A closer look at Apple’s Metal graphics framework


By

Daniel Eran Dilger for Apple Insider:

Additionally, today's mobile GPUs are now so fast that the CPU cores often have trouble feeding graphics tasks to them fast enough. Once the CPU cores are maxed out, the GPU is left sitting idle, waiting for new work to be dispatched to it by the CPU.

In this area, the general purpose design of OpenGL is reaching the limits of what it can do, largely because it hogs up so much time on the CPU with tasks like state validation and GPU shader compilation.

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).

Bottom line is Metal appears to reduces the overhead, which makes more available resources for apps. It's sort of like a free hardware upgrade for specific tasks. Metal is one of a number of things announced at WWDC that end-users don't really need to know anything about, but will likely make using their devices much more enjoyable.