Metal

Some key points regarding MetalKit are:

  • Metal is a graphics application programming interface (API). What this means in plain English is that it’s a set of commands and tools that give program developers access to the graphics processing power of a device, primarily housed in the graphics processing unit (GPU). Communicating with computer hardware or other pieces of software is very complicated, and APIs make the process much simpler, giving developers more direct control over how their apps relate to pieces of hardware and other software.
  • So why is it called “Metal”? You can see from the graphic above that the app, in this way of visualising graphics processing, is closer to the chip. “Closer to the metal,” in developer parlance. Thus, Metal.
  • Metal allows much faster graphics processing from identical chips — according to Apple, up to ten times faster. This massive speed advantage is created by making the underlying base code and the interactions between an app, the CPU, and the GPU much more efficient. If you want the technical language, Metal includes precomputed shaders, up-front state validation, CPU/GPU synchronisation, shared CPU/GPU memory, and lower driver overhead.
  • Even if Metal doesn’t change the public perception of Macs, there’s no doubt that it will change the Mac gaming scene. There are plenty of great games out there for Macs, from first-person shooters to role-playing games, but many Mac owners just can’t play them because they require too much power. That could change very quickly when developers start re-releasing their games with Metal tech built in. We may even see more Mac-only games.
  • “Metal is a C++ based programming language that developers can use to write code that is executed on the GPU for graphics and general-purpose data-parallel computations. Since Metal is based on C++, developers will find it familiar and easy to use. With Metal, both graphics and compute programs can be written with a single, unified language, which allows tighter integration between the two.”
  • Metal 2 enables more efficient profiling and debugging in Xcode, accelerated machine learning.
  • Graphics processors (GPUs) are designed to quickly render graphics and perform data-parallel calculations. Use the Metal framework when you need to communicate directly with the GPUs available on a device. Apps that render complex scenes or that perform advanced scientific calculations can use this power to achieve maximum performance. Such apps include:
    Games that render sophisticated 3D environments
    Video processing apps, like Final Cut Pro
    Data-crunching apps, such as those used to perform scientific research.

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