Anti-competitive Actions (PhysX) by Nvidia - class action?

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by Mize, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    10,428
    Likes Received:
    425
    Location:
    New York
    The courts will look at the entire graphics card market, of which Nvidia is laughably far away from having a monopoly. They have what - 25%?
     
  2. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    I'm not following you. Sorry.

    When I play Batman:AA or Cryostasis with my NV GPU doing PhysX and my ATI GPU doing rendering, is the data going directly between them or is the game requesting physics and then sending that to the renderer? Direct communication would justify NV position.

    And, if heterogeneous is so darned complicated, why does a hack of the internet work to enable it?
     
  3. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    However, for example, VW's 'monopoly' on Beetle sales are not leveragable into the sales of tires. You can't say that your Beetle is only allowed to use VW-branded tires, and if you don't, the car won't start.

    I hate automotive analogies, they never really work for computers.

    :(
     
  4. CarstenS

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,797
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Location:
    Germany
    When your Physics-GPU is doing physics, how does the rendering-gpu know where all the stuff, i.e. particles, debris is ending up in the scene? Somehow it has to get the data, be it from the cpu or from the other gpu. In the end it does not matter if they (try to) communicate directly (which i assume) or via the cpu/chipset infrastructure. The expanded data (turned from a "here's a particle system, please compute their positions" to a "here's a 100k particles readily computed, where can i dump their individual positions") has to leave the GPU where it was calculated. This is where Nvidia will have additional work. Obviously, this can be done somehow as Nvidia shows when using a second Geforce dedicated for physics but not SLI'ed. But in what format they transmit the data between the two, no one except the satan clara guys can tell. Who knows - maybe they're using a proprietary format?

    WRT to the driver hacks: It took endless years for reference drivers to support notebook chips, all the while there was this great tool from Patje at driverheaven to mod the regular Catalysts for Mobility Radeons. So, just because it somehow works does not mean, there's no QA to be done when you're in a position of being required to provide a certain level of support (as the IHVs are).

    But they where on the cars stereo for example, if it used a patended connector. (Like most inkjet vendors have resorted to, after their business model of selling hardware cheap and making ink expensive was killed by third party ink vendors)
     
  5. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    What's their market penetration on "PhysX" ?

    ;)
     
  6. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Related note: (and I actually do like and own many NV products) how is it that Intel got slammed for paying vendors to use their chips over AMD but NV can pay developers to optimize for their hardware or use PhysX...? fine lines eh?
     
  7. CarstenS

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,797
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Location:
    Germany
    It's hard not to have a monopoly on your patented, proprietary technology, isn't it? What's AMDs market penetration for Avivo Video? ;)
     
  8. CarstenS

    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,797
    Likes Received:
    2,056
    Location:
    Germany
    Must have missed the proof on that. So far, we have only Huddys interview.
     
  9. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
    Moderator Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    5,048
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    I was under the (false?) impressing that TWIWMTBP meant nvidia subsidized. Is that not correct?
     
  10. Tridam

    Regular Subscriber

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    541
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
    In the basic case the data is actually transferred to the host system then back to the GPU ;) That's how PhysX works. However Nvidia has some hacks to avoid that, but I'm not sure they used these in games.

    Anyway everything has to be transferable to support PhysX on a dedicated GeForce.

    The support stuff reason is bullshit.
     
  11. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    10,428
    Likes Received:
    425
    Location:
    New York
    The vendors are directly in Intel's supply chain. Developers make complementary products. Not similiar at all.
     
  12. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    35.1415,-90.056
    Indeed, which is why the VW analogy was a bit flawed too. In both cases, the vendor truly owns the patent and the technology AND the implementation, which means they're able to distribute as they see fit.

    The gray area becomes what happens when they take action with their product that you didn't sign up for. If your car dies because it's interfacing with the "wrong" tires, is that acceptable? (Again, I hate this analogy, but you started it so... ;) ) If NV kills their card that you were attempting to use for PhysX because it's interfacing with the "wrong" video output device, is that acceptable?

    Either way, it's not very clear cut. The technology obviously works; if PhysX necessitates a hook directly into the video rendering device, then it's seemingly not having any problems with ATI at this moment (and right now, the "hack" is only overriding the vendor ID string and not translating any API calls or any other man-in-the-middle interception.) So either your suggestion of a technology limitation is something that's entirely possible but also entirely unused right now, or isn't a limitation at all.

    Who actually knows this? To your original point, only those folks in Santa Clara...
     
  13. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    That's why the PCIe stickers are important. They are there to prevent this sort of shenanigans, among other things.
     
  14. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    Well, they do that all the time, but with their compilers. FTC and AMD don't like it very much.
     
  15. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    Ummm....., no.
     
  16. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    Antitrust laws don't apply until you have market dominance.

    IOW, small fish are exempt from antitrust laws, as they should be.
     
  17. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    9,975
    Likes Received:
    1,491
    Last I checked only nvidia makes physics cards. So its anti competitive that they are now using that monoply to force people to use nvidia graphics cards.

    I'm sure its against the law to do so. After all MS had a monoply in the OS market and used that to push out web browser competitors.

    Personaly I don't like that I'd have to jump through hoops to get my physics card to work with my gpu because I didn't buy a nvidia gpu. Esp when its already shown that it works fine with just a driver hack.
     
  18. rpg.314

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /
    Whatever nv's products are, they are certainly not physics cards. Good luck with your argument in the court though. :cool:
     
  19. flynn

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those numbers don't really mean anything. A lot small devs use PhysX because it's free, and the number of AA titles using it is not that impressive. Batman: AA is the poster child of PhysX.

    Even on PS3 titles I see Havok all the time despite PhysX being bundled with the PS3 SDK.

    IMHO it would be foolish to swap your perfectly functioning ATI card for an NV part just to get more eye candy in a few titles. If NV wants to pull a Glide let them, all this will be history when DirectCompute/OpenCL physics solvers hit the market.
     
  20. eastmen

    Legend Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    9,975
    Likes Received:
    1,491
    Nvidia claims they are. Its in the specs and on the boxes.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...