the Windows graphics API are out. Micosoft lists the following changes:

-Cap bits are back in a way after being removed in D3D 10; the primary purpose of these seems to be to allow Win8 to better handle supporting traditional Intel/NVIDIA/AMD GPUs, and more exotic SoC GPUs by allowing applications to see if the GPU is a tile based deferred renderer, among other things.

-Direct3D has better access to Media Foundation (Windows’ video playback/encode API). It’s now possible to pipe MF output through pixel shaders before display.

-WARP, the software rasterizer, has been given a performance boost

-Shader tracing has been added for developers to trace shader performance (previously this would require GPU-specific tools)

-Stereoscopic 3D support has been added to D3D. We don’t have the details of the underpinnings here, but we expect that this will be the vendor-neutral S3D API users have bee clamoring for, without requiring devs to directly interact with quad buffers on a per-vendor basis

However, there is no news on whether or not this will be backwards compatible with existing DX11 GPUs (going from DX10 to DX10.1 required new GPU hardware), or whether or not it will be supported on Windows Vista/Windows 7 operating systems. So far, the new revision is only stated to be supported on Windows 8.