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View Full Version : Ageia Physics Processing Unit to hit the shellves this fall



1.JaVA_Razer
08-06-2005, 04:04 PM
PPU cards to hit the shelves this fall
The first games are expected when the card is announced and now the company believe that most developers are going to release patches for retail games supporting PhysX hardware card.
The company also announced many plug-in announcements from important CAD/CAM packages such as 3Dstudio max, and Softimage

Source (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=25126)

I so hope BoB will use this so we don't have anymore of this whining over FM's. Would save the developers a LOT of time i reckon they they don't need to code the entire FM themselves. The PPU does all the calculating of wind/engine power/gun impacts etc. And can also calculate exactlt where a bullet hit so even more realistic damage models

Atomic_Marten
08-06-2005, 04:08 PM
Cool stuff. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

ClnlSandersLite
08-07-2005, 12:40 AM
I really hope this hits big, but there are many LARGE foreseeable problems with the system. I'm not going to go into a long-winded technical tirade that most of you won't get. Just take my word for it, there are BIG holes in the idea. Still, hopefully they're perfectly well aware of them and have solutions.

ClnlSandersLite
08-07-2005, 01:15 AM
On second thought, I thought I'd just name the largest issue I can see. It's not even technical but marketing (well, a little technical, but simple concepts watered down for the non-technical minded here).

A little touch of whats involved: Let's take the example of video cards.

They provide an api which is then used by directx, glide, opengl, etc, which then provides api's that the game makers use in order to display all the pretty colors.

DirectX, glide, opengl, etc are responsible for making their product work with the various video cards in order that games can plug into them. If hypothetically, DirectX stops supporting nvidia chipsets in 2006 either games will stop supporting DirectX (most likely), or nvidia is no longer supported by games (possible if the cause is nvidia going out of business or some such).

The problem with the Ageia PPU is this:
There is no go between. The Ageia PPU itself is providing it's own equivelent of directX to operate in a physics capacity as opposed to video.

Your next question should be: So, how's that a problem?

Simple you have 4 possible outcomes of that bussiness model.

1: There will only be ONE PPU (Ageia) provider. This is good for compatibility. BAD for your pocket book.

2: There will be competitors cards coming out which are not compatible on the software side. This will force game designers to choose. The only way around this is for the competitors to actually use the SAME code on all PPUs (which won't happen). Otherwise, a game will behave differently on one card than it will on another, assuming it works at all. We already have this to some extent with video cards, however, the issue is much bigger when we start talking about dammage models, aircraft behaviour, hit locations, etc.

3: Ageia will fold because of difficulties related to either number 1 or 2 above. If it's number 1, PPUs die altogether. If 2, there will be a generation of games in total limbo as to wether they'll even work or not.

4: Someone smartens up and comes up with a standerdized interface to use. The trick is, if you use a standerdized interface, it's JUST a processor.

FA_Whisky
08-07-2005, 02:45 AM
1: There will only be ONE PPU (Ageia) provider. This is good for compatibility. BAD for your pocket book.

2: There will be competitors cards coming out which are not compatible on the software side. This will force game designers to choose. The only way around this is for the competitors to actually use the SAME code on all PPUs (which won't happen). Otherwise, a game will behave differently on one card than it will on another, assuming it works at all. We already have this to some extent with video cards, however, the issue is much bigger when we start talking about dammage models, aircraft behaviour, hit locations, etc.

3: Ageia will fold because of difficulties related to either number 1 or 2 above. If it's number 1, PPUs die altogether. If 2, there will be a generation of games in total limbo as to wether they'll even work or not.

4: Someone smartens up and comes up with a standerdized interface to use. The trick is, if you use a standerdized interface, it's JUST a processor.


I think they will make it all as compatible as possible. The company wants to sell their product. Therefore it has to create a market fast. Creating a market fast means that these cards fit in a lot of systems and will work with a lot of comon used hardware. As a game producer you also want to sell your games and have to create a market. Untill now there is ATI and Nvidia witch are both supported. As a game producer it would be really stupit to support just one type/brand of cards.
Furthermore, competition is good! You want some competitors so the customers can see you have a better or cheaper product. Monopoly is not good in most cases

Udidtoo
08-07-2005, 03:22 AM
Originally posted by ClnlSandersLite:
On second thought, I thought I'd just name the largest issue I can see. It's not even technical but marketing (well, a little technical, but simple concepts watered down for the non-technical minded here).

A little touch of whats involved: Let's take the example of video cards.

They provide an api which is then used by directx, glide, opengl, etc, which then provides api's that the game makers use in order to display all the pretty colors.

DirectX, glide, opengl, etc are responsible for making their product work with the various video cards in order that games can plug into them. If hypothetically, DirectX stops supporting nvidia chipsets in 2006 either games will stop supporting DirectX (most likely), or nvidia is no longer supported by games (possible if the cause is nvidia going out of business or some such).

The problem with the Ageia PPU is this:
There is no go between. The Ageia PPU itself is providing it's own equivelent of directX to operate in a physics capacity as opposed to video.

Your next question should be: So, how's that a problem?

Simple you have 4 possible outcomes of that bussiness model.

1: There will only be ONE PPU (Ageia) provider. This is good for compatibility. BAD for your pocket book.

2: There will be competitors cards coming out which are not compatible on the software side. This will force game designers to choose. The only way around this is for the competitors to actually use the SAME code on all PPUs (which won't happen). Otherwise, a game will behave differently on one card than it will on another, assuming it works at all. We already have this to some extent with video cards, however, the issue is much bigger when we start talking about dammage models, aircraft behaviour, hit locations, etc.

3: Ageia will fold because of difficulties related to either number 1 or 2 above. If it's number 1, PPUs die altogether. If 2, there will be a generation of games in total limbo as to wether they'll even work or not.

4: Someone smartens up and comes up with a standerdized interface to use. The trick is, if you use a standerdized interface, it's JUST a processor.

thanke Yu fer tring 2 use tinny wurds bekase lic Yu sayed moost ov us hear jsut mak da aroplannes go vroom vroom an wee wuld knot hav nood tham biguns allso thanke yu fer knot konndasending to us feebils.

Te_Vigo
08-07-2005, 05:09 AM
HAY...how aoubt taht...my panle geos VROoM VRoOM too


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

WTE_Ibis
08-07-2005, 05:58 AM
It must be catching cos I don't understand nutten.

WTE_Ibis
08-07-2005, 06:00 AM
Oops, sorry for the double negative.

.

NonWonderDog
08-07-2005, 07:10 AM
Remember what it was like before Direct3D? There were a bunch of completely different 3d accellerator cards, and you had to have a special version of each game in order to run it on each card. It wasn't optimal, but it actually worked better than you'd think. It was never too difficult to find a 3d patch, if you were really looking. Then we got Direct3D, glide, and openGL support in everything and were happy.

The same thing might happen with the physics boards, I guess. I've still yet to be convinced that they offer much benefit at all, but we'll see.

ClnlSandersLite
08-07-2005, 10:15 AM
Smartasses: this is why I kept it so simple.


Originally posted by FA_Whisky:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 1: There will only be ONE PPU (Ageia) provider. This is good for compatibility. BAD for your pocket book.

2: There will be competitors cards coming out which are not compatible on the software side. This will force game designers to choose. The only way around this is for the competitors to actually use the SAME code on all PPUs (which won't happen). Otherwise, a game will behave differently on one card than it will on another, assuming it works at all. We already have this to some extent with video cards, however, the issue is much bigger when we start talking about dammage models, aircraft behaviour, hit locations, etc.

3: Ageia will fold because of difficulties related to either number 1 or 2 above. If it's number 1, PPUs die altogether. If 2, there will be a generation of games in total limbo as to wether they'll even work or not.

4: Someone smartens up and comes up with a standerdized interface to use. The trick is, if you use a standerdized interface, it's JUST a processor.


I think they will make it all as compatible as possible. The company wants to sell their product. Therefore it has to create a market fast. Creating a market fast means that these cards fit in a lot of systems and will work with a lot of comon used hardware. As a game producer you also want to sell your games and have to create a market. Untill now there is ATI and Nvidia witch are both supported. As a game producer it would be really stupit to support just one type/brand of cards.
Furthermore, competition is good! You want some competitors so the customers can see you have a better or cheaper product. Monopoly is not good in most cases </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The problem is not hardware compatibility. It's software compatibility. If you're thinking video cards have always been ati and nvidia, you haven't been around all that long. It's like NonWonderDog is saying about the early days before D3D. Trick is that we're talking about the game engine relying on the PPU for actual game play and not just graphics. Believe me, the possibility of non-compatible PPUs without a standardized api is a programmers nightmare.

dugong
08-07-2005, 02:58 PM
Here is my layman's take -

All of this won't mean anything in 10 years or so. All processors will be so fast, even those on the home desktop, mghz is not the problem. Programing becomes key. The difference in hardware will not be a factor. These things will run so fast it will be pointless to make hardware that pushes the limits.

Good programmers will make the money. Especially the ones who develop good AI, and even begin integrating stimulus into programing.

All of this stuff in the meantime is just a short term fix until all of this happens of course.

Bearcat99
08-07-2005, 04:28 PM
I think that the industry will learn from it's mistakes and there wont be any major problems..... I think in 3 years tops there will be a standard and all of the new games will support the technology.

TAGERT.
08-07-2005, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by 1.JaVA_Razer:
PPU cards to hit the shelves this fall
The first games are expected when the card is announced and now the company believe that most developers are going to release patches for retail games supporting PhysX hardware card.
The company also announced many plug-in announcements from important CAD/CAM packages such as 3Dstudio max, and Softimage

Source (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=25126)

I so hope BoB will use this so we don't have anymore of this whining over FM's. Would save the developers a LOT of time i reckon they they don't need to code the entire FM themselves. The PPU does all the calculating of wind/engine power/gun impacts etc. And can also calculate exactlt where a bullet hit so even more realistic damage models Same kind of RA RA came out when Intel anounced the MMX stuff. No big whoop! Math is math and Physics does not have all that many routines that are loop intensive like some of the DSP processors are for doing FFT types of calculations. Therefore I wouldnt hold out too much hope!

TAGERT.
08-07-2005, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by dugong:
Here is my layman's take -

All of this won't mean anything in 10 years or so. All processors will be so fast, even those on the home desktop, mghz is not the problem. Programing becomes key. The difference in hardware will not be a factor. These things will run so fast it will be pointless to make hardware that pushes the limits. This is kind of what happened in the DSP arena.. They spend alot of time and money adding some special features to a processor to do loop intensive stuff that DSP's needed to do FFT types of calculations. While they were busy doing that the speed of intel processors went up 10 fold! Which made all that effort kind of moot.