Nearly in one and a half years after the release of the world’s first dedicated physics processing unit (PPU) by Ageia there are still no games that takes advantage of PhysX hardware. But in fact, the things may remain on the current level forever, as at least one leading developer of games does not believe that standalone PPUs have future.
“I am not a believer in dedicated PPUs. Multiple CPU cores will be much more useful in general, but when GPUs finally get reasonably fine grained context switching and scheduling, some tasks will work well there,” said John Carmack, the head programmer of id Software, in an interview with Boot Daily web-site.
Currently Ageia PhysX mostly competes against central processing units, which at this point cannot process the effects similar to PhysX PPU. However, this cannot be actually called competition, as very few games benefit from PPUs these days. But going forward Ageia will have to battle with physics processing done on graphics processing units, thanks to improvements made in Microsoft DirectX application programming interface which is expected to support physics in future.
Even though Mr. Carmack, who is behind such titles as Doom or Quake does not believe in the success of PPUs, the next-generation Unreal Tournament 3 from id’s competitor Epic will actually support Ageia PhysX chips.