Home Forums General Discussion Physics Co-Processor

This topic contains 22 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 14 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #3859


    “Fabless semiconductor company Ageia has announced their plans to release PhysX, a dedicated physics processor designed to co-exist with existing GPU and CPU chips. With PhysX, games can go from having a few dozen physics objects to 30,000 to 40,000 of them. ”



    This is gonna be cool \ but scary too!

    Unreal Tech 3 is supporting it

  • #18351


    30,000 is a lot, is it really necessary though?
    Physically accurate bullets or rain I suppose…..

  • #18356


    It can do cloth…..

  • #18359


    GD: We can easily forsee your company being acquired by a “larger fish” – ATI or NVIDIA for example. Any plans to refrain from selling out?

    Curtis: Our plans right now are to focus on creating a new category and introduce the PhysX chip to the market. Our long term goals are to take the company public.[/quote:36f7212b3e]
    Depending on the size of said chip I really dont see why one of the big guys wouldnt want to buy them out and integrate the PPU onto the GPU cards.
    Then again given the current power requirements for the new generation of cards this may not be feasable…

    Still if you take a game like Half Life 2 which is more physics intensive (due to good ‘ol Havok) than graphics intensive you can see why the introduction of a dedicated PPU is so important…

  • #18360


    ya the only way i can see that chip working is as they said in the article. package it on a graphics card.

    people arent going to buy a pci card devoted to physics. Also they mention in the article that its likely ati, nvidia will try to buy them, but they want to go IPO. Bigger bucks i guess and they get to stay true to their work, instead of selling out and retiring on a hawaian island.

    me i’d do the later :)

  • #18365


    Havok: Buy Them.


  • #18366


    well if havok used the ppu i reckon it would boost its sales. but really for it to work a motherboard company would have to buy them or a graphics card company.

  • #18369


    Well I think Havok would be crazy not to support the PPU to be honest. It seems tailor made for their kind of work.

    But yes as another add-in card i dont see it being too successful. With nVidia still hyping up SLi I dont think its feasible to expect people to fork out for 1 or maybe 2 graphics cards, a sound card and now a PPU card aswell.

    Plus you can’t ignore the fact that another card like that would require even more power so your talking about a more powerful PSU, a PCI-E enabled motherboard and since its starting to get more crowded in your case you may need a better cooling fan…:eek:

  • #18371


    Yeah but PC’s will evolve to cater for em – just like they did for 3DFX cards.

    More, More, Bigger, Faster.

    I am scared about these cards the games or the cool effects they wil allow blows my tiny brain.

  • #18372


    Yea but will they evolve for just the PPU card? Personally I dont think so, hence I dont see them taking off unless one of the big guys take them over and integrate them into next-gen chipsets….

  • #18379


    i think it will drop off like the idea years ago to hook 2 voodoo1 cards together (totaling at the time about 400 quid).

    did anyone really do that?

    as for things getting crowded and hot around the case. thats no biggy, the case will just be made bigger and also power supplys are constantly increasing as needed so i dont think that will be the downfall of the ppu.

  • #18380


    i think it will drop off like the idea years ago to hook 2 voodoo1 cards together (totaling at the time about 400 quid).

    We used to do that in our QA lab, I think that was after Voodoos were in the prime though.

  • #18381


    also is 3dfx still around or are they totally gone down the drain.

    i havent seen of a pc game box for a while (3dfx enabled)

  • #18383


    They were on the decline and I think they got bought buy Nvidia in the end.

    Oh and in other news – Sega dont make consoles anymore :)

  • #18384



    its good though i recently bought a dreamcast and can get games for 5 squid. booya!

  • #18386


    3dfx really died due to a few reasons, having worked for them I got the inside line on alot of stuff..

    I won`t be buying any Nvidia hardware to the day I die, mainly because I lost a excellent job because of their ‘reverse engineering’ of certain things (the old 3dfx vs Nvidia law suit)

    I wonder why a physics core hasn`t been made a long time ago, I don`t see how hard it would be for a few HW engineers to throw the Havok C source onto an FPGA with a PCI bridge to test it out.

    And any device driver worth his salt could create a driver and expose it as the existing Havok API.

  • #18388


    could you fit something like havok on an fpga?

  • #18389


    Well, thinking a little more.. it probably makes sense to stick the physics core onto a decent DSP rather than an FPGA (atleast for testing)..

    Seeing the DSP has most of the maths features already present.

    Its really depends on complexity vs size, I`ve no idea how ‘big’ havok is (We use ODE / Newton).

    I thought some HW student would have attempted this for his final year project in the last few years, but never heard of anyone succeeding.

  • #18390


    sure they wouldnt have access to the source code would they? have to get havok permission, and they probably want to do that themselves at some point in the future. right?

  • #18391


    yes, but they could use ODE (open-source) as a test bed.

  • #18403

  • #18404


    What nVidia did to 3DFX and indeed its customers was nothing short of horrific. I was one of those ppl that opted to buy a Voodoo5 5500 which at the time was designed to compete with the first generation GeForce 2, unfortunately to mark the launch of the GeForce 2 GTS nVidia bought out 3DFX and completely stopped developing drivers for the 3dfx cards, hence severly handicapping them from competing with nVidias new cards and indeed preforming adequately in the new generation of games…not very nice tbh.

    The SLi debate has also brought with it another legal debate, this time however nVidia may be the ones who lose. It seems the system of Frame Rendering which nVidia use in their SLi systems, Alternate Frame Rendering, is patented technology and is the intellectual property of none other than ATi. Whether this turns into a legal case is still up in the air but tbh id like to see nVidia hit abit after the way it aggressivly went after 3DFX. :)

    Oh and…

    We will have at least five titles that matter that will take advantage of the PPU and hard core gamers want the best experience possible.[/quote:46bd048a1f]
    *cough* The Unreal Warfare engine *cough*

  • #18657


    Oh and just a quick update, anandtech have run a feature on them this week, …here

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