Physics Acceleration Heats Up: Intel to Purchase Havok
September 16, 2007 1:07 AM
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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,
, ATI, and NVIDIA have not made much headway in the physics market.
Both NVIDIA and ATI have previewed
, 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
. 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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9/17/2007 1:24:36 AM
What kind of "strategic information" would AMD be giving Intel that Intel doesn't already have? You think Intel can't reverse-engineer AMD's CPUs (or vice-versa)? They already share a lot of information (about current CPUs, not future ones, of course), and a lot of the stuff is covered by patents so they wouldn't be allowed to copy it anyway.
I'm sure Intel's compiler coding team will gladly include AMD optimizations... about one day before they're fired. ;)
Intel is a business. If they can optimize for their chips while "unoptimizing" for the competition, you can be sure that's what they'll do (in fact, they already do it; changing the CPU manufacturer id string on an AMD CPU to report "genuineintel" makes some code run faster - not a huge difference, though; the last thing Intel wants is another anti-trust lawsuit).
AMD has a simple way to answer: deliver a compiler of their own, or work with 3rd party developers to optimize for their platform (which they already do - including open-source compilers, so there goes your theory about Intel "not having access to the information").
Compiler and CPU are two sides of the same coin (something Intel learned the hard way with the Itanium).
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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