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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 DeepBlue1975 on 9/17/2007 9:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is a VERY smart move.

These acquisitions by Intel, AMD and the likes more and more resemble a very long and never ending chess game.
But for this time, I think Intel made the smartest step: havok will bring them an extra income in no time, and a possibility of securing their future by getting hold of a knowledge that so many in the game industry will need to license.

That and the little spoiler for AMD and Nvidia about their physics integration coming from Havok, now it'll be Intel they'll somehow have to deal with and pay royalties to if they want to keep that train going and they'll know that Intel will likely be a very powerful third competitor in the future physics acceleration market.

The one who loses the most terrain everyday in the physics market is, however and IMHO, Ageia.
I don't see Ageia anywhere in the years to come, maybe at best they get bought by nvidia / amd or intel itself and that ought to be the best deal they could ever get.




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