Feeds

Asus to ship Ageia PhysX add-in boards

First CPU, then GPU, now PPU

The Power of One Infographic

Asus will begin shipping a dedicated physics processing board based on Ageia's PhysX PPU in May, the company said today. The card contains 256MB of memory dedicated to environment calculations designed to make virtual worlds feel more real to game players.

Ageia announced PhysX last week. It claims that 60 developers - including UbiSoft, Cryptic Studios, NCSoft, Epic Games and Sega - are working on 100 games with support for the company's physics calculation API.

asus ageia physx board

PhysX can not only take the burden of calculating physical effects off the main processor, but can dedicate more compute power to the task than the CPU can, Ageia said. The upshot will be worlds that work in more realistic ways: explosions can generate dust and debris; cloth can hang, tear and move when touched the way it does in the real world; smoke and fog can be wafted away as objects move through it; trees and litter can be blown by the wind; and objects can be damaged in a variety of random ways, to different extents.

Of course, there's competition. Both Nvidia and ATI recently touted ways their GPUs can be harnessed to handle such physics calculations, particularly when they're operating co-operatively in SLI/Crossfire mode. As they evolve their respective GPU families, both companies are going to be able to devote more processing cycles to non-graphical tasks.

The question is, will games developers support and gamers buy Ageia's single-purpose boards, or will they prefer to devote resources and cash to graphics cards they're going to have to buy anyway? ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.