by Anton Shilov
11/28/2005 | 07:56 PM
AGEIA, a privately held company that develops accelerators of effects physics for games and other applications, originally promised to start selling its PhysX physics processing units (PPUs) in December, 2005. But November is now virtually over, there are no indications about physics accelerators approaching the market and some web-sites suggest that they are only now scheduled to emerge in February, 2006.
Several suppliers of hardware for gamers, including ASUSTeK Computer and BFG Technologies were supposed to begin selling accelerators of game effects physics in the fourth quarter, which, in the most conservative way, means December, 2005, just in time to feed gamers with accelerators that speed up effects physics in games that use AGEIA’s technology. Nevertheless, the aforementioned companies have not announced beginning of hardware shipments, whereas AGEIA has not announced availability of a single game that takes advantage of the PhysX PPU.
CoolTechZone web-site claims that particularly ASUSTeK Computer is only projected to launch its PhysX accelerator in February, 2006, after at least some games that benefit from the PPU are available. The publication has managed to get a comment from ASUSTeK on the matter, which is reported to have said that the cards had been “ready internally for quite some time”, but ASUS did not feel “the right time was there for mass production and a global launch due to limited game compatibility”.
AGEIA did not immediately respond on an email seeking for comment.
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 cards based on the new AGEIA PhysX processor were supposed to start sampling in Q3 2005, and emerge in retail in Q4 at the price between $249 and $299, it was revealed earlier this year.