What's new for Windows 7 display drivers (WDDM 1.1)

The Windows Driver Kit (WDK) that is released with Windows 7 includes new features for user-mode display drivers and kernel-mode display miniport drivers. It also includes updates to the requirements for installing display drivers that are optimized for Windows 7 and information about new Microsoft Win32 APIs that are available in Windows 7 that control desktop display setup.

New Windows 7 Features for User-Mode Display Drivers

The new Windows 7 features for user-mode display drivers include:

Processing High-Definition Video

Protecting Video Content

Verifying Overlay Support

Supporting Direct3D Version 11

Supporting OpenGL Enhancements

Managing Resources for Multiple GPU Scenarios

Windows 7 also provides extended format awareness to Microsoft Direct3D version 10.1. For more information about extended format awareness, see Supporting Extended Format Awareness.

Connecting and Configuring Displays

For information about the new Win32 APIs that control desktop display setup, see Connecting and Configuring Displays.

New Windows 7 Features for Kernel-Mode Display Miniport Drivers

You can develop your kernel-mode display miniport driver to run on Windows 7 with the following capabilities:

Connecting and Configuring Displays - DDIs

GDI Hardware Acceleration

New INF Requirements

The INF files for display drivers that are written to the Windows Vista display driver model and that are optimized for the model's Windows 7 features, require several updates. For information about these updates, see Installing Display Drivers Optimized for Windows 7 and Later.


The release of the Windows 7 operating system also introduces GPUView (GPUView.exe), which is a new development tool that monitors the performance of the graphics processing unit (GPU). For more information about GPUView, see Using GPUView.