Though Sandy Bridge doesn't have a DirectX 11-capable GPU on die, there's one on the way.
Intel Fellow and key part of the team integrating the GPU onto the Sandy Bridge die, Tom Piazza, told us today that Intel "wont be far behind" in terms of bringing an integrated DX11-capable GPU to market.
Sandy Bridge is one of the key focuses of this year's IDF in San Francisco, as we've heard in the opening keynote speech, but there's one thing that Intel's new 'fusion' chip can't do and that's run DirectX 11.
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In a panel discussion with the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture team, Tom Piazza spoke about the lack of DX11 support in the new chip.
"There are no exclusive DirectX 11 games out yet," Piazza says. "In fact most people skipped over DirectX 10 and most of the games fall all the way back to DirectX 9. I don't see the issue right now specifically about DirectX 11"
So far so damning for the API, indeed he said later on that the tessellation functionality was the only impressive thing about Microsoft's DX11.
But going forward it's still going to be an important part of the graphics jigsaw, especially with AMD's Fusion APUs on the way sporting its own DX11 architecture.
Piazza wouldn't give any specifics, but did go on to say "DirectX 11, shall we say, is around the corner on Intel products as well." He followed that up by saying that it wouldn't be "far behind" in terms of bringing that functionality to its own integrated graphics.