AMD has stopped development of its Mantle 3D graphics API for current and future graphics cards. No new optimizations will be made, but current graphics cards will retain Mantle support at the driver level to run existing Mantle applications, but there will be no new updates or performance optimizations from AMD.
If you remember Mantle was launched around 2013 and was featured in many AAA titles like Battlefield 4, Thief, Sniper Elite III, and Star Citizen. It would give users higher performance than DirectX 11. Mantle improved the way the CPU-end of 3D graphics rendering is handled, particularly with newer multi-core and multi-threaded processors.
AMD will not be focusing on DirectX 12 and Vulkan (the OpenGL successor). We are not really sure why AMD is killing off their own 2-year old 3D API. Some reports are saying that Mantle was used to steer Microsoft to introduce vital bare-metal optimizations it reserved for the console to the PC ecosystem with DirectX 12. If that’s the case then Mantle has done its job.
DirectX 12 will make its debut with Windows 10 at the end of this month. DirectX will have a super-efficient command-buffer that scales across a number of CPU cores and will have a huge increase in draw cells compared to DirectX 11. AMD’s Graphics Core Next 1.1 and 1.2 GPUs support DirectX 12 as so NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPUs.