by Rob Williams on July 27, 2005 in Industry Interviews
AGEIA is a company with huge ideas. They plan to make our gaming experiences much more immersive with their PhysX add-in card. We sit down and chat with Andy Keane to answer some burning questions.
Techgage: Adding to the previous question. Has there been given much thought about a potential bundle to be included with the card upon launch? If not games, but even interactive demos that utilize NovodeX?
Andy Keane: Yes, there will be interactive demos and possibly bundles. Those are to be determined, and ultimately it will be up to the board provider.
Techgage: Has anything specific to the card changed spec wise, since we have last heard? Does the 125 Million Transistor count, 0.13m process, with 128MB GDDR3 memory, still hold true?
Andy Keane: No changes.
Techgage: It has been mentioned before, that you are not planning to produce PCI-Express versions of the card at launch. Granted, we don’t need the extra bandwidth right now, but is there a specific reason why that’s not an option at launch? Would it potentially cost more to produce PCI-Express versions?
Andy Keane: The card will be PCI at launch. PCI express may be available in the future. The reason we chose PCI at this time is that the extra bandwidth is not needed immediately PCI express is still a young technology with some compatibility issues.
Techgage: You have already announced a few games that will support PhysX, including City of Villains, Unreal 3 and Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. Is it possible, and do you see it likely that some developers will add the support of NovodeX in current games, such as Valve with Half-Life 2 and id with Doom III?
Andy Keane: We are continuing to add partners on a regular basis. None of those specific titles have made any public commitments at this time. However, with the recent announcement of Sony using the AGEIA PhysX SDK standard on Playstation3, the development community will be exposed to the technology on a wide scale.
Techgage: It’s well known that game modifications are a huge thing. We have seen countless Half-Life and Unreal Tournament total conversions and modifications in the past. Will modders be able to take advantage of NovodeX? Or will it be the developers choice to include the functions in their level editors?
Andy Keane: Yes, modders will be able to take advantage of the AGEIA PhysX SDK (also known as NovodeX).
Techgage: Due to current limitations of even the highest end CPU’s, they cannot handle the extreme physics in the demos you’ve showcased. With the introduction of Dual Core CPU’s, is there now less of a need for PPU?
Andy Keane: No. In fact, there is a great benefit to pairing Dual Core CPUs with a PhysX processor. Even if you use the full bandwidth of the Dual Core processors, games can only display about 1,000 rigid bodies. The PhysX processor will handle up to 32,000.