More PhysX PPU details unconvered

Written by Wil Harris

May 20, 2005 | 14:06

Tags: #aegia #physics #physx #ppu

Companies: #e3

There is more information on the net today about the PhysX physics processing unit from Ageia, straight from the show floor at E3.

Ageia are presenting a three-way interaction for games at an architectural level. They describe the CPU as responsible for 'Think and Orchestrate', the GPU as 'Render and Display' and The PPU as 'Move and Interact'.

Interestingly, the unit will be a PCI card, not PCI-Express. According to X-Bit Labs, Asus will be the primary manufacturing partner.

However, what exactly the 'sell' is for this card is still uncertain. Right now, there are no games to support it. Are existing titles going to be patched with a complete rewrite of the physics engine to support it? will it only be supported in new titles? When are these things going to appear? It seems inconceivable that the PPU will launch without any software that benefits from it, but with its launch seemingly getting close now, we're still yet to see any concrete information about titles.

X-Bit suggest that Epic, Ubisoft and others have expressed an interest. However, with the card anticipated to cost at least $249, it's questionable just how much development time and effort they'll be prepared to devote to a technology that, at least for the next couple of years, is only going to be owned by a very, very small minority.

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