Nvidia’s New Software Development Kit Supports Shader Model 5.0

Nvidia Prepares for Shader Model 5.0

by Anton Shilov
03/12/2007 | 03:25 PM

Even though not all game developers have adopted shader model (SM) 3.0 introduced three years ago and some claiming that transiting to DirectX 10’s shader model 4.0 right now hardly makes sense, Nvidia’s new software development kit (SDK) already features profiles for shader model 5.0, which is believed to be an improved version of the SM4.0.


Nvidia new SDK 10, which was released just last week, apparently contains macro invocations that define the supported CG profiles, including such profiles as Fragment50, Vertex50, Geometry50, meaning that current SDK supports architecture micro-code profiles for pixel shaders 5.0, vertex shaders 5.0 and geometry shaders 5.0.

While hardly anybody knows what shader model 5.0 actually is and how much is it different from the shader model 4.0, the inclusion of the architecture micro-code inside a compiler indicates that Nvidia foresees the arrival of shader model 5.0-capable hardware soon enough to enable game developers to compile their titles for it. On the other hand, it is logical that Nvidia is working on next-generation graphics technologies and chips, such as G81, G90 and so on.

Nvidia’s new set of tools for software developers is primarily designed to take advantage of the company’s latest hardware. The Developer Toolkit includes SDK 10 with code samples for the latest graphics processors; PerfKit 5, a set of powerful tools for debugging and profiling GPU applications for Windows Vista and DirectX 10 with shader edit-and-continue, render state modification, customizable graphs and counters, and more; ShaderPerf 2 suite that provides detailed shader performance information with support for new drivers; FX Composer 2, a development environment for cross-platform shader authoring; and some other tools.

Officials for Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.