DirectX is the programming interface( API) for interactive technologies developed by Microsoft for Windows. DirectX is the collective name for various programming interfaces (API) for graphical functions, sound, multimedia and streaming. These media technologies include Direct3D, DirectAnimation, DirectDraw, DirectInput, DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectShow, DirectSound and DirectXTransform.
DirectX provides the interface through which programs can quickly access hardware components. With this development platform, developers can directly access specific hardware features without having to write hardware-specific code.
DirectX was first introduced in 1995 and has established itself as the standard for multimedia applications under Windows. For game developers, DirectX has emerged as an interesting tool in its newer versions. Since DirectX, which is fixed to the Windows platform, does not meet all requirements, several multimedia providers have developed a cross platform to DirectX with OpenML.
The different versions of DirectX address the many needs of computer games. For example, the DirectX 9 version offers graphics cards with 16.7 million color gradations and HDR lighting, High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR lighting features a higher dynamic range of contrast and increases detail recognition. DirectX 10 no longer distinguishes between vertex and pixelshaders, but only knows a uniform shader architecture. Depending on which shading function is needed, the corresponding shader function is activated. Vertex shading is about calculations of the illumination, pixel shading is about the colors and structures of the objects.
In the DirectX 11 version for Windows 7, the graphics program supports shader programs in the graphics processor. This function already had DirectX 9, however only some graphics processors had supported the full functionality. DirectX 11 is supposed to set a standard for shader programs with "Direct X Compute Shader".