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 3:22:20 PM
It's incredible to me how Intel has scored so big making such a smart investment. Compare: As AMD thought that buying ATI would make them huge and unstoppable or even scary, Intel just thought much more out of the box and bought Havok. What for? Not only because Havok is the major physics provider, but to get first hand into the technology to develop future Intel graphic cards with physics acceleration support. Intel will then be 3 things: Microprocessor, Graphics cards and Physics cards provider (the latter 2 integrated or separated). And all that, spending an insignificant fraction of the almost $ 6 billions ATI was for AMD.
Fantastic move, as simple as it is. I applaud, being an AMD user.
RE: Incredible maneuver
9/18/2007 5:30:53 AM
I don't know if you remember, but Intel was talking about eating up Nvidia. It turned out that it was simply too big. ATI is a much more significant graphics provider. With Ageia out there, there's a good possibility that it too could get gobbled up by an AMD that has regained its profitability, which we could very well see should Phenom end up competing with Intel's high end. There are doubts at this time, but we will with certainty when they start pushing them to retailers. Furthermore, I fully expect the graphics division to become more competitive. The merger was difficult, but the long term possibilities are remarkable to say the least. As queen's gambit is my favorite opening, I appreciate a move that offers short term loss for long term game.
"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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