Metal 2

Accelerating graphics and much more.

Metal 2 provides near-direct access to the graphics processing unit (GPU), enabling you to maximize the graphics and compute potential of your apps on iOS, macOS, and tvOS. Building upon an efficient low-overhead architecture with precompiled shaders, fine-grained resource control, and multithreading support, Metal 2 further boosts performance by enabling the GPU to take more control of the rendering pipeline. Moving beyond just graphics, Metal 2 provides deep support for GPU-accelerated machine learning and offers enhanced developer tools that make it even easier to debug, optimize, and deploy Metal apps.

What’s New in Metal 2

Metal 2 on A11 Bionic Chip
The seamless integration of Metal 2 with the Apple-designed A11 GPU architecture opens up advances in rendering, compute and machine learning techniques. Exposed via additional Metal 2 APIs — such as imageblocks, tile shading, threadgroup sharing and more — these powerful new GPU features let your apps and games realize entirely new levels of performance and capability.

GPU-driven Pipelines
Metal 2 includes features that empower the GPU to take control over key aspects of the graphics and compute pipelines. Essential tasks, such as the assigning of resources to shaders, can now be efficiently driven by the GPU instead of waiting on the CPU. Important rendering details, such as the order that low-level drawing is performed, can be specified on-the-fly by the GPU, opening up new efficiencies in advanced rendering engines.

MPS on Mac
The Metal Performance Shaders (MPS) framework is now available on macOS, providing a highly tuned library of image processing and machine learning primitives to developers. In Metal 2, MPS expands its machine learning capabilities to enable new classes of algorithms, such as natural language processing, to execute on the GPU.
Learn more about machine learning

VR and External GPUs
On Mac, Metal 2 adds support for virtual reality (VR) rendering and external GPUs, and provides new APIs and optimizations to help developers embrace these emerging technologies within their apps.*
Learn more about macOS High Sierra

Improved Tools
Developing and optimizing apps based on Metal 2 is even easier with the redesigned debugging and optimization tools in Xcode. An enhanced GPU Frame Debugger gives developers access to GPU hardware performance counters and opens up new opportunities for fine-tuning graphics and compute workloads. At breakpoints, developers are offered data tips to peer into the graphics resources used by their apps. And Metal System Trace adds support for performance optimizing VR apps.

Performance Tuned
Metal 2 includes internal optimizations gleaned from accelerating top-tier games and graphics apps. These optimizations further increase graphics performance and enable your app to more readily realize its full potential.