ATIâ„¢s new SMARTSHADERâ€žÂ¢ technology allows developers of 3D games and other applications to unleash their creativity with a fully programmable graphics pipeline for both geometry processing and rendering. Vertex shaders enable custom transform and lighting effects, giving complete control over the shape and position of 3D characters, objects, and environments. Pixel shaders enable a huge number of different per-pixel effects, allowing accurate simulations of the natural properties of materials such as hair, cloth, metal, glass, and water that were previously difficult to achieve in real-time applications. Important visual cues such as reflections, highlights, and shadows from multiple light sources can also be rendered with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Both pixel and vertex shaders are accessible using the DirectXÃ‚Â® 8.1 API from Microsoft as well as OpenGLÃ‚Â® extensions from ATI.
SMARTSHADERâ€žÂ¢ technology takes a major step beyond existing hardware shader implementations with support for up to six textures per rendering pass, nearly double the number of instructions, and a new and improved shading language that provides greater flexibility and ease of use. These advancements greatly increase the number of graphical effects that can be created, improve performance by conserving memory bandwidth, and allow more games and other applications to take advantage of the technology. With SMARTSHADERâ€žÂ¢ technology, the pace of graphical innovation will accelerate, and the gap in visual quality between what has been seen in movies and what appears on the computer screen will become narrower than ever before.