Feeds

Nvidia pitches physics-on-GPU code

Games to get more real?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Nvidia will this week show in-game physics code calculations being run on a graphics processor, the first time this has been done in public, the company claimed today. When the technique is implemented in future games, the benefit for players will be more realistic virtual worlds, Nvidia said.

The process uses code from physics and character animation middleware maker Havok. Its Havok FX software provides an API for the mathematics games need to perform to work out how objects physically interact with each other - the effect of gravity, friction, mass, elasticity and so on. Havok FX runs these calculations on the host computer's GPU rather the main processor. Havok's approach frees up the CPU to focus on ever more complex artificial intelligence calculations.

Nvidia likes the technique because it provides another job for its graphics chips to do. With high frame rates at high definition resolutions and the ability to do complex rendering effects all pretty much sorted out, the law of diminishing returns is kicking in, leaving the latest products providing less of a leap forward than previous generations of products achieved over their predecessors. Nvidia needs new tasks for its GPUs to perform if it's to continue to make the latest upgrade attractive to gamers.

Havok FX ties leverages the GPU using Shader Model 3.0 rendering instructions, so it's as applicable to ATI's latest GPUs as it is to Nvidia's, of course. That didn't stop Nvidia saying how well the code works on its GeForce 6- and 7-series GPUs, even in SLI mode.

Of course, mult-core processors and multi-threaded game code capable of using all of the CPU's processing engines may render Havok's technique redundant, which is why it's pitching the system at special effects rather than game-play physics. The company sees the code controlling, say, fountains of objects rather than what happens when the player shoots at something. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi
These are the movement detection devices you're looking for
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?