Today in San Francisco at its annual WWDC conference, Apple has unveiled a new graphics technology to better power game graphics on its iOS devices. Called Metal, it's a proprietary technology that, according to Apple, drastically reduces processing overhead as compared to systems like OpenGL, offering vastly better performance. Metal will launch alongside iOS 8, which is due this fall. It is designed to work with the Apple A7 chip, which powers the iPhone 5S, and current iPad Air and iPad Mini tablets. The tech has reportedly been developed in cooperation with engine and game companies such as Unity, Crytek, EA, and Epic Games, Re/code reports. Epic Games' Tim Sweeney took the stage at WWDC to demonstrate an Unreal Engine 4 "Zen Garden" demo created using Metal, which will be distributed on the App Store alongside the upcoming iOS 8. Metal has also been incorporated in the mobile version of Crytek's CryEngine and EA's Frostbite, reports MacRumors. Unity is also supporting Metal. Here's the reaction from its official Twitter:
Apple has updated its official site with a tidbit on Metal, which reads in part: "Metal is a new technology that will allow [developers] to squeeze maximum performance from the A7 chip. It’s optimized to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to achieve optimal performance. It’s designed for multithreading, and there are great tools for putting it all together in Xcode."
We're so excited about bringing Metal to our developers with iOS 8! #WWDC14 #unity3d— Unity Technologies (@unity3d) June 2, 2014