Nvidia to Acquire AGEIA, Plans PhysX Integration

By Nick Breckon, Feb 04, 2008 3:06pm PST Hardware manufacturer Nvidia today announced its plans to acquire physics technology developer AGEIA, with the company stating it will integrate AGEIA's PhysX technology into its future line of GeForce graphics cards.

"By combining the teams that created the world's most pervasive GPU and physics engine brands, we can now bring GeForce-accelerated PhysX to hundreds of millions of gamers around the world," said Huang.

Founded in 2002, AGEIA made a name for itself by inventing the Physics Processing Unit (PPU) chip, the world's first dedicated hardware physics processor for personal computers. The company also develops physics software, boasting a list of over 140 games across multiple platforms that utilize PhysX technology.

"Nvidia is the perfect fit for us," added AGEIA CEO Manju Hegde. "They have the world's best parallel computing technology and are the thought leaders in GPUs and gaming. We are united by a common culture based on a passion for innovating and driving the consumer experience."

Processor manufacturer AMD was rumored to be eyeing AGEIA for purchase in November, but had since denied the claims. Competitor Intel picked up physics software developer Havok last September.

The deal is all but final, with only customary closing conditions in the way. More details of the acquisition will be available following Nvidia's quarterly conference call on Feb 13.

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26 Threads | 73 Comments

  • Meh, NV are buying them for the software/engineering resources it will probably be at least DX11 class hardware before you see anything dedicated to physics. Could be useful for something like a Playstation 4 many years from now.

    In the mean time Intel's Larrabee project is rumoured to be more a true general purpose GPU and probably handles physics just as well if not better. Imagine a card were Direct-X just becomes an API no need to change hardware, the only reason to buy a new Larrabee is because it is faster than the old one just like a CPU. If that were true that would be a big boost to PC gaming by removing another technological stumbling block.

    Anyway I think the whole physics is just a big pile of hype, the vast majority of PC gamers wont be running cutting edge GPU's that can do insane physics, the biggest selling PC games are the Sims and World of Warcraft which are hardly in need of such fancy effects. Most PC's will have a dual core CPU and developers would be better spending their resources targeting that than a proprietary GPU system owned by a small group of PC enthusiasts.

    If anything AMD was smart to not buy Agiea they already have very capable physics on GPU's via their own GP-GPU API, it's also an area NVIDIA's GPU's have been "less effective" at due to the architectural differences.

    Plus unless Microsoft steps in which they may not want to (anti-trust getting sued etc) a lot of devs prefer to roll their own physics or use middle ware so without some form of standardization GPU physics just like it is now will go nowhere.

  • This is a good thing for consumers. The natural home for physics computations is the video card since scale of physics calculations is proportional to the number of onscreen renderings. This is exactly the problems Ageia has encountered in its previous offerings -- you can put a physics accelerator into your machine but rendering speeds take (big) hit when you try to ramp up the number of discrete graphical elements. Now, under this new partnership arrangement, physics and graphics processing can be scaled together. AND, since people are going to buy new video cards (anyway), developers will now feel there's value in investing in physics-accelerated games. There's simply no other way this would have happened otherwise.

    GO nVIDIA!