AGEIA Debuts PPU (Physics Processing Unit) Using PhysX Processor
Posted on 23-Mar-2006 11:45 by H Willan.
Filed under: News
AGEIA announces their PPU using their PhysX processor, currently the first PPU designed to calculate real-time physics to assist game engines.
Traditionally most game engines used “tricks” to give the illusion of complex physics models but were simplifying the models to ensure that CPU time was kept available for the rest of the game engine logic, including artificial intelligence (AI) and game engine logic/calculations.
Now AGEIA offloads those physics based calculations to the dedicated processing unit, much in the same way a graphics processing unit (GPU) offloads calculations from the CPU to itself, freeing up processor cycles on the CPU and allowing for more complex game engine logic and AI.
Existing game engines where possible will need patches to use the hardware. However, AGEIA states that there are over one hundred titles in development that are using game engines that will take advantage of the new hardware.
It is possible now, to buy hardware from major manufacturers that include this processor. These are Alienware, Dell Dell (XPS 600/400 desktops) and Falcon Northwest.
For the remainder of the market, there will be add-in boards in PCI and later PCIe formats available from ASUS and BFG , sometime in May 2006.
Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest has said, “The realism that the AGEIA PhysX Accelerator adds to gaming is astounding,", "I think the PhysX processor has the potential to be as important an add-in to PC gamers as a Creative's Sound Blaster is today."
The boards provide many of the following features, but now in real-time:
Explosions with dust, debris and shrapnel that cause collateral damage
Characters with joints, convexes and other complex geometry that enable realistic motion
Spectacular new weapons with unpredictable effects
Lush foliage that bends and sways when brushed against by the player or other characters or objects
Dense smoke and fog that ooze naturally around moving objects
Fluids that ebb and flow, drip, or spray naturally with physical characteristics dependent on their viscosity
Cloth that drapes, flows, tears and billows depending on where it is placed and the environment