Physics Processor - AGEIA (Cool Demo)

Discussion in 'GPGPU Technology & Programming' started by rwolf, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,928
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    See, this is the problem. It can't be cheap because there won't be a large market for it. And I don't believe there will be a huge wow factor like there was at the inception of 3D graphics to sell the cards.

    I feel that the only way we will see hardware dedicated to physics processing will be if it's integrated into either the CPU or GPU.
     
  2. Unknown Soldier

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    33
    There's gonna be more than one PPU?? I don't understand this. How will the cards differ?

    I would've thought the PPU would be one card only ... since it is doing physics. How can it do less physic's detection?

    *shakes head*

    I wouldn't mind buying a card .. but i'd want the main card .. but at a good price.

    US
     
  3. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,928
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Not sure what the issue here is. It's still a processor. You can always have a faster processor.

    That said, if this ever makes it to market, the first models will probably only be available in one flavor, since there just won't be enough volume to bother with other flavors.
     
  4. _xxx_

    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    More/less memory, different clock speeds...
     
  5. Unknown Soldier

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    33
    hmm.. that sucks.

    US
     
  6. TomW

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can't the PPU be used for things like making trees and grass react realistically to wind and movement? Can that be done with a PPU, and can it be done with just a dual core CPU? How about modelling friction properly? Deformable surfaces? A working trampoline, for example, or a springboard?

    How long is it before we have AI working out how to use an NPC's muscles to make him run, stand still or get up off the floor, and then full phsical modelling of those processes? Like Honda's robots, but in an artificial gameworld (and hence with none of the engineering problems)

    Tom
     
  7. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    10,536
    Likes Received:
    583
    Location:
    New York
    There are a couple demos on the website demonstrating the Novodex engine's handling of grass and friction.
     
  8. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,463
    Likes Received:
    1,915
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    Yes they will, people were buying SLI rigs before they were proven to work very well. ;)

    The $400 will be the "reviewer edition card" methinks, and the $200 one will be their bread-n-butter.

    Everyone here who plans to buy the bottom of the barrel card raise your hand. (The Dig looks around at the lack of hands) See? It's gonna be the mid-tier card that is gonna make/break 'em, so I expect it to be a pretty good value.
     
  9. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,463
    Likes Received:
    1,915
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    You really don't, do you? Can I ask why? The idea of sooo much more physics being added to a game flat out excites me just thinking about it, why do you believe it'll be a big load of nothing? :|

    (And I'm not trying to flame/fight you here Chal, I'm really curious.)
     
  10. davefb

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    manchester- UK
    i wonder how this is going to work for mulitplayer games?

    i can see it working with non-player interactive items.. but surely nobody expects it to have 10,000 or so items flying about ?

    especially if not everyone has the add in cards . . . . .
     
  11. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,928
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    1. You can do quite a lot of physics just with a normal CPU. Current physics engines are quite efficient. Things will get even better when multicore comes out.
    2. What, then, can you add that will leverage the power of a PPU, that couldn't also be done on just a faster CPU?

    And for my answer to two I will just point out how new features in video cards are first implemented. Consider the high dynamic range lighting in FarCry as an example (I think it's a fairly representative example, personally). In this game you have a system that looks awesome in some places, but just plain bad in others. This really has always been the hallmark of tacked-on features.

    See, 3D graphics was able to avoid this problem because all you have to do is design the game to run accelerated on the graphics card, and you get higher resolution and bilinear filtering for free. There was this immediate massive multiplication in visual quality that really made a good number of people willing to shell out a couple hundred dollars.

    With physics, however, there's nothing that easy. You can't just "turn it on," and so it will require much more developer effort. But developers aren't going to be willing to spend that much time on a product that few people have, and most won't buy. Most will only be willing to say something to the tune of, "Okay, now that Havok supports AGEIA, I'll go ahead and give users the option to make the cloth and water simulation in my game higher-resolution."

    Most users won't even be able to tell the difference. And many of those enthusiasts that might care would probably already have a fast enough CPU to turn these things up anyway.

    Keep in mind that I'm not saying that we shouldn't have better physics simulation. Of course we should. I just feel that it's going along fine, and that we have all the processing power we need in the CPU and the GPU to keep physics simulations moving forward well enough.
     
  12. Colourless

    Colourless Monochrome wench
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Somewhere in outback South Australia
    I imagine the difference would be something like this. With the card you would get much richer environments with more 'incidental' items that don't really do anything other than decorate the environment. They would all be able to be interacted with, even if they do nothing. Without it, the items would be fixed, if they are even there at all.
     
  13. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,928
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    And my argument against that sort of implemention is:
    1. We have games that allow interaction with rather large numbers of objects today. How is AGEIA going to help us beyond what faster CPU's will do naturally?
    2. How many game developers will be willing to spend the time to add in these extra objects for only a very few select users?
     
  14. Colourless

    Colourless Monochrome wench
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Somewhere in outback South Australia
    Yeah, I don't really know if it is a 'good' idea. Replying to your points:

    1) It all depends how much faster it actually is, and how much it costs. There is the posibility that it would allow somone with a slower processor to install a card and make their 'games' run better. Assuming that it costs less to buy a card then it would to get a new CPU

    2) Probably not very many, unless there was some marketting agreement.
     
  15. no_way

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    estonia
    Simple, the thing just needs its own killer application, like GLQuake was for initial 3D acceleration. You are probably looking in the wrong direction though, if you are expecting this killer app to be a next upcoming triple-A title from usual suspects.
    Perhaps here ... , perhaps something new entirely.
     
  16. flick556

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think Unreal Engine 3 support alone will give them a good bit of sales. The question in my mind is how the physics simulation will scale between those that have the ppu and those that don't. If developers are forced to choice to either add tons of geomatry with physics properties and only people with a ppu will get good performance or scale back for the cpu only people I think they will almost always choose the later. If UE3's caned effect systems scale well to take advantage of the ppu and scale down for people without it than I think many people will want one.

    Going forward this technology will likely become standard either integrated on the graphics card or the cpu
     
  17. nelg

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Toronto
    Don't forget that this is computer hardware we are talking about. Within six months they will cost $20. :lol:
     
  18. KimB

    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    12,928
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    You're making a statement without any consideration to why costs lower for most new products in the hardware market.

    Prices come down because of economies of scale. As more and more products of a certain type are produced, the marginal cost for producing one more becomes less and less (due largely to refinements in manufacturing and R&D costs that have been recouperated).

    If these things don't sell in volume, then the price cannot come down. Without really convincing lots of people that they really have to have the product, they just won't sell in volume.
     
  19. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    17,463
    Likes Received:
    1,915
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    And there in lies the entire difference in our opinion. :)

    I of the mind that the people making these cards know something we don't and this technology will have some serious whiz-bang/must have stuff come out with it, or else they wouldn't be doing it.

    You seem to be of the opinion that they're making these things and hoping they catch on in the industry.

    It really is a case of we won't know 'til we know. :)
     
  20. nelg

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Toronto
    Of course, but since the company has already given an estimate on pricing and has working chips without any further R&D they could produce them very cheap if they could get the requisite volume. I was thinking of this the other day, what if they gave MS a sweetheart deal to use them in the Xb2, an IP licence to cover development cost, they would then be able to produce them relatively cheap for other markets.
     
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...