Microsoft is currently cooking a refresh to the Windows 7 RTM DirectX resources that it is offerings to developers. In this regard, Chuck Walbourn, lead developer for the DirectX SDK, revealed that a new version of the software development kit was planned for mid-2010. Specifically, the software giant intends to ship the next release of the DirectX SDK in the first half of June 2010. Walbourn emphasized that the upcoming version of the SDK was designed to deliver the first update to the Windows Graphics components since August 2009. At the same time, the refresh will help developers embrace the latest iteration of the company’s development platform and tools.

Developers looking to leverage the June 2010 release of the DirectX SDK, a release that they will be able to use in order to build on top of Windows 7 by taking advantage of DirectX 11, need to know that the refresh will play nice with Visual Studio 2010 RTM. In addition to delivering support for Visual Studio 2010, the June 2010 DirectX SDK will also play nice with Visual Studio 2008. But this is about it, as Microsoft will drop support for Visual Studio 2005 with the upcoming version of the SDK. Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 on April 12, 2010. The previous release of the DirectX Software Development Kit dates back to February 2010.

Walbourn enumerated some of the enhancements coming to the “DirectX SDK:

PIX: Usability Improvements

The June 2010 version of PIX includes improvements to the PIX user interface: The Object Table shows the size and shader model for each shader. In the Shader Debugger, there is a new toolbar button that enables the display of all constant registers/variables immediately, rather than the first time they are read. In the Shader Debugger, it is possible to copy register and variable data to the clipboard. The Summary pane has a new ‘Direct3D Information’ section, that shows details about what Direct3D capabilities are present on the computer.

XNAMath C++ SIMD Math Library

The June 2010 release updates XNAMath to version 2.03, which includes the following changes: Addition of XMVectorDivide() to optimize SSE2 vector division operationsUnified handling of floating-point specials between the Windows SSE2 and no-intrinsics implementationsUse of Visual Studio style SAL annotationsModifications to the C++ declarations for XMFLOAT2A/3A/4A/4X3A/4X4A to better support these types in C++ templates

Version-less Naming of Cross-Runtime Data Types

The June 2010 DirectX SDK removes versioning from several Direct3D data types that cross runtime versions. This change makes legacy data-type names equivalent to the new version-less data-type names. Therefore, you can use either legacy or version-less names. However, your code will be cleaner and easier to maintain if you use the version-less names.

New D3DCreateBlob Function

The June 2010 DirectX SDK includes a D3dcompiler_43.dll that exports the new D3DCreateBlob function. Therefore, you are no longer required to use D3d10.dll to create and use an arbitrary length data object.

New ID3D11ShaderReflection Method

The June 2010 DirectX SDK adds the following new method to the ID3D11ShaderReflection interface: GetThreadGroupSize

New HLSL Language fixes and features

HLSL has been updated with the following fixes and features: The frexp intrinsic function has been updated to return a mantissa in the range of [0.5,1.0].New intrinsic functions have been added for better debugging support. printf — submits custom shader messages to the information queue.errorf — submits custom shader error messages to the information queue.abort — submits custom shader error messages to the information queue and terminates the current draw or dispatch call being executed.Left-Hand-Side typecasting is now illegal and will cause a compile error. Expressions such as ‘(int)myFloat = myInt;’ are no longer valid. Use ‘myFloat = (float)myInt;’ type syntax instead.

New HLSL Compiler fixes and features

The HLSL Effects compiler (fxc.exe) has been updated with the following fixes and features: No-optimization (/Od) compiles will produce less-optimized code than before in order to provide improved debugging.No-optimization (/Od) now implies (/Gfp).New compression (/compress) and decompression (/decompress) options have been added to enable the bundling and unbundling of shader files.A new numbering instructions (/Ni) flag has been added to turn on numbering of instructions in shader disassembly.Fxc.exe has a new @command.option.file feature for specifying command options in a file. This enables the /compress and /decompress options to be used on many files at once.

Documentation Enhancements

The June 2010 DirectX SDK includes the following documentation enhancements: Added links to descriptions of data types for parameters and return values to help developers locate related types.Added additional header and lib information to reference pages for APIs implemented in DirectX samples.”

DirectX Software Development Kit is available for download here.
DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer is available for download here.
DirectX End-User Runtimes (February 2010) is available for download here.

Visual Studio 2010 Premium is available for download part1 | part2 | part3 | part4 | web.

.NET Framework 4 RTM is available for download here.

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