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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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By crystal clear on 6/14/2008 12:22:59 PM , Rating: 5
1) When Intel purchased Havok, they (both Havoc and Intel) said Havok would carry on supplying it s physics libraries to developers.

2) Intel is not ready to roll out Larrabee and use Havok to prove what a great multicore processor Larrabee is.

3) Intel is going to use ATI Crossfire to show off how powerful Bloomfield is, it seemed logical to let ATI use Havok code to show off how powerful its new R770 will be.

4) AMD is currently the only CPU and GPU company without a physics library of its own.

5) Havok's physics code. fits perfectly in AMD's spider platform.

6) For detailed physics implementations to take off in games, developers need to be assured that the vast majority of the market will support whatever system they choose to use.

With Intel & AMD solidly behind Havok game developers can get no better assurance.

7) But the best hope for physics depth lies in all the required tooling being made part of the next DirectX standard.

Hardware drivers could then use whatever system they like to implement this, and a market would exist on top of the DirectX provisions for extensions to their offerings .

Now wait for Microsoft .....

By overzealot on 6/14/2008 1:35:05 PM , Rating: 1
Uh huh. Microsoft is very interested in hardware accelerated processing. That must be why they sidelined hardware audio acceleration through DirectX in Vista. It didn't stop Creative, but it was a kick in the pants to everyone else who wanted to do it.
I don't think we really need another MS war (like DX vs OGL), game developers seem to be doing quite well with what they've got.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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