Microsoft’s DirectML high-performance, hardware-accelerated DirectX 12 library for machine learning is now available in public release. With this tool, developers can access GPU acceleration tools for machine learning tasks. DirectML works across hardware and drivers on DirectX 12 GPUs on AMD, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Intel chips.

It is worth noting DirectML is not a new service. However, it has previously been baked into Windows 10 and is used by over 100 applications. It has always been an open source API but is now becoming a standalone service independent of the core OS.

For developers, this means they can use a specific install of DirectML, including on older Windows 10 versions.

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The API has a wide range of application across various app types, including for training machine learning models, to boosting the AI capabilities of photo editing. All that’s needed is the computational power of a PC running a DirectX 12 GPU.

Microsoft is releasing the API in a NuGet package (Microsoft.AI.DirectML) and you can read more about it on GitHub here.

Examples

In an announcement blog post, Microsoft details some of the ways the API can be used in applications. For example, the API is helping Model Inference on the Edge for Windows machine learning.

As people increasingly turn to machine learning applications to become more productive, DirectML can play a role in providing the performance those apps need. Because platforms like Windows ML work with the API, they can give developers easier paths to baking machine learning into their apps.

Elsewhere, Microsoft points out how DirectML can function when enhancing images:

“Once the domain of science fiction, scenarios like “enhancing” an image are now possible with contextually aware algorithms that fill in pixels more intelligently than traditional image processing techniques. DxO’s DeepPRIME technology illustrates the use of neural networks to simultaneously denoise and demosaic digital images. DxO leverages Windows ML and DirectML to harness the performance and quality their users expect.”

Getting Started with DirectML

Developers seeking an efficient approach to integrating machine learning into their apps can start leveraging the standalone DirectML today. As well as the public release of the API, Microsoft GitHub repo also highlights some new content for DirectML:

  • “DirectMLX, a new C++ library that wraps DirectML to enable easier and simpler usage, especially for combining operators into blocks or even into complete models.
  • PyDirectML, a Python binding to quickly experiment with DirectML and the Python samples without writing a full C++ sample.
  • Sample applications in both C++ and Python, including a full end-to-end implementation of real-time object detection using YOLOv4.”

Tip of the day:

File History is a Windows 10 back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.

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