DirectX

(redirected from D3D)
Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

DirectX

(programming, hardware)
A Microsoft programming interface standard, first included with Windows 95. DirectX gives (games) programmers a standard way to gain direct access to enhanced hardware features under Windows 95 instead of going via the Windows 95 GDI. Some DirectX code runs faster than the equivalent under MS DOS.

DirectX promises performance improvements for graphics, sound, video, 3D, and network capabilites of games, but only where both hardware and software support DirectX.

DirectX 2 introduced the Direct3D interface. Version 5 was current at 1998-02-01. Version 8.1 is included in Windows XP.

Latest version: 8.1 (as of 2001-12-31).

http://microsoft.com/directx/.

DirectX

A set of Windows interfaces from Microsoft for programming graphics and sound. Windows developers program to the DirectX APIs, and the manufacturers of sound and graphics cards write DirectX drivers to be included with their hardware. DirectX provides a high-level interface for accessing low-level functions "directly." It accesses the hardware abstraction layer in Windows (see HAL).

The first DirectX API was introduced in late 1995 to encourage game developers to move their software to Windows. Before DirectX, games for the PC were written in DOS in order to redraw the screen fast enough for real-time animation. To obtain the speed, gaming companies had to write drivers for a variety of graphics cards, which was a development headache.

A Single Graphics Interface for Windows
DirectX provides the interface to access the frame buffer and advanced features of the graphics card, which are not provided in the standard Windows GDI graphics interface. When DirectX was introduced, vendors quickly developed drivers that exposed low-level functions of their graphics hardware to the application.

Emulate Graphics Functions in Software
Through the Hardware Emulation Layer (HEL), DirectX is capable of emulating graphics functions in software that are not built into the graphics card. See graphics pipeline.

Which DirectX Version Is Running?
To determine which version of DirectX is installed in your PC, select Run from the Start menu, type in dxdiag and click OK. Look under System Information for the DirectX Version number. See DirectX 10, DirectX 11, GDI, video accelerator and DirectSound.

DirectXInterface      Purpose

 DirectCompute  GPGPU computing

 DirectDraw     2D graphics

 Direct3D       3D graphics

 DirectSound    audio

 DirectSound3D  game audio

 DirectPlay     multi-player games

 DirectInput    game input

 DirectVoice    game audio chat

 DirectShow     streaming media

 DirectVideo    earlier video API
References in periodicals archive ?
The museum wanted a technology that would have their audiences blown away by the new experience, but were mindful that they needed to stay on budget, added Derek Threinen, vice president, Film Distribution and Business Development, Giant Screen Films / D3D Cinema.
Threinen said the Foundation was particularly impressed that D3D Cinema could design a laser-illuminated system at a much lower cost than anticipated and Christies modular design with its built-in redundancy was important to the museum.
With D3D and Christie, we were buying this equipment outright and we have optional service plans to cover us down the road.
* More information the D3D is available by contacting Omron Electronics Inc., 1 Commerce Dr., Schaumburg, IL 60173, calling 800-556-6766, or writing in 62 on our reader service card.
D3D Cinema will be shooting original dome test footage in multiple digital and 70 mm formats in the coming months.
Dome theaters have waited a long time for digital projection technology to evolve to a capable solution that can rival or exceed the quality of 70 mm, said Don Kempf president and founder of D3D. Just as lasers usher in a new era for dome cinema exhibition, new digital capture technology ushers in a new era for the production of dome-specific content to support the incredible dynamic range of the lasers.
This installation marks a great step forward for giant screen projection technology and Moody Gardens has once again taken a pioneering step with D3D to create a truly great theater experience for their audience, said Don Kempf, president of D3D Cinema.
I can now happily invite my giant screen colleagues to come and see firsthand what D3D, Christie and Infitec are capable of delivering on an 80 foot screen.
D3D President Don Kempf said: "We are at a unique period in cinematic history.
"This is the game-changing milestone that the museum giant screen industry has longed to achieve for many years," said Don Kempf, president and founder of D3D Cinema.
"D3D Cinema has proven time and again that they can deliver the goods first, better and more efficiently.