Techgage: As most gamers know, after buying a top end video card, we see a better one come on the market very quickly. Do you expect the PhysX card to head in the same direction, with regular revisions and upgrades just like the GPUs? Or will most of the updates/upgrades be via the drivers?
Andy Keane: Revisions to the PhysX processor will come by adding new features such as Soft Body Simulation, Hair, Finite Element Analysis, etc. Therefore, those changes will make their way into the PhysX processor at a reasonable pace, and will require implementation into games over time.
Techgage: Some people do their best to keep their computers quiet and cool. From an available picture of the card, we see that it includes a copper heatsink and fan. Are you able to tell us what the fan is rated at (CFM, RPM), and how hot the PPU can potentially get at load?
Andy Keane: The total power consumption for the board is around 28 watts. The fans and cooling will be appropriate to that, and therefore we don’t expect power and cooling to cause any related issues.
Techgage: Many people out there may be wondering why the PhysX is being developed as an add-in card, and not built straight into the graphics card. Is there a reason for this.. lack of initial support from ATI and NVIDIA? Or is this something you are considering for the future?
Andy Keane: An integrated graphics/physics card could be possible in the future. The first round of product will be available as a stand alone card. The PhysX architecture is very flexible and is applicable for motherboards and more.
Techgage: Lastly, we already know that the card is set to launch late in the year. Can you tell us when we can expect to hear more announcements about the card before then?
Andy Keane: We will be at the Siggraph tradeshow at the beginning of August. We will have more news then, and we will continue to make announcements as they are relevant.
I’d thank to thank Andy for taking the time to answer our questions! As skeptical as I am about such a ‘revolution’, I have to admit that I am really looking forward to this card. Albeit expensive, it may become the killer add-in ‘toy’. AGEIA certainly has a lot to live up to, but when we see some companies as Epic and Sony jumping in on the PhysX bandwagon, it’s hard to think that this will not take off. If they put that kind of trust into this technology, it definitely shows a great future.
If you are interested in seeing some actual demos of the capabilities of the PhysX, you can download these following demos. The first is an AVI and requires the DivX codec. The others are Bink Video and can run straight from the executable.
We hope to see the PhysX card hit it’s holiday release date. We will continue to post news about the card as it’s released, and will have an in-depth review once the cards released.
If you wish to speak your mind about this interview, please feel free to post in our related forum thread. Registration is not required, but welcomed. Specific comments that you wish to be directed in private, you can e-mail them to rob [dot] williams [at] techgage [dot] com.