Summary: Yesterday we had a chance to discuss the details of the AGEIA acquisition with NVIDIA PR head Derek Perez. Why did NVIDIA decide to purchase AGEIA and what kind of future products can we expect from the company? All these questions and more are asked inside!
FiringSquad: First, how did the NVIDIA-AGEIA deal come about? Did NVIDIA approach AGEIA or was it the other way around?
Derek Perez:: We've had a relationship with AGEIA for years, and it just happened to all come together.
FiringSquad: Why does NVIDIA believe that purchasing AGEIA to be a good idea at this point in time?
Derek Perez:: There are both short term and long term reasons for partnering up with AGEIA.
First, as many of you know, AGEIA is the industry leader in gaming physics technology. AGEIA's PhysX software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active developers using the PhysX SDK. AGEIA is also credited with developing the world’s first dedicated hardware physics processor, the AGEIA PhysX processor.
Both AGEIA and NVIDIA share the same commitment and passion for making the gaming experience dynamic and vivid. The combination of graphics and physics impacts the way a virtual world looks and behaves, thus driving the end-user experience, and by combining AGEIA’s powerful PhysX technology with NVIDIA’s industry-leading GPU architectures, we will ensure that gamers and developers alike take advantage of the most compelling physics on the market.
Second, the computer industry is moving towards a heterogeneous computing model, combining a flexible CPU and a massively parallel processor like the GPU to perform computationally intensive applications like real-time computer graphics. Physics is a natural for processing on the GPU because, like graphics, it is made up of thousands of parallel computations, and with our CUDA technology, which is rapidly becoming one of the most pervasive parallel computing programming environments in history, we can open this exciting parallel processing world to applications desperate for a giant step in computing performance—such as physics processing, computer vision, video/image processing, and a world of exciting applications we’ve not yet imagined.
Both of those scenarios are pretty exciting.
FiringSquad: Is NVIDIA revealing any of the specific financial terms of the purchase of AGEIA?
Derek Perez:: Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FiringSquad: Will NVIDIA continue to support the previously released AGEIA PhysX hardware cards with new drivers and updates?
Derek Perez:: We will continue to support the current line of Ageia products that are on the market today.
FiringSquad: AGEIA announced plans at CES to release more new special PhysX levels for Unreal Tournament 3 in addition to the two that have already been released. What is the status of those plans?
Derek Perez:: We will still release those levels...stay tuned.
FiringSquad: The PhysX software is used in a number of games. How will NVIDIA continue to support and upgrade the current PhysX software?
Derek Perez:: NVIDIA is committed to creating and supporting a development environment that enables the pervasive use of PhysX technology and innovative implementations of physics in gaming on today’s PPU, CPU, and in the future, the GPU. We will support AGEIA's PPU customer commitments as well as future business as demand dictates. In parallel we are going to enable GPU Physics as soon as possible.
FiringSquad: Are there any plans to release new stand alone PhysX graphics chips or will AGEIA's technology be integrated into new NVIDIA GeForce graphics chips or nForce motherboards?
Derek Perez:: We have no announcements at this time.
FiringSquad: A number of months ago Intel bought game physics software company Havok. Is this move by NVIDIA today a direct response to Intel's move?
Derek Perez:: This is quite different than the Intel announcement...
First, AGEIA designed its multithreaded PhysX software specifically for hardware acceleration in massively parallel environments. NVIDIA’s GPUs are well-suited to take advantage of PhysX software and AGEIA’s expertise.
Second, NVIDIA is committed to enabling pervasive physics through open platform initiatives. Finally, we believe the GPU architecture is a more natural fit than a CPU for the highly parallel and interactive nature of physics.
FiringSquad: Looking forward, what are NVIDIA's plans for creating better in-game physics effects?
Derek Perez:: Physics is one of the next great opportunities for gaming innovation. It is a substantial and visceral differentiator for game developers and a tremendous improvement to the gaming experience. The combination of NVIDIA and AGEIA technologies will deliver that next-generation experience.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about this new NVIDIA acquisition and what it means for the company and for game development in general?
Derek Perez:: We're really excited about this announcement. AGEIA has a world class team and a culture, based on a passion for innovation that will fit nicely with ours. We are delighted to have them as part of the NVIDIA family.
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