Microsoft is giving the final touches to Shader Model 6.0, one of the component update of its Direct3D API. As the successor to Shader Model 5.0, which leads unchanged since the release of DirectX 11 that took place in the 2009.
Microsoft unveils new Shader Model 6.0
Among the improvements implemented in Shader Model 6.0, now it is a closer approximation to the hardware layer, as we all know road leads to DirectX 12 and Vulkan, replacing the FXC compiler by Cland HLSL with past LLVM. Since support for HLSL started with version 5.0, new optimizations will also affect applications developed for DirectX 11 and DirectX 12.
Another new feature is the ability to change the pixel size of shader instructions, what should the Tiled-Based Rendering benefit. With the “procedural textures” in which predefined ranges are calculated with fewer pixels. It could be interesting in the field of virtual reality, if one calculates the eye focus the full resolution and in the peripheral field of vision, in which one sees only blurred anyway, reduces the pixel to save processing power. In addition to general performance optimizations to Shader Model 6.0, there is also scheduled enhancements on Wavefront level bring “significant performance gains.“
Currently, Microsoft plans to implement it in at least the DirectX12 feature level 12_0, possibly 12_1. So we can expect it with the latest GPU driver. Additionally, Shader Model 6.0 promises to provide adequate performance to meet API – level functions such as “tiled resources” (mega-textures) introduced in DirectX 12, which promises better overall performance for Microsoft API. It remains to be seen how Microsoft deploys Shader Model 6.0.