News about Battlefield Engine Frostbite

DirectX 11: Frostbite 2 engine (Battlefield) uses Compute Shader for Deferred Shading

After DICE had revealed first details about the Battlefield engine called Frostbite at the GDC 2009 the developer now presented a new version at Siggraph.
DirectX 11 Compute Shader: Frostbite 2 Engine (5)
DirectX 11 Compute Shader: Frostbite 2 Engine (5) [Source: view picture gallery]
At Siggraph Johan Andersson, Rendering Architect at DICE, talked about the latest version of the Frostbite engine used for Battlefield games.

There will be two versions of the Frostbite Engine: Version 1.x is used for Battlefield: Bad Company 1, Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It supports Xbox 360, PS3 and DirectX 10. DICE is working on the Frostbite 2 engine at the moment that will support DirectX 10.1 and DirectX 11 as well. DICE is very proud of the parallelized engine since 2-8 parallel threads are supported for using full capacity of a Core i7 e.g..

In his presentation Andersson also talks about Compute Shader in DirectX 11 and how Deferred Shading is done using Compute Shader. However, the implementation in Frostbite 2 has only been experimental so far. DICE focuses on a mix of classic rasterization and Compute pipeline. Three screenshots show the results of Deferred Shadings with up to 1,000 light sources.

Background Frostbite Engine
At the GDC in April 2009 Johan Andersson, revealed first details about the Frostbite Engine, which is the base for the Battlefield games.

At the beginning of the porting progress the developer had to face a cross platform engine (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) with an exclusive DirectX 10 rendering path that had DX 10.0 and DX 10.1 features. The actual port of the Engine from DirectX 10 to DirectX 11 was done in three hours said Anderson. Searching and replacing the relevant parts inside the code required the most time.

Since currently there is no DirectX 11 hardware or appropriate development software, the Frostbite Engine was equipped with a switch inside the compiler that can be changed to DirectX 10 or DirectX 11. The developers at DICE are certain that the CPU load during API calls can be reduced noticeably with DirectX 11 drivers. Among other things the Frostbite DirectX 11 Engine offers HDR texture compression, Compute Shader and hardware tessellation for characters and terrain.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

PC Games Hardware already reported about the Frostbite Engine in the articles Bad Company 2: New Battlefield coming on March 5, 2010 - Update: Screenshots and Trailer and Battlefield 1943: New screenshots and details. DirectX 11 is the main topic in DirectX 11 Compute Shader: Three times faster than DX10.1 due to Local Data Share and First picture of AMD's DirectX 11 graphics card with RV870 GPU unveiled?.

Author: Thilo Bayer (Aug 26, 2009)

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