Inside Metal: How Apple plans to unlock the A7 chip’s hidden graphics performance

“Among the surprises that Apple unveiled at WWDC 2014 is the company’s new Metal framework and shader language, aimed at radically enhancing the hardware accelerated graphics potential of the A7 Application Processor powering the company’s latest iOS devices,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“Metal as a technology applies to the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) of Apple’s new 64-bit A7 Application Processor used in its newest iOS devices: iPhone 5s, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini,” Dilger reports. “The new technology’s name actually derives from the fact that it provides “close to the metal” graphics performance by slimming down the overhead imposed by existing graphics libraries like OpenGL. Metal speeds up 3D rendering and general compute tasks while freeing up the CPU to handle additional work, such as more sophisticated physics modeling or audio processing in video games, for example.”

“Apple has already taken over the high end of mobile video games, with lots of exclusive titles that aren’t available on Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone (and in the future, won’t be available on Tizen). That fact that Android doesn’t get many high end games is well known enough for AnandTech to observe with rather brutal honesty that ‘the games that benefit the most from Metal are also the games least likely to be on Android,'” Dilger reports. “With Metal, Apple has targeted the overhead baggage of OpenGL for bypassing with a highly optimized new framework to allow mobile developers to coax the best possible performance from its new A7 (and of course, future A-series chips using the same types of advanced GPU technology).”

Much more in the full article here.

19 Comments

  1. This kind of stuff has limited shelf life as a market advantage as ATI, Intel and others will not only match it but often times they even make it better. Look to Samsung to continue to push Apple to the edge when it comes to state of the art chips and overall silicon.

        1. Jo, around here, as JP illustrates, we get idiot comments every day that are intended as serious. It’s actually an ancient Apple-hater tradition to say stupid as intelligent.

          Therefore, it’s useful to provide subtle indicators that you’re posting stupid as stupid. Winks 😉 and /s help signal and gain cheers for deliberate absurdities.

    1. Unfortunately they won’t be able to match the secure interconnected ecosystem, nor attract desired developers as much with Apple developers having superior coding tools and minimal fragmentation to deal with, nor fix the Android fragmentation problem, nor budge the 99% malware share. With the size difference going away can’t say I’m as optimistic as you about Android.

    2. JP pet anonymous coward troll spewed forth:
      Look to Samsung to continue to push Apple to the edge when it comes to state of the art chips and overall silicon.

      And we laughed our asses off at him accordingly. 😆

      All I need say is: 64 bit A7. Where’s your’s ScamScum?

        1. There’s never been any real competition between the two companies. There’s just been Samsung sucking off Apple again and again and again and again, then Apple swatting the blood sucker.

          If anything, Apple threw the gauntlet at Samsung with gradual slow damage to Samsung resulting. I have no comprehension of why anyone thinks of Samsung as a competitor or even worthy of the markets it invades. Samsung is just a disease of the times, yet another company that screws over its customers with crap and bad attitude, aka self-destructive.

  2. Samsung isn’t pushing anybody. They are simply stealing and copying. Let us know when they get a 64 bit OS. Until then, they will remain in Apple’s dust. Metal, Yosemite, and Swift Arran integrated package, and they are not open source or standards pledged. Good luck with trying to copy them. Apple is doing what they do best, showing the way forward.

  3. Android won’t play in the high end gaming experience since they do not control the hardware and writing code optimized to the various hardware platforms for Android would be too daunting for the developer. So they will code to a lower common denominator.

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