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Intel reaches definitive agreement to purchase physics software developer Havok

Intel has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase software developer Havok, Inc. Havok provides various software development tools to digital animation and game developers and is one of the largest providers for software physics.

“Havok is a proven leader in physics technology for gaming and digital content, and will become a key element of Intel’s visual computing and graphics efforts,” said Renee J. James, Intel vice president and general manager of Software and Solutions Group.

“This is a great fit for Havok products, customers and employees,” remarked Havok CEO David O’Meara. “Intel’s scale of technology investment and customer reach enable Havok with opportunities to grow more quickly into new market segments with new products than we could have done organically. We believe the winning combination is Havok’s technology and customer know-how with Intel’s scale. I am excited to be part of this next phase of Havok’s growth.”

A recent trend is to offload physics processing to either a GPU or dedicated physics processor. So far, though, Ageia, ATI, and NVIDIA have not made much headway in the physics market.

Both NVIDIA and ATI have previewed CrossFire and SLI Physics, however, neither company has delivered any actual physics hardware yet. It’s pretty interesting to note that both ATI and NVIDIA’s physics solutions rely on Havok FX. However, it is unlikely that Intel’s acquisition of Havok will affect Havok’s partnership with either AMD or NVIDIA.    

“Havok will operate its business as usual, which will allow them to continue developing products that are offered across all platforms in the industry,” said Renee J. James regarding the future of Havok.

Essentially, Havok will operate as a subsidiary of Intel and will continue to operate as an independent business. This reinforces the belief that current partnerships will not be affected.

Havok has partnerships with many of the largest names in the gaming community such as Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, NVIDIA, and AMD. Havok has provided software physics for games like Halo 3, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Half Life 2 and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition.

In addition to providing software that adds physics realism to games, Havok also provides physics for professional software such as Autodesk’s 3DS Studio Max 9

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By Freddo on 9/16/2007 4:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I'm wondering too. I've always felt that would be a better route to go than physics cards or using graphic cards for it.

Of course, if it happens, then I hope AMD manage to give support to their CPUs as soon as possible as it could be a major sales argument among PC enthusiasts, while the various versions of SSE never really mattered much. It's not until now that games starts to require SSE and SSE2.

By StevoLincolnite on 9/16/2007 8:16:44 AM , Rating: 1
SSE is an Evolution of the MMX instruction set.
SSE was originally launched with the Pentium 3 Katmai Processors. (The processor line straight after the Pentium 2 chips).
Games like Decent 3D and Quake 3 arena were among the first to support SSE.
SSE 2 was first launched with the Pentium 4 Willamate.
And games have been supporting that instruction set for quite some time.

By Freddo on 9/16/2007 3:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
I know what SSE and MMX are. But supporting something and require something are two very different things.

The first game I know that require SSE2 is Colin McRae Dirt which was released earlier this summer.

By StevoLincolnite on 9/17/2007 7:08:37 AM , Rating: 1
Thats SSE 2, not SSE though?
Eh it was late (4am) when I wrote my last comment, and missed the "Required".

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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