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ATI's physics goes on the back burner

During ATI's 2006 third quarter financial results conference call this morning, ATI CEO Dave Orton revealed to analysts that despite demonstrating physics processing earlier this year, volume availability will not be for another "9 to 12 months." Orton indicated that the technology was still undergoing testing and preparation. Interestingly,  ATI indicated earlier that its physics technology was already on the market and needed only driver updates.

DailyTech has attempted to test some physics-enabled demos on a pair of Radeon X1900 XTX boards but drivers were not ready. Interestingly, ATI demonstrated physics on its RD600 chipset at Computex earlier this year but a year from now, ATI's RD600 will more than likely be phased out. In fact, ATI said during the call that it was already developing and testing RD700, its next generation core logic.

After ATI's announcement about its own physics solution during Computex, AGEIA responded by indicating that ATI's method was crude and did not really address the core needs of physics processing. AGEIA also indicated that its own widely accepted technology was already available on store shelves. AGEIA's availability argument was somewhat called upon by ATI customers, citing that ATI too had boards already in the market. Orton's announcement today unfortunately reaffirms AGEIA's point. Many ATI customers will have to wait a while longer.

Details on ATI's R600 core -- the replacement for its X1900 family -- is expected to be available late this year or in early 2007. It is unclear whether or not ATI's physics API will continue to support the X1900 family a year out from now.

Update 06/30/2006
:  We earlier reported that "retail availability" was not to be available for 9-12 months.  Instead, Orton's exact meaning was for "volume availability," and as such DailyTech has changed the article text. Will Willis, Senior PR manager for ATI sent us the following comment about ATI's physics solution:
Dave’s reply was that we won’t see physics in volume (i.e. hundreds of thousands of cards being used for physics) and therefore a material revenue stream from physics for 9-12 months (i.e. another 3-4 quarters) as that’s when there will be some substantial volume of ATI graphics cards being used for physics purposes.

ATI GPU’s that support physics acceleration are already in retail (i.e. the X1900 and X1600 series of cards for example).  All that’s required is a driver update that enables physics processing, and more importantly, game content which we expect around the holidays.  We’re very likely to see revenue from physics before 9-12 months, but as Dave said it won’t be in volume, it will likely be early adopters.
Willis claims content for ATI physics will be available this holiday season already.  However, there is no word yet on the driver other than it is "several weeks out."

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No Physics for 9 to 12 Months
By TunaOnWry on 6/30/2006 11:18:04 AM , Rating: 5
-- ATI Claims No Physics for "9 to 12 Months" --

All I can say is it's about time someone stood up and made a forthright decision about these sorts of things.

I for one have long since become completely fed up about physics.

So ATI ought to be applauded for doing something about this scandal that has been going on now for about 8.5 billion years.

Physics, as I'm sure everyone will agree, has gotten completely out of hand. It's not just gravity and quantum electro-thermo dynamics that stick in our collective craw, obviously enough, but the laws of motion too, along with relativity theory and other assorted forms of foolishness.

But at last the brave folks at ATI has declared a moratorium on the madness. "No Physics for 9 to 12 Months," says the headline, and so we can all breathe easier for awhile, at least.

Now if only a few courageous souls at Intel or Microsoft would step up to the plate, shoulder their responsibilities, and cancel the laws of chemistry, then things would REALLY start improving!


By PrimarchLion on 6/30/2006 11:49:44 PM , Rating: 3
I personally am working towards a degree in aerospace engineering with a minor in physics. ATI, this is war!

By poohbear on 7/1/2006 1:21:47 AM , Rating: 1
im no expert, but i think ATI was referring to Physics processing in computers, not physics in general mate. ;) i could be wrong ofcourse, but just my 2 cents.

RE: No Physics for 9 to 12 Months
By Fnoob on 7/1/2006 10:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
This was planned. GW was responsible. He and his cohorts conspired to arrange this to coincide with the release of "Prey" and its nausea inducing lack of physics... Only Halliburton could pull this off.

Tuna, you should write for the Onion...


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