Graphics Technology Update in zenon
Ergonomics in HMI applications depends to a considerable extent on the capability of the runtime system to conduct graphical operations in a high-performance manner. The evolution of Multi-touch functionality and the contribution of natural user interactions particularly require a certain level of graphics performance in order to achieve a smooth and appealing behavior. One key parameter here is how fast the system can react to user interaction and, in turn, deliver the necessary responses on the graphical level. A screen refresh rate of around 25-30 frames per second is generally said to be sufficient to let a dynamic display feature appear “fluent”. This will – amongst other parameters – decide upon the level of user experience you´re about to reach in your application.
The use of native means of graphics processing prepares the foundation to handle high-performance HMI requirements with a respective level of responsiveness. The term “native” in that context relates to techniques which are designed for a close interaction with the operating system and which are optimized for use on a respective hardware platform.
Since version 7.00 zenon provides graphics rendering modes based on DirectX 11 for Windows server- and PC operating systems. Besides the option to operate the graphics processing on the CPU core(s) of the local system – which is available for any setup – the graphics processing can be supported by a dedicated DirectX graphics card. In this way, the system profits from an optimized computation of graphics-related operations and the freeing up of local computing resources.
The current zenon version comes with an upgraded version support for DirectX 11.1. What appears to be a minor step in the graphics engine’s version, offers considerable performance advantages due to optimized utilization possibilities in zenon. Specific interaction features, such as movable or resizeable frames or more complex worldview display constellations potentially benefit from this technological update. Hence, with the background of rapidly evolving HMI demands, another step is made to keep things running smoothly.