ATI Teams Up with Pixelux Entertainment for OpenCL, DirectCompute 11 Physics Engines

ATI Announces “Open” Physics Initiative

by Anton Shilov
09/30/2009 | 09:48 AM

ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, said on Wednesday that it had teamed up with Pixelux Entertainment to enable Bullet Physics and Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) physics engine compatible with industry-standard DirectCompute 11 and OpenCL application programming interfaces. The so-called “open physics initiative” will allow games to compute physics effects on highly-parallel graphics processing units (GPUs) from ATI, Intel, Nvidia or S3 Graphics.

Pixelux is a specilist in material physics simulation based on the Finite Element Method. After many years of exclusivity, Pixelux has announced it will be providing a new version of its Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) System that can be licensed by anyone and that more easily integrates with other physics systems. This new version of DMM will feature integration with the free and open source Bullet Physics engine. DMM and Bullet are designed to operate together to enable players to experience visually and kinetically realistic worlds where objects react as they do in real-life. The combination of DMM and Bullet Physics is designed to offer robust physics solution for game developers to enable new level of realism in future titles.


“Pixelux wants to ensure that our technology can take advantage of the computing resources that any particular hardware platform offers without locking in our users to any single platform. By working with AMD to run our software in OpenCL we stay true to that goal,” said Mitchell Bunnell, chief executive officer of Pixelux.

ATI/AMD will help Pixelux to optimize the DMM and Bullet Physics engines for OpenCL and DirectCompute 11 APIs, which will eventually allow games to take more advantage of AMD microprocessors and ATI Radeon graphics chips. At present BulletPhysics can already take advantage of various highly-parallel architectures, including x86 multi-core processors, Nvidia CUDA, IBM Power/Xbox 360 microprocessor, OpenCL, Sony Cell and so on.

“Proprietary physics solutions divide consumers and ISVs, while stifling true innovation; our competitors even develop code that they themselves admit will not work on hardware other than theirs. By working with Pixelux and others to enable open support of physics on OpenCL and DirectX 11 capable devices we are taking the exact opposite approach,” said Eric Demers, chief technology officer for graphics at AMD.