Game group gets word on Intel's new extensions for rendering

Mar 31, 2013 by Nancy Owano report
Programmable Blend with PixelSync

( —Intel was not going to let an event like the Game Developers Conference from March 25 to March 29 in San Francisco, described on the conference site as the world's largest professionals-only game industry event, go by without talking up the merits of Intel's stepped-up graphics focus. Intel took advantage of the event's special audience to announce new capabilities through DirectX extensions for software developers. The extensions will speed up and ease game rendering.

The first of these extensions, PixelSync, will make it easier for developers to come up with the more challenging types of special effects. In Intel's release describing these extensions, it said of PixelSync that the extension "provides access to underlying hardware that allows programmers to properly composite partially transparent pixels without the need for an expensive sorting operation."

PixelSync is to help speed up the sorting of transparent graphical elements. Intel said that game developers have looked forward to the kind of capability that PixelSync offers. They can more realistically render smoke, hair, windows, foliage, fences and other and .

"The artists working on 'Grid2' have been requesting this type of effect for years, and prior to this, it wasn't possible to achieve it at a reasonable cost," said Clive Moody, senior executive producer at Codemasters Racing.

Intel also announced another extension, InstantAccess, which will make accessing data in Haswell's CPU and GPU more efficient. InstantAccess works by allowing physical memory to be written and read from either the CPU or from built-in Intel HD Graphics.

"These real-time rendering extensions are being released in advance of the launch of Intel's newest generation of Core processors in order to give developers extra time to begin incorporating them into their products. Initially, these extensions are available through Intel's implementation of DirectX and on Intel 4th gen Core platforms only," said Intel.

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3 / 5 (2) Mar 31, 2013
What an ill idea to incorporate GPU into CPU for desktops(sic!)? (The same goes to LGA vs BGA) I fully agree to do that with mobile processors, but in desktops? Nobody is using it! Intel open your eyes! Instead of GPU module add extra cores as you promised years ago! And now we already know that there are no plans for 8 core before Skylake(and it is not yet sure if Skylake will have 8core). Outrage! Who want's to buy new generation of processors with only 7% speed increase over last generation! Not me for sure. Where are engineers in Intel? Definitively below poorly educated marketing man. It is sad what lack of competition in processor market has done. Intel open your eyes - killing desktop PC market you are cutting your own leg! There is still enough people who want to have powerful desktops!(instead of cloud!) And why Intel is disabeling TCX and virtualisation in overclockable K versions? I won't buy Haswell, Broadwell or anything else until I won't see extra cores in it(and NO GPU)
not rated yet Apr 01, 2013
Focus on DirectX vs. OpenGL? Seems like the latter would make more sense.
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2013
Intel will go down with the sinking MS desktop DirectX ship.
Game developers won't develop for DirectX anymore, because they already develop for OpenGL.

not rated yet Apr 01, 2013
Game developers won't develop for DirectX anymore, because they already develop for OpenGL.

DirectX is a lot more than just graphics API's. All kinds of stuff that runs on a Windows computer depends on DirectX to function. As for graphics and games, if you want to sell a game on XBox, then you better make sure your game is compatible with DirectX, since that's where the X in Xbox orignially came from.