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ATI Technologies, one of the world’s largest suppliers of graphics processors, has unveiled its first DirectX 10 software development kit that provides programmers examples of DirectX 10 code and samples to allow them to start creating the content using next-gen application programming interface (API). However, the company has not supplied its partners among developers with DirectX 10-compliant hardware.

“In 2002, ATI introduced the first DirectX 9 parts with the Radeon 9700. With DirectX 10 on the horizon and the development of the industry's first unified shader architecture with the Xbox 360, ATI is again taking the leadership role and giving developers the tools to navigate this exciting transition,” said Neal Robison, director of independent software vendor (ISV) relations at ATI.

ATI said it was giving developers and artists the tools “to fully leverage the power of unified shaders and the graphics processing unit (GPU)” and a preview the possibilities of the future Microsoft DirectX 10.

“With forward looking techniques like shadow volume extrusion and streaming out of animation data, the SDK has more than a dozen new samples of what could be possible with DirectX 10 and empowers developers to start creating the kind of breakthrough content the industry saw at the advent of DirectX 9,” a statement by ATI reads.

This latest SDK from ATI shows developers how they can best tap into this technology to incorporate techniques such as water simulation, inverse kinematics and simple collision detection. Rounding out the extensive content on the SDK is an emphasis on render-to-vertex buffer techniques and shows some of the ideas of what can be implemented on top of it.

But while developers will have an opportunity to preview some DirectX 10 peculiarities, they will not be able to test their DirectX 10 effects on actual hardware, which is code-named ATI R600 and which does not yet exist in incarnations useful for any software performance testings. While the DirectX 10 effects can be emulated using Microsoft-developed RefRast application, such emulation is very slow and cannot be an indicator of future GPU performance.

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