AGEIA Sets Pricing on PhysX Add-In Cards

Physics Processing Unit to Cost Below $300

by Anton Shilov
05/20/2005 | 03:42 AM

Representatives for AGEIA, a developer of the so-called physics processing units, at the E3 show disclosed official recommended pricing of the world’s first PhysX add-in cards that will be available late this year. With rising prices for powerful microprocessors and graphics cards as well as additional cost of physics processing unit, PC gaming seems to be becoming a rather expensive entertainment.

 

The cards based on the new AGEIA PhysX processor will start sampling in Q3 2005, and when they appear in retail in Q4 their price is supposed to be between $249 and $299, according to X-bit labs report from E3 show in Los Angeles, California.

AGEIA’s PhysX is the world’s first Physics Processing Unit (PPU), which offloads software physics processing from central processing units and graphics processing units to it. The architecture of the PhysX PPU is tailored for multi-threaded processing of vertexes, which allows game creators to develop detailed, soft and precise animation and simulation of movements, hair, clothing, liquids, fluids and other. Currently AGEIA PhysX is the world’s first and only dedicated physics processing unit, but the company expects more startups to offer similar technology.

The PhysX chip will be manufactured with 0.13 micron technology at TSMC, and the 182sq.mm die will host 125 million transistors, which is larger than that of mainstream graphics processing units, such as ATI RADEON X700. 

The designer of the PhysX co-processor claims that the first games to be use capabilities of the chip will be out by year end, at the same time gamers will be able to get the add-in board.

While the cost of AGEIA PhysX add-in card may sound reasonable by itself, it should be noted that gamers tend to get the best or nearly the best possible hardware for their computers. Currently the high-performance graphics cards cost from $399 to $549, whereas high-performance microprocessors start at about $400 and end at over $1000.

The summarized cost of processing components for a powerful gaming PC in this case would be from $1048, which is a price of an office computer.