Print 39 comment(s) - last by phusg.. on Aug 27 at 7:06 AM

New AGEIA PhysX 100M physics processor for notebooks

AGEIA Technologies this week announced it is taking PhysX technology to the mobile sector with new PhysX 100M. The new AGEIA PhysX 100M is a physics processor designed for high-end gaming notebooks. AGEIA claims the PhysX 100M delivers unmatched “power, efficiency and design flexibility.”

"AGEIA is fully committed to delivering the most intensely realistic gaming and entertainment experience to PC gamers," said Manju Hegde, CEO of AGEIA Technologies. "We are enabling enthusiasts to enjoy games their way: whenever and wherever they want. AGEIA PhysX Mobile Technology further expands our position in the gaming market and we look forward to seeing new laptops bring gamers the freedom to enjoy incredible physics action on the go."

AGEIA claims the PhysX 100M processor is available now, but does not mention any design wins. However, notebooks featuring the AGEIA PhysX 100M are expected very soon. AGEIA is also showcasing the PhysX 100M at the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.

Games featuring AGEIA PhysX technology are still quite scarce, with the biggest title supporting PhysX technology being the Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter series while Unreal Tournament 3 is the next big title, but still in development.

AMD and NVIDIA have both previewed CrossFire and SLI physics technologies powered by Havok FX, but neither company have delivered a hardware physics processing solution.

High-performance gaming notebooks are the latest trend in mobile computing. Technologies previously found only on desktops have made its way into notebooks. NVIDIA last year debuted SLI technology for notebooks while AMD released its ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2000 series consecutively with its desktop ATI Radeon HD 2000 models. NVIDIA also delivers its latest GeForce 8 series technology to the mobile sector. Overclocking has also found its way into notebooks, with unlocked Core 2 Extreme X7800 and X7900 processors and MSI’s Turbo button.

Notebook manufacturers are also releasing bigger and faster gaming notebooks with display sizes up to 20-inches. HP’s Pavilion HDX notebook packs ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics with a 20.1-inch display and two hard drives. ASUS also has two Santa Rosa based gaming notebooks in its lineup, as well as a new do-it-yourself gaming notebook. Dell also has its upcoming Dell XPS M1730 with a 17-inch display, Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor and GeForce 8 series graphics while Eurocom manages to pack quad-core, SLI technology, RAID 5 and Blu-ray in a single 17.1-inch notebook.

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RE: Wake up AGEIA
By Alpha4 on 8/23/2007 10:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
With Dual and Quad core processors you don't need a dedicated physics processor...
Heh. According to an article I read over 2 years ago Sony came to the same conclusion. I don't know if it has taken effect but Sony essentially planned on leveraging the Cell's multi threading capabilities to render physics with the Ageia/Novodex physics library.

I, however, don't feel the PhysX chip is necessarily obsolete, but from what I recall it does hamper performance significantly due to the fact that it utilizes a PCI interface. Something about the additional latencies created when the PhysX card has to poll the CPU to communicate with the GPU. If Ageia could resolve that I think the card would have more potential.

RE: Wake up AGEIA
By phaxmohdem on 8/23/2007 11:52:04 PM , Rating: 3
I hear they plan to realease a 16 bit ISA version of the card soon to resolve these problems :P

Seriously though.. If they would make a card that ran on the PCIe x1 or x4 slot that largely goes unused on today's motherboards I think they'd be onto something..... That and getting a few games to actually support their hardware would be nice too... And getting those games to not perform so bad when the hardware is active.

I've honestly thought this whole idea of dedicated Physics processing was crap to begin with, but who knows. Maybe they just need to stumble upon their "Halo" game to get people to finally buy the thing.

RE: Wake up AGEIA
By phusg on 8/24/2007 9:20:53 AM , Rating: 2
but from what I recall it does hamper performance significantly due to the fact that it utilizes a PCI interface.

Not true. From the horse's mouth here []:
At this point, every AGEIA PhysX Accelerator is configured as a PCI 2.1 add-in board with 128MB GDDR3. The PCI interface is more than adequate for handling complex physics calculations, so changing the design to PCI Express would be simply to address slot availability on the motherboard, not to enhance raw performance.

RE: Wake up AGEIA
By Alpha4 on 8/25/2007 11:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nice find, and I'm sure thats true. I guess what I meant was if the PhysX card could communicate with a 3D Accelerator directly via the PCIe bus and/or a bridge chip, like SLI, and bypass the CPU than we'd see a worthwhile gain in performance.

RE: Wake up AGEIA
By phusg on 8/27/2007 7:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt it. I don't think the PCI Physx card is particularly hardware limited in any way. It's the software! Once the programmers get to grips with the API/chip then it will fly. It's just a question of whether gamers are that interested in the flight it has to offer.

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