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AMD: Proprietary APIs are bad for industry

AMD: Proprietary APIs are bad for industry

'Proprietary APIs don't work if there are open standards,' AMD told us at GamesCom 2011.

AMD doesn't have much faith in the idea of proprietary APIs and closed systems, bit-gamer was told out at GamesCom 2011 in Cologne yesterday.

'Propietary APIs, like those used by some of our competitors, don't work' said AMD's senior manager for desktop and fusion software, Sasa Marinkovic.

'If there's an open standard, they just don't work. OEM's don't like them and developers don't like them either.'

While admitting that there may be some exceptions, the most notable of which is Apple, Marinkovic pointed to the failure of GLide in the face of DirectX as a classic proof of AMD's stance.

AMD will instead always be more focused on supporting open standards, such as DirectX, rather than creating APIs of its own, said Sasa. Other open standards that AMD has historically championed include OpenCL (a rival to Nvidia's CUDA GPGPU standard).

Does a company need to take a lead to force an issue, as Nvidia has done with CUDA, or should the industry work together to create common standards across hardware as AMD suggests? Let us know your thoughts in the forum.

Check our GamesCom 2011 news hub for all the information from Cologne this year.

10 Comments

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wuyanxu 19th August 2011, 12:23 Quote
@AMD, stop talking. start actually doing something please.

Proprietary stands work, because the company that benefits from this standard will be pushing it harder than any open standard organisation can ever do. this kind of push is needed for any new technology.
edzieba 19th August 2011, 12:47 Quote
Wait, hang on, their example of a non-proprietary API is DirectX? By that logic, surely CUDA is an open API too, as anyone can write code for it?
The only difference between CUDA and DirectX is that one company makes CUDA-supporting chips, and two companies make DirectX supporting chips. At least CUDA is cross-platform (official support on Windows, Linux and OS X), unlike DirectX which only works via Wine et-al on non-Windows systems.
cyrilthefish 19th August 2011, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
Wait, hang on, their example of a non-proprietary API is DirectX? By that logic, surely CUDA is an open API too, as anyone can write code for it?
The only difference between CUDA and DirectX is that one company makes CUDA-supporting chips, and two companies make DirectX supporting chips. At least CUDA is cross-platform (official support on Windows, Linux and OS X), unlike DirectX which only works via Wine et-al on non-Windows systems.

I think they're talking from a hardware perspective:

direct-x - any hardware vendor - open
open-cl - any hardware vendor - open
cuda - nvidia cards only - proprietary

from a software perspective, direct-x goes proprietry for the OS.
Phil Rhodes 19th August 2011, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
two companies make DirectX supporting chips

More than that, strictly speaking.
OCJunkie 19th August 2011, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
Wait, hang on, their example of a non-proprietary API is DirectX? By that logic, surely CUDA is an open API too, as anyone can write code for it?
The only difference between CUDA and DirectX is that one company makes CUDA-supporting chips, and two companies make DirectX supporting chips.

I think they're talking from a hardware perspective

That's exactly the point, how DX isn't locked to a particular manufacturer at the hardware level but CUDA and PhysX are Nvidia proprietary.
Mraedis 19th August 2011, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
@AMD, stop talking. start actually doing something please.

Proprietary stands work, because the company that benefits from this standard will be pushing it harder than any open standard organisation can ever do. this kind of push is needed for any new technology.

No.

There are tons of examples where proprietary didn't work. I don't really think it's open vs proprietary, more being either the first to get widely accepted or being wildly better than the previous dominant one (and getting widely accepted).

There just isn't a magic formula for these things.
wuyanxu 19th August 2011, 20:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
No.

There are tons of examples where proprietary didn't work. I don't really think it's open vs proprietary, more being either the first to get widely accepted or being wildly better than the previous dominant one (and getting widely accepted).

There just isn't a magic formula for these things.
the first to get widely accepted or the widely better than previous.

but what happens if both function equally good, and both develop at similar pace? look at iOS vs Android for example. innovate and compete is the answer.

what does AMD do? they talk a lot.

(yes, it's not as simple as that, but still, AMD need to put more effort into actually pushing OpenCL if they are betting on it to succeed in the short term. in the long run, im sure OpelCL will overtake CUDA in adaptation)
thehippoz 19th August 2011, 21:14 Quote
well for instance- nvidia to run cuda in linux.. was simply install graphics driver and compile the software you wanted to use cuda

amd.. you have to install the driver, install the opencl sdk, before compiling the sdk you have to put in the icd registration files under vendors (I assume this is because any card, even nvidia can use opencl) and then compile the software you wish to use

there's a few extra steps.. cuda since it works with just nvidia cards, does it all in one.. that's the only thing I see going for nvidia's proprietary standard..

I do really like how they've pushed it all forward though.. give credit where credit is due :)
Mraedis 20th August 2011, 09:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
what does AMD do? they talk a lot.

I won't argue with you there, you make a good poitn, I'm just saying not all proprietary standards just "work". :)
impar 20th August 2011, 11:29 Quote
Greetings!

Agreeing with AMD on this.
Case in point, PhysX. It needs to open up or disappear entirely. It harms the proper development of physics in PC gaming.
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