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The pair will investigate the use of Radeon GPUs for physics processing

Physics processing has promised to bring more realism into the world of PC games since AGEIA first announced its PhysX card. To date, physics processing in most video games hasn’t become the big draw that many hoped it would.

AMD and Havok announced this week that they plan to optimize physics processing for AMD hardware. Havok already has a well defined user base with over 100 developers using its Havok Physics engine and it says that 300 leading game titles currently use its Havok engine.

AMD says that Havok’s physics engine will scale well across the entire AMD line. This includes its processors and its ATI Radeon video cards. AMD says that it and Havok will investigate the use of the Radeon GPU to manage aspects of in-game physics.

AMD isn’t alone in looking to the GPU to process physics. Rival NVIDIA purchased physics hardware and software maker AGEIA. NVIDIA announced that it was purchasing AGEIA in February 2008. The purchase virtually ensures that physics processing makes it to NVIDIA graphics cards in force.

Intel purchased Havok in September 2007 and at the time Intel said that Havok would become a key element in its visual computing and graphics efforts. Despite the proclamation at the time the purchase was announced by Intel, physics has not been seen as a key component in Intel’s product strategy yet.

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RE: Huh?
By Sungpooz on 6/13/2008 4:32:17 PM , Rating: 5
Hope you know Intel and NVidia have been throwing mush at each other lately.

RE: Huh?
By Haven Bartton on 6/13/2008 4:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not familiar with the term "throwing mush".

Regardless, as long as Intel actually owns Havok, it doesn't seem to be a wise business decision to allow AMD hardware to share optimizations with Intel's.

RE: Huh?
By jbzx86 on 6/13/2008 4:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
It does if Intel just wants NV to break and give them SLI licensing for their chipsets. Its just a bonus if they can strong-arm NV out of the market. After all, PhysX is supported by NV right now and they are going to make it open licenesed.

RE: Huh?
By Haven Bartton on 6/13/2008 4:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, so basically Intel's hatred for nVidia is fueling their desire to help AMD/ATI push them out of the market?

Guess that makes sense.

RE: Huh?
By SandmanWN on 6/13/2008 5:16:20 PM , Rating: 5
Or it could simply be a way of getting as much info as possible from a discrete graphics manufacturer (AMD) so that they can move their(Intel) own discrete graphics program along.

Careful what info you share AMD.

RE: Huh?
By herrdoktor330 on 6/13/2008 5:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
I was just getting ready to say that.

But in the short term (before Larrabee), ATI graphics cards are the most appealing option for someone that wants to use a superior chipset from Intel and still use multiple GPUs. Unless you want to fork over thousands of dollars for a Skulltrail setup, Crossfire is Intel Friendly.

RE: Huh?
By AlexWade on 6/13/2008 8:20:18 PM , Rating: 1
I was thinking that Intel could be letting this happen so that when the AMD/Intel lawsuit comes to trial, Intel can point to this as proof that they didn't use unfair and illegal business tactics. "If we are so anti-AMD, why did we let our subsidiary optimize their product for our rival?"

Maybe not. But it is something strange about it.

RE: Huh?
By theapparition on 6/16/2008 7:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
Are you trying to imply that Intel doesn't have the capability to make a top tier graphics chipset? They surely do, but with already being the #1 integrated chipset manufacturer, where's the incentive. Best performance doesn't equate to most revenue.

RE: Huh?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/16/2008 8:03:09 AM , Rating: 2
Your enemy's enemy is your friend.


RE: Huh?
By Locutus465 on 6/14/2008 2:07:56 PM , Rating: 4
Are you aware that Intel still has licensing deals with AMD for Cross Fire? This is actually a very good move on both their parts, Intel supports AMD Cross Fire on their chipsets, AMD wanted a physix component to compete with nVidia but couldn't afford it, intel doesn't have anything capable of doing what the Radeon can do.... Solution? Team up, both chipmakers win.

RE: Huh?
By decapitator666 on 6/14/2008 3:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
Intel does not have any accelerated physics at the moment.. waiting for larrabee to come might give the initiative away to physX. Besides that blocking AMD might give them incentive to join the green team resulting in two hardware acceleration opponent even further pulling the momentum towards the green team. Giving AMD the opportunity to use Havok while intel tries to get larrabee working, is a good strategy.

From AMDs side.. going along with Havok does not preclude that they might support PhysX later.. being the only product to support both.. So also for AMD its a win win..

So intek wins AMD wins, while nvidia has to play nice towards AMD to have them support physX

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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