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Nvidia finalises Ageia deal, details future plans

Nvidia finalises Ageia deal, details future plans

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has said that he already has engineers working to port the PhysX SDK to CUDA.

Nvidia has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Ageia Technologies, just nine days after first making the deal public.

During yesterday's financial earnings call, president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that "Our strategy is to take the Ageia physics engine, which has been integrated into tools and games all over the world, and we're going to put the Ageia physics engine onto CUDA.

"You heard my comments that CUDA has now shipped with 50 million GeForce 8 series processors and over the next several years, we'll ship a few hundred million more. The ability to port the physics engine on top of CUDA and accelerate the physics is going to add a tonne more value to gamers around the world," continued Huang.

"Our expectation is that this is going to encourage people to buy even better GPUs. It might and probably will encourage people to buy a second GPU for the SLI slot and for the highest-end gamers, it will encourage them to buy three GPUs, potentially two for graphics and one for physics or one for graphics and two for physics, or any dynamic combination thereof.

"I'm very enthusiastic about the work that we're doing here and the game developers are really excited about it," said Huang. "Finally they are able to get a physics engine accelerated into a very large population of gamers. And so I think this combination between us and Ageia really kick-started the physics industry."

In response to another question regarding the post acquisition strategy, Huang revealed that he already has engineers working hard to port the physics engine to CUDA and that he's "going to throw a lot of resources at it."

"I wouldn't be surprised if this helps our GPU sales even advance, and the reason for that is in the end, it's just going to be a software download, he explained. "Every single GPU that is CUDA enabled will be able to run the physics engine when it comes."

Are you looking forward to more physics being implemented into PC games or do you think it'll be a passing fad? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

18 Comments

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Bladestorm 14th February 2008, 13:50 Quote
If they really can take PhysX and enable it on geforce 8 series graphics cards, then presumably when people upgrade to new ones they can use the old one as a PhysX processors ? That might stand a chance of actually making it mainstream.

Still, for myself I have yet to buy an 8-series at all and if I did buy a second one for SLI, I'd think I'd still be using it for graphics, not for physics ;)
Joeymac 14th February 2008, 14:15 Quote
All sounds nice.... but until an actual game is made which benefits from insane physics requirements... like a city being completely destructible or something like that. No one is going to bite.
What they need is a game where you can shoot a wall with your mini gun and punch a hole in it (or even hack away at the cement between bricks and pop a few out.. make the hole too big and the floor above might fall on you.. or bring the building down. Then use that as a gun emplacement. or sniper point. Soooooooooooo many possibilities.
[USRF]Obiwan 14th February 2008, 15:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeymac
All sounds nice.... but until an actual game is made which benefits from insane physics requirements... like a city being completely destructible or something like that. No one is going to bite.
What they need is a game where you can shoot a wall with your mini gun and punch a hole in it (or even hack away at the cement between bricks and pop a few out.. make the hole too big and the floor above might fall on you.. or bring the building down. Then use that as a gun emplacement. or sniper point. Soooooooooooo many possibilities.

10000% agree with you. If Nvidia wants to ensure their future businessmodel, they better join up with a couple of A quality game developers...

Or ensure me that the next 2 years no new graphicscards will come out. So that I have a reason to put in some extra cards into my system. Because when the time arives to actualy place a second card into the system, there is a single next gen card out that outperform current SLI and most of the time also have more features with it.
Bluephoenix 14th February 2008, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeymac
All sounds nice.... but until an actual game is made which benefits from insane physics requirements... like a city being completely destructible or something like that. No one is going to bite.
What they need is a game where you can shoot a wall with your mini gun and punch a hole in it (or even hack away at the cement between bricks and pop a few out.. make the hole too big and the floor above might fall on you.. or bring the building down. Then use that as a gun emplacement. or sniper point. Soooooooooooo many possibilities.

Sounds like BF3 to me.

supposedly scheduled for release sometime toward the end of next year or early 2010.

plenty of time for CUDA enabled Multi-card systems to penetrate more of the market.

another project that may make a difference is the hybrid SLI and the unbalanced SLI idea (different cards, linked together, one doing physics, the other graphics)
TreeDude 14th February 2008, 15:56 Quote
So the 8 series cards are all CUDA enabled. Does this mean a single card will give some physics acceleration? Or do you need at least 2 cards? I was looking into a 3870 but this could sway me if it was worth it.
zabe 14th February 2008, 15:58 Quote
this is very good news. my modest 8600 gt may not be as mighty as a dual 8800 GTS, but still, i'll be able to see some decent physics, much better my (still respectable) core 2 duo at 2.2mhz. physics computing in a streaming processor that i already own? yay!! i love nvidia even more now...
p3n 14th February 2008, 16:29 Quote
darn was hoping to use my crappy old 7950gx2 for physx in my next PC - ah well I'll stick to xbox360 and general AV goodness for my entertainment!
Sebbo 14th February 2008, 16:30 Quote
it certainly needs more games that support it, i think there are only two games that support PhysX...one of them is hardly worth the purchase, and the other the PhysX stuff is essentially a mod (UT3).
Note that this solution will be completely pointless for games like Crysis and others who have their own physics engine (or an engine that isn't PhysX). And how many studios will use the engine? If they solely use the PhysX engine, the game developers are cutting out everyone who isn't running an NVidia card, and they may not consider the extra work to write their own engine that runs on the CPU and supporting the PhysX engine worth it. Oh, and is it still being offered for free like it originally was?
Firehed 14th February 2008, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeymac
All sounds nice.... but until an actual game is made which benefits from insane physics requirements... like a city being completely destructible or something like that. No one is going to bite.
What they need is a game where you can shoot a wall with your mini gun and punch a hole in it (or even hack away at the cement between bricks and pop a few out.. make the hole too big and the floor above might fall on you.. or bring the building down. Then use that as a gun emplacement. or sniper point. Soooooooooooo many possibilities.
I think you're somewhat missing the point here. This was the problem with the dedicated PhysX cards - people wouldn't buy because there was little developed for them, and nobody would develop for them because nobody had the cards. With this solution, nVidia can enable the tech on existing GPUs with just a software patch. Suddenly, there's a large install base for this kind of thing so devs will start making use of the tech; end-users don't have to "bite" since they already have what they need.
amacieli 14th February 2008, 17:05 Quote
Um, physics... how real-wold things interact... like molecules... like in proteins... like...

FOLDING @ HOME....

W H E N ??????
Joeymac 14th February 2008, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed

I think you're somewhat missing the point here. This was the problem with the dedicated PhysX cards - people wouldn't buy because there was little developed for them, and nobody would develop for them because nobody had the cards. With this solution, nVidia can enable the tech on existing GPUs with just a software patch. Suddenly, there's a large install base for this kind of thing so devs will start making use of the tech; end-users don't have to "bite" since they already have what they need.

Can they do the physics and everything else on one gpu/card? If they can and it doesn't require anything on the customer end then I agree with you. But if they intend to do this to sell an extra card to get the "cool guy" results then same situation the physX card remains.... you need a couple of games first. Hardly anyone runs a sli/crossfire system and they are going to need a fair bit of tempting to want to sacrifice a whole card for physics.
Plus whatever games they come up with are still going to need to be compatible with AMD cards. That's another stopping block... are they going to have different physics engines for both... is some one going to be able to have an AMD gpu with Nvidia physics.. hell no. So the money investment problem for the consumer remains. I can't see publishers liking the prospect of only having nvidia customers for their games.
sotu1 14th February 2008, 17:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeymac
All sounds nice.... but until an actual game is made which benefits from insane physics requirements... like a city being completely destructible or something like that. No one is going to bite.
What they need is a game where you can shoot a wall with your mini gun and punch a hole in it (or even hack away at the cement between bricks and pop a few out.. make the hole too big and the floor above might fall on you.. or bring the building down. Then use that as a gun emplacement. or sniper point. Soooooooooooo many possibilities.

Sounds like BF3 to me.

God yes let BF3 be like this. I love that game.
Awoken 14th February 2008, 18:31 Quote
Physics will still have a difficult birth; it is a niche product, in what is already a niche market. Until this changes (AMD aka ATI and Intel enable support for it) then it will be an add on and not really fully integrated into the game world. If it was integrated then game balance would be affected and developers would have to plan to deal with the bias otherwise games will play differently on different cards/IGPs.
I would love to see more realistic physics and I hope it works out but I don't think I'll be seeing it in the next couple of years.
rhuitron 14th February 2008, 23:28 Quote
I say again .

HEY ATI.

BOOOOOM. Head Shot!


Or if you want. Boooom, Nvidia sunk your battleship.
completemadness 15th February 2008, 20:50 Quote
so instead of a £100 Physics card, you need a £300 GFX card? yey?
desertstalker 18th February 2008, 08:37 Quote
Maybe, but when you're not using it for a PPU it still works as a GPU.
completemadness 18th February 2008, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertstalker
Maybe, but when you're not using it for a PPU it still works as a GPU.
you probably need SLI anyway to cope with the extra stuff you have to draw with physics

So when your not using the PPU you probably have triple SLI, which doesn't really scale that well, and is somewhat pointless IMO
id much rather have the £100 PPU rather then the GPU (and the PPU uses a lot less power)
Icy EyeG 20th February 2008, 21:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amacieli
Um, physics... how real-wold things interact... like molecules... like in proteins... like...

FOLDING @ HOME....

W H E N ??????

QFT!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
so instead of a £100 Physics card, you need a £300 GFX card? yey?

I'm not a gamer, but the way I see it (and if NVidia allows PhysX to run on any CUDA-enabled card, and any motherboard with dual PEG-slot) by the time you upgrade your card to a 9-series, you can put your 8-series card to run Physics, instead of pulling it out of your PC for good. This may mean a change of the gamer's "annual upgrade roadmap". :p
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