As I covered here, when AMD officials began to publicly urge developers to steer away from its Mantle API in favor of DirectX12 and the next iteration of OpenGL called Vulkan, it didn't take long to declare Mantle dead.
But now we know why. AMD's Robert Hallock confirmed on a blog post that Mantle had, for the most part, been turned into the Khronos Group's Vulkan API that would supersede OpenGL.
"The cross-vendor Khronos Group has chosen the best and brightest parts of Mantle to serve as the foundation for 'Vulkan,' the exciting next version of the storied OpenGL API," Hallock wrote. "Vulkan combines and extensively iterates on (Mantle's) characteristics as one new and uniquely powerful graphics API. And as the product of an incredible collaboration between many industry hardware and software vendors, Vulkan paves the way for a renaissance in cross-platform and cross-vendor PC games with exceptional performance, image quality and features."
Why this matters: Although AMD has had unexpected success with developers adopting Mantle, it was unlikely to become a standard without the support of its chief competitor Nvidia. When Microsoft announced DirectX 12, which adopted features of Mantle, AMD's API looked to be a technological dead end.
But with Vulkan being largely based on Mantle, it could potentially give AMD an advantage over Nvidia and Intel since it knows where the proverbial bodies are buried.
While Nvidia could largely ignore Mantle, it can't ignore Vulkan, which will become the de facto alternative cross-platform API to DirectX.