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AlphaRaptor
04-26-2005, 07:05 PM
---AGEIA Technologies Interview---

Wow....read on :yikes:


In this era of near photorealistic graphics, can we expect better games? If AGEIA succeeds with their multi-threaded physics API and the revolutionary idea of hardware accelerated physics, then we might not only get better games but also witness a new revolution in gaming that will once again shake the entire industry just like the switch from 2D to 3D graphics of the last decade. This could certainly change gaming forever.

The company's PhysX chip, the world's first dedicated Physics Processing Unit (PPU), will be supported in the next-generation line-up from Ubisoft and it is expected other publishers will jump on board. On top of that, AGEIA’s NovodeX Physics SDK is an official Xbox real-time physics middleware tool that will exploit the multicore architecture of the Xbox 360 and Epic Games has also announced the integration of the NovodeX API and support for the PhysX chip in the Unreal Engine 3.

We recently spoke with Manju Hegde, CEO and Chairman of AGEIA Technologies Inc, in order to get the scoop on their PhysX chip and the NovodeX Physics SDK, the first and only multithreaded physics API capable of unleashing the power of the PhysX chip, as well as multiprocessor gaming systems.



Let’s get physical. What exactly is a PPU?

Manju Hegde: A Physics Processing Unit (PPU) is a completely new hardware category that bridges the gap between static virtual worlds and pervasive physical reality. This new hardware category represents the next milestone in the evolution of game acceleration, following in the footsteps of the CPU and GPU. The PPU works alongside these processors, completing the triangle of gameplay, 3D imagery and physics-based interaction.


http://media.teamxbox.com/dailyposts/ageia/triangle.jpg


AGEIA’s PhysX™chip is the world’s first dedicated PPU. With AGEIA’s groundbreaking new technology, developers can now create scenes using the same laws of physics that govern the physical universe, enabling players to interact with any object in any scene at any time, providing pervasive interactive reality. In concert with the CPU and GPU, the PhysX chip will allow game developers to create characters, backgrounds and effects that rival those of Hollywood movies, but with interactivity.


With the PPU, car fenders will at last crumple with satisfying detail, as the gamer slides his car head-on into a wall, thick with clouds of dust, curls of smoke and shards of glass one expects from being so close to the action.

In the short term, perhaps the most significant enhancement will relate to game effects, where environmental and other factors currently unavailable to game developers can easily be incorporated. As the wind blows through a lonely game world, trees will bend and sway, leaves will blow and scatter, with shutters banging loudly and curtains blowing in the breeze. When the monk walks through the catacombs, smoking torch in hand, his flowing robes will drape realistically over his legs; and the heroine’s pony tail will blow in the wind as she rides her mount across the landscape. As the castle explodes, the spray of rubble will rupture the walls on the surrounding streets. These subtle yet essential effects will add a completely new layer of visual realism to games, immediately boosting immersion. These physical simulation based visualizations will be altered by inputs and actions and so will substantially greater variety and richness than canned animations.

Soon thereafter, physics will work its way into gameplay itself. Perhaps the blowing breeze exposes hidden soldiers behind the branches, while the monk’s shifting robes reveals a knife or a hidden letter. The number of active characters in a scene can jump from a handful to dozens or even hundreds, each with its own unique physical and logical characteristics.



Is it possible to have all these objects (30,000 plus) interacting at once, on screen, while also having fluid dynamics, soft-body deformation, particle systems and clothing simulation running at the same time with proper physics?

Manju Hegde: Yes, Physx will enable all these together. <-- :hump:

Right now with current normal CPU's, only 50-100 objects interacting at once on screen is possible. Yes, even HL2 is limited to 50-100, depends on your PC's CPU speed. 30,000+ is just CRAZY!


When can we expect to see the first games that make use of the PhysX PPU and when can we expect the first boards at retail stores?

Manju Hegde: Expect to see PPU enabled systems and boards in time for the 2005 Christmas buying season. <--About the time of XB360's release? Coincidence?


If Xbox 360 will actually have this, it will blow all the other next gen systems out of the water if they don't have it. Imagine, buildings you could destroy brick, by brick, water with realistic ripples, everything and anything will be interactive. It will make HL2's phisics look old. With a PPU, all that's left for the CPU are AI and maybe some odd jobs, whichever system has the faster CPU, will not be the most powerful, that depends on the GPU and whether it has a PPU. The CPU is actually the last thing you should look at when it comes to power.

I sure hope Xbox 360 will come with one of these babies. :cheers:

Source (http://interviews.teamxbox.com/xbox/1117/AGEIA-Technologies-Interview/p1/)

Slowride
04-26-2005, 07:18 PM
Sounds pretty sweet...

natedog8
04-26-2005, 07:29 PM
Sounds pretty sweet...
champ we both know you didnt read that entire thing

Slowride
04-26-2005, 07:37 PM
champ we both know you didnt read that entire thing


:rofl: The sad thing is I did and that was still the best response I could come up with.

FB-Gollum
04-26-2005, 08:19 PM
This is unbelievable. Think Halo 3 people. Think about the physics possible. God I think I just had an accident.

AlphaRaptor
04-26-2005, 08:31 PM
Gosh...Halo 3...Bungie is going to go crazy with it.

Great One
04-26-2005, 09:56 PM
is'nt the cell also made up of many ppus working togather.
would'nt that be more powefull than xb2

AlphaRaptor
04-26-2005, 11:11 PM
is'nt the cell also made up of many ppus working togather.
would'nt that be more powefull than xb2
No, the Cell is a single ~4ghz CPU with 9 (Or 8?) pipelines, which makes it able to compute more data every pass. You know why an AMD Athlon 2100+ (Which actually runs at 1.7Ghz) can outperform a 2.1ghz P4? Because an Athlon has four pipelines compaired to the P4's two pipelines. Now each pipeline isn't like another CPU, if that was the case that 1.7Ghz AMD would be a 3400+, its really just a speedboost. So the Cell could actually be compairable to a 6-7 ghz CPU. Pretty darn fast BUT, it won't add up to the 360's three 3.5+ghz powerPC CPU's. Remember this, although each powerPC CPU has only two pipelines, powerPC CPU architectures are totally different from a PC CPU. In fact a 600Mhz powerPC CPU can outperform a 1000mhz P4, thats a 40% increase over a normal PC CPU. Does that mean that each of these CPU's in the 360 will be as fast as a 6500MHz p4? Maybe, but im not 100% sure, because im not all that familiar with powerPC CPU's. I'll somemore research sometime.

What would you rather have? One 7000mhz CPU or three slightly slower 6000mhz CPU? I would pick the three! But heck, with a PPU they'll wouldn't need to do much anyway... :D

Viper87227
04-26-2005, 11:56 PM
Xbox will not have a PPU. It hasnt been around long enough for developers to have writen threir games to take adantage of...

Its a PC part that probbaly wont even become mainstream for a year or two after tis release.

AlphaRaptor
04-27-2005, 12:10 AM
Not so fast Viper, we really don't know how long its been around. I'm sure launch games will not take advantage of this, but that won't stop MS from using this tech in 360 to gain an incredible advatage over PS3 and NR.

Edit: Wait, what am I talking about, remember the quote?


When can we expect to see the first games that make use of the PhysX PPU and when can we expect the first boards at retail stores?

Manju Hegde: Expect to see PPU enabled systems and boards in time for the 2005 Christmas buying season.

Duhhhhh....

Viper87227
04-27-2005, 12:13 AM
Not so fast Viper, we really don't know how long its been around. I'm sure launch games will not take advantage of this, but that won't stop MS from using this tech in 360 to gain an incredible advatage over PS3 and NR.


lol....im not a PS fanboy or anything, but the PS3 looks like its going to kick the crap outta xbox. The cell processor should be increadable. MS is just using PC hardware. A dual core pentium in xbox360 is a gimmick....single core processors are better in gaming. The Cell processor however, is like 8 cores, and that has been made with gaming in mind, where as intels dual core was made with media in mind. statistically and performance wise, PS3 will be superior, but I think Xbox360 will have a better lineup.

But id put money on it, its not gunna have a PPU.

Variation-XBA
04-27-2005, 02:31 AM
They need this kinda stuff to go into MMO's

Reclaimer
04-27-2005, 02:58 AM
You know.. all this sounds nice. But the true test is wether a game house can put out some games that utilize everything to it's fullest extent. Or, are we going to get a bunch of games for the first 6 months that cautiously experiment with how the 360 works.

Look at the current Xbox. The box had some good hardware at that time. But for a very long time we had strings of games that never really took full advantage of what the X could offer. It feels like until recently, look at the games that have been coming out and how they've changed from day one.
Look at Halo CE to Halo 2. Look at PGR to PGR2. Ghost Recon to GR2.

They can tell me all this mumbojumbo about what the 360 has. But what I'm hoping for is some solid games right out at day 1 that uses all this stuff. Because it sucks having to wait to nearly the end of the console's life cycle to start getting the good games.

SamSmith
04-27-2005, 10:00 AM
They can tell me all this mumbojumbo about what the 360 has. But what I'm hoping for is some solid games right out at day 1 that uses all this stuff. Because it sucks having to wait to nearly the end of the console's life cycle to start getting the good games.

i know exactly what you mean... and thats why i kind of got a bit worried that halo3 might be coming out at the beginning of the 360... but i think that with XNA, developers will be able to use the full extent of the console right from the start.

Sammael
04-27-2005, 11:26 AM
lol....im not a PS fanboy or anything, but the PS3 looks like its going to kick the crap outta xbox. The cell processor should be increadable. MS is just using PC hardware. A dual core pentium in xbox360 is a gimmick....single core processors are better in gaming. The Cell processor however, is like 8 cores, and that has been made with gaming in mind, where as intels dual core was made with media in mind. statistically and performance wise, PS3 will be superior, but I think Xbox360 will have a better lineup.

But id put money on it, its not gunna have a PPU.


Errrr wrong again... The Cell is nothing more then Sony hype. God I remember all the hype around "The Emotion Engine" please what a piece of crap..


Report: Cell Processor Impressive, but Not an Intel Killer
By: César A. Berardini - "Cesar"
Apr. 27th, 2005 5:34 am
A closely guarded secret for five years, IBM's Cell processor has finally been unveiled, and the chip is expected to have a major impact on the videogame market, reports In-Stat.

The goal of Cell developers was to create a new architecture that could process the next generation of broadband media and graphics with greater efficiency than the traditional approaches of ultradeep pipelines and the ganging of numerous complex and power-inefficient, out-of-order RISC or CISC cores, the high-tech market research firm said.

The chip will be a major part of Sony's next generation console, and may have other applications, but is unlikely to encroach dramatically on Intel's territory.


"Some have called Cell an Intel killer, which is completely ridiculous," said Kevin Krewell, In-Stat analyst. "The only place where the Cell processor can be considered competition for Intel will be where the Sony Next Generation Game Console competes with the Media Center PC."

A recent report by In-Stat found the following:

* The total combined PlayStation 3, Xbox 2 & Revolution revenue forecast will rise from $1.1 billion in 2005 to $9.4 billion in 2008.

* Most of the actual chips in the Cell family are unannounced. The only announced product from the family is the version to be placed in Sony's PlayStation 3.

* Overall, Sony will remain the market leader in the next generation of consoles with its release of the PlayStation 3. In-Stat expects both Microsoft and Nintendo to close the gap and release next-generation consoles of their own.


The report, "Cell Processors: Separating Reality from Hype", is the first report published from In-Stat's new Emerging Semiconductor Chips & Applications service. The report covers the worldwide market for IBM's Cell processor. It includes technical analysis of the chip, along with a look at how it will fare in various markets. For more information on this report, please visit this address or contact Tina Sheltra at 480-609-4531, or tina.sheltra@reedbusiness.com. The report price is $2,495.

AlphaRaptor
04-27-2005, 11:41 AM
Why are all you compairing Cell to intel? Xbox 360 doesn't even use intel CPU's, it uses three powerPC CPU's.

And...how many times do I gotta say it, THE CPU ISN"T WHERE THE POWER IS GUYS! The Xbox doesn't get its power from the slow 733mhz P3 does it? It comes from its Nvidia powered video card.

Like hitting a brick wall heh :bang: :bang:

Sammael
04-27-2005, 12:05 PM
I <3 you!

GuiltySpark
04-27-2005, 12:20 PM
Sorry, but I didn't see anything in their that said this would be part of the 360. You are indulging in wishful thinking friend....

Just because it might be out around the same time, doesn't mean there's even a slight chanve it would be included. Idle specualtion in pointless, we will wait until e3....

AlphaRaptor
04-27-2005, 01:57 PM
Yes....we shall see at the E3.. ;)

Whisper
04-27-2005, 02:17 PM
i just wanna play it.

mattgame
04-27-2005, 02:49 PM
i just wanna play it.

Ditto.