AGEIA Technologies Interview on PhysX PPU and Novodex API

Discussion in 'GPGPU Technology & Programming' started by Megadrive1988, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Megadrive1988

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    thanks to Cesar on teamxbox.com and teamxbox forums for this:


    page 1 of a 4 page interview on with AGEIA Technologies


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Karma Police

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    I like that Intel is working with them. Makes me think that even Intel believes in the CPU/PPU/GPU triangle.
     
  3. Megadrive1988

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    from page 3:

    even if Xenon / Xbox360 does not have a PPU, I'd expect that Xbox3 will probably have a next-generation PPU, maybe AGEIA's 2nd or 3rd generation PPU. and perhaps there will be a console inbetween Xbox360-PS3 and Xbox3-PS4, with a next-gen PPU.
     
  4. jvd

    jvd
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    I hope this doesn't need active cooling. If its passive i will buy it
     
  5. Megadrive1988

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    from page 4:

    :shock:

    someone on txf said: Holy crap. More fuel to the fire. This would be a major coup. It wouldn't matter how powerful the Cell is if X360 has a PPU. Let that marinate.



    still don't think that an actual PPU will be used in Xbox2

    my guess:

    Xbox2: "software PPU" with the Novodex API
    Xbox3: next generation PPU in hardware
     
  6. Farid

    Farid Artist formely known as Vysez
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    As long as the next-gen consoles have not been publicly presented and then released, there's still hope for Ageia to be in one machine. But at this point, it's just that, hope.

    You know better than that Megadrive, you know that a fixed function physic IC on a machine, would be helpful for physic calculations only, while a powerful CPU (Be it Cell or the XeCPU) can be useful for a hell lot more things.

    Software PPU = plain vanilla physic engine.
    Also, the Novodex middleware tools are already available for today's platforms. And it's not better/more efficient than say the Havok engine, by the way.

    And for the next generation, once again, why would MS choose fixed function over more general purpose calculation power, for their physic needs?
     
  7. Megadrive1988

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    ahh that's true, I have to agree with Vysez, It's not going to be worth it to implement fixed function silicon on Xenon when the multi-core CPU can do all of that physics processing and more (as good as needed for nextgen games).


    but since those comments arose...
     
  8. nelg

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    I still believe that this relates to that “MS asked IBM to integrate something into the CPU that they had difficulty withâ€￾ comment that, IIRC, Dave made.

    NB. recall is from my poor memory :lol:

    Edit it was Deano
     
  9. jvd

    jvd
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    well having a ppu in there will free up the xcpu to concentrate on other things mabye combined it can out perform the cell that will have the shoulder physics and other things.

    However i really doubt a full ppu will be in the xenon , mabye a cut back ppu
     
  10. GwymWeepa

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    What's the likelyhood that one of the cores in Xenon could be made more efficient at physics, but still be a general purpose cpu if needed? The PPU pretty much only does physics, and does it amazingly well, can a PPC chip be made to be just a real good physics chip and a reasonably good CPU backed up by 2 great CPU's?
     
  11. bbot

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  12. EndR

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    Why do people say that xenon basically don´t need a PPU because it has a powerful multicore setup?

    I mean, having a PPU would let the multicore setup being free from the physics-stuff and therefore, more power can be used for AI, graphics and such...

    or am I on a limb here?
     
  13. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    I think the Why? is that a PPU is going to be extremely effecient at performing physics ops. IF MS felt they needed silicone to compete with the CELL SPEs for physics (and leaving the 3 PPC cores for general processing and the vector engines for Geometry and AI) to level the field they could have looked at this. I am not sure the X2 needs it as it is a very powerful machine in its own right. But a PPU would leave ~80-100GFLOPs to geometry and AI, while performing Physics at an extremely high level. This would be a little less flexible, but would also give a lot of power to all three general areas of performance. Physics is a big deal next gen, so a Console maker may try to capitolize on that by making it easier/more powerful.
     
  14. Brimstone

    Brimstone B3D Shockwave Rider
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    Yep.


    A PPU in the X-Box 360 would crush even a 2 core 16 spu PS3.
     
  15. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    What are the specs of this PPU? How many FLOPS, clock frequency, does it have own memory...?
     
  16. Farid

    Farid Artist formely known as Vysez
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    Of course, having a powerful CPU and a PPU would a be a great thing.

    But having 4 High End GPUs each with 64MB of eDRAM, 4GB of main system RAM (bleeding edge XDR, if possible), a 200GB HDD, a fixed function IC for Raytracing, a BRD drive plus a HD-DVD drive so you don't care which format win, would also be great thing. :wink:

    If you have a budget of x dollars for your machine, trade-offs have to be made. If you can have a PPU of z millions of transistors, then you can also have a CPU of z millions of transistors for the same price (I'm simplifying things here, but the point remains the same).

    Therefore, you'd have to choose between a fixed function unit, that will not be used to its full potential in all games (not all games needs extensive physic model), the PPU, or general purpose IC, that can be used to calculate physics when needed, but can also calculate sounds, AI, geometry, when the game doesn't need physics, A CPU.

    Personaly, at this point in time, where physic engines are still evolving rapidly, and where a majority of games, by their nature, don't needs complex physic, I would choose a CPU over a PPU any day.
     
  17. kyetech

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    YEAH BUT .... it FREES UP the CPU, so that it will compete much closer to cell.... so in effect same difference !!
     
  18. pc999

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    1- Today games dont need those physics power, but next gen have right for their own reason to be next gen, and only gfx is not one
    ( for me at least AI, new inputs, and physics not in a particular order, and this would bring two of them to the table)

    2- Fixed function is not very good, but it is a start (MS slids from GDC shows that they at least considered the chance)

    3- a PPU should not cost more to produce than ~1/2 of the CELL, and if you assume that are PPEs the XeCPUs cores you can it would be less or ~ equal the cost of prodution. And lisencing MS helps with the desktop and take a PPU almost for free.


    So I think there is a good chance for a XePPU.
    It would be nice if it is programable but...
     
  19. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    All we know is that the chip they have for the PC is 130nm w/ 125M transistors, consumes 25W of power, and uses 128MB of GDDR3. They are estimating the PPU can calculate 40-50k rigid bodies/second. From the context I understood that to be "full featured" calculations. (Btw, all from memory so please forgive any mistakes). It was estimated the PPU would be out in fall, but no price point is set yet.

    Whether it has already been shrunk to 90nm, if the 125M is the high end, low end, or if the memory pool is because PC memory is too slow (DDR is 3.2GB/s and shared, dual channel is 6.4GB/s) or if it requires a ton of memory space we do not know.

    We also have no performance numbers or any real hard facts. All we know is that the Novodex physics engine has a software implimentation like Havok/Havok 2 (and the other one that starts with an "m") and it also works with the PPU.

    Personally I hope that if it ends up in a console the hardware is an open standard, meaning Havok can be compiled to use the HW also.
     
  20. rabidrabbit

    rabidrabbit A Reformed Member
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    Ok, thanks.

    This
    just made me wonder if they had released some actual performance specs :)
     
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