AMD and Electronic Arts send word this afternoon that the Mantle update for Battlefield 4 has been delayed until next month. The update was previously scheduled for late December, however any slippage on that schedule would push the release to January, which it appears is exactly what has happened. AMD and EA have released a short and highly sanitized statement on the matter.

After much consideration, the decision was made to delay the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4. AMD continues to support DICE on the public introduction of Mantle, and we are tremendously excited about the coming release for Battlefield 4! We are now targeting a January release and will have more information to share in the New Year.

With that in mind, for Battlefield 4 players it’s well known that DICE is in the middle of a massive bug hunt due to a number of recurring (and sometimes severe) bugs in the game, which has led to DICE pausing most other development tasks in order to focus on fixing bugs. As such there’s been a lot of speculation over whether Mantle would be delayed as part of the bug hunt, and to minimal surprise this seems to be what has happened.

With that said, while Electronic Arts’ statement is unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) light on details, given the compartmentalized development of modern engines and the bugs facing Battlefield 4 we have good reason to believe that Mantle development itself has only been minimally impeded (if affected at all) since the bulk of BF4’s issues are not in the rendering engine. Instead it’s far more likely that DICE and EA’s QA teams are tied up finding bugs and testing fixes, which would require delaying the Mantle update due to a lack of resources to validate it. The silver lining on all of this being that if our assumption is right, it would at least mean the Frostbite rendering team would have more time to spend on the project while waiting for QA resources to be freed up.

As for the state of the Mantle API itself, we don’t expect that this will change anything. AMD is already working with other developers on Mantle and we’ve already seen Mantle on display at the 2013 AMD Developer Summit, so we know it’s up and running in development form. But as Battlefield 4 is still going to be AMD’s launch vehicle for Mantle, this means that AMD’s consumer Mantle plans are essentially delayed in lockstep with Battlefield 4.

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  • Beno619 - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Surprise of the year. This was completely unexpected.
  • blanarahul - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    This was expected. Frame-pacing delayed. Enduro delayed. And now, Mantle delayed too. NVIDIA couldn't be happier.
  • Flunk - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Can't be that bad, AMDs cards are sold out everywhere.
  • DarkStryke - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Only because they're not being used for games.
  • nathanddrews - Monday, December 30, 2013 - link

    Doesn't matter to shareholders.
  • moppop - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    They certainly will enjoy a nice quarter, but then tank as more ASICS configured for scrypt coins come to market in 2014.

    To LiteCoin miners: I hope you made your profit while you still can, and I have no problems picking up your used cards on E-bay when the profitability trap shuts leaving the late adopters scrambling to get some of their investments back.
  • JDG1980 - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    ASICs for Scrypt are hardly a foregone conclusion. Bitcoin (SHA-256) was easy to do on dedicated hardware because they just needed to put a bunch of hashing pipelines in parallel, which could be done with relatively simple logic gates. Scrypt, however, requires just over 128KB of RAM for each instance, and the speed of this memory is critical to good performance. This means either you have to waste a *lot* of die space on having RAM on-board, or you have to design a high-speed memory controller - not a trivial task.

    Currently, all of the talk about Scrypt ASICs is just that - talk. No one has a working prototype, or anything close to it. Alpha Technology, who claims to be near completion, has nothing on their site but a bunch of crude renderings, and no track record of success that would indicate they can actually deliver. I'll believe this when I see it, or when a big player with a history of delivering actual working products steps into the ring.

    The miners may sell off their cards eventually, but would you really want to buy a GPU that has been run 24/7 and possibly abused with out-of-spec clocks and/or voltage?
  • ultimatebob - Monday, January 6, 2014 - link

    This post seems eerily familiar... where did you copy and paste it from?
  • tuklap - Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - link

    Nah... some gpu's are underclocked so they are not like abused using furmark. as long as it is cooled great it is fine. you can even barter lower cost for mining used cards.

    again, about scrypt asic's. all are false pretense until a working prototype is available. pre orders? ahaha they'll just use your money. don't pre order until there are no prototypes. if you dont want your scrypt coin mining be the same as btc mining.
  • Regs - Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - link

    Was going to say, it seems like AMD needs to figure out the supply shortage first.

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