Microsoft has made available for download updated DirectX 11 resources tailored to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, but also additional Windows client and server operating systems. According to the Redmond-based company, the refreshed DirectX 11 release brings to the table the RTM version of Direct3D. Essentially, what it is offering is an update for the DirectX software development kit. Developers are free to grab the SDK via the Microsoft Download Center since September 8, 2009.
“The August 2009 DirectX SDK contains the first official release of the DirectX developer resources for Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. Developers can now publish and distribute Direct3D 11 applications and games that leverage all of the software and hardware features of DirectX 11 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista,” Microsoft noted. “ll headers, import libraries, and symbol files (.pdb files) are no longer marked as beta with the ‘_beta’ suffix and now link to the RTM versions of the runtimes. In addition, the HLSL compiler features for Direct3D 11 are now of release quality. The beta DLLs are no longer available in the DirectX SDK.”
With the August 2009 DirectX Software Development Kit update, Microsoft is offering developers the new Effects runtime for Direct3D 11. Devs will be able to access Effects 11 via its two parts, namely the D3DCompiler library and FXC. Microsoft underlined the fact that both components come with support for the new fx_5_0 target. Details on Effects 11 are available via the associated API documentation (Effect System Interfaces (Direct3D 11)).
“Features of this new target include support for all Direct3D 11 features such as hull shaders, domain shaders, interfaces, and DirectCompute, as well as grouping of techniques within a single Effect file using the fxgroup keyword. Please refer to the documentation for more information (Effects (Direct3D 11)). The Effects 11 runtime is provided as source in the Utilities directory, including Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 projects for building the runtime into a library for use in applications. Features include effect cloning for multithreaded operation, the new shader stages, unordered access views, interfaces, and extended user-defined state control,” the company stated.
In addition, the August 2009 DirectX 11 SDK offers a variety of new and enhanced samples for developers to leverage. The update introduces: Basic Samples, Shadow Techniques, Compute Shader, Tessellation, BC6H/BC7 Texture Compression, DDS File Format, Direct3D 10.1, Windows 7 Touch Messages, and Games for Windows Showcase S.6 (Direct3D 10 Sample).
“Included in the August 2009 DirectX SDK is the D3DCSX library, which includes new technologies for utilizing DirectCompute for advanced processing on the GPU. This first version includes implementations of scan and Fast-Fourier transform that utilize Direct3D 11 capable GPUs. Scan is a data-parallel algorithm for fast calculation of averages, sums, min, max, and other values from large data sets. The Fast-Fourier transform provides conversion from temporally sampled data to frequency information,” Microsoft added.
August 2009 DirectX Software Development Kit is available for download here.