NVIDIA AGEIA PhysX Acquisition Interview
Is the time of hardware dedicated game physics at an end or is it just evolving? That is the question posed by the announcement this week of NVIDIA's purchase of AGEIA, who for the past two years has marketed their PhysX game physics hardware chip to PC gamers as an add-on card. However the promise of a huge revolution in game interactivity never really met its full potential thanks in part to a lack of killer game apps that supported the technology. So what does the purchase of AGEIA mean? FiringSquad got a chance to ask some questions to NVIDIA's head PR rep Derek Perez who gave us a little more color into this week's announcement.
FiringSquad: First, how did the NVIDIA-AGEIA deal come about? Did NVIDIA approach AGEIA or was it the other way around?
: We've had a relationship with AGEIA for years, and it just happened to all come together.
FiringSquad: Why does NVIDIA believe that purchasing AGEIA to be a good idea at this point in time?
: There are both short term and long term reasons for partnering up with AGEIA.
First, as many of you know, AGEIA is the industry leader in gaming physics technology. AGEIA's PhysX software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active developers using the PhysX SDK. AGEIA is also credited with developing the world’s first dedicated hardware physics processor, the AGEIA PhysX processor.
Both AGEIA and NVIDIA share the same commitment and passion for making the gaming experience dynamic and vivid. The combination of graphics and physics impacts the way a virtual world looks and behaves, thus driving the end-user experience, and by combining AGEIA’s powerful PhysX technology with NVIDIA’s industry-leading GPU architectures, we will ensure that gamers and developers alike take advantage of the most compelling physics on the market.
Second, the computer industry is moving towards a heterogeneous computing model, combining a flexible CPU and a massively parallel processor like the GPU to perform computationally intensive applications like real-time computer graphics. Physics is a natural for processing on the GPU because, like graphics, it is made up of thousands of parallel computations, and with our CUDA technology, which is rapidly becoming one of the most pervasive parallel computing programming environments in history, we can open this exciting parallel processing world to applications desperate for a giant step in computing performance—such as physics processing, computer vision, video/image processing, and a world of exciting applications we’ve not yet imagined.
Both of those scenarios are pretty exciting.
FiringSquad: Is NVIDIA revealing any of the specific financial terms of the purchase of AGEIA?
: Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FiringSquad: Will NVIDIA continue to support the previously released AGEIA PhysX hardware cards with new drivers and updates?
: We will continue to support the current line of Ageia products that are on the market today.
FiringSquad: AGEIA announced plans at CES to release more new special PhysX levels for Unreal Tournament 3 in addition to the two that have already been released. What is the status of those plans?
: We will still release those levels...stay tuned.