ATI has won rival graphics chip maker 3Dlabs' backing for its RenderMonkey (RM) high-level shading language.
While ATI will continue to develop the core RM framework, both partners will co-operate on the creation of plug-ins to wire the technology into the standard DirectX and OpenGL high-level shader APIs to ensure compatibility.
ATI and 3Dlabs will also work together to develop RM, and will evangelise the technology among the developers of digital content creation applications in the hope the latter will integrate RM functionality into their software.
These efforts, they hope, will increase the use of RM, primarily over Nvidia's alternative high-level shading language, Cg. Both languages are hardware-independent and technically different - Cg is a true language; RM is more of a development environment - but there's no doubt that there's a battle for mindshare, not only for software developers but for the punters who will see one logo or t'other (and those of the chip makers behind them) splashed over game packaging.
High-level shading languages are seen as the best way to programme increasing complex and feature-rich graphics chips. HLSLs provide software developers with a way not only to code more sophisticated visual effects but to do so more easily than is possible with current vector and pixel shader APIs. ®