Ageia Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to delivering pervasive interactive reality to next-generation games, today announced its PhysX hardware chipset alongside the latest version of its NovodeX™ Physics SDK, a powerful middleware physics software engine for creating dynamic physical environments on all major game platforms.
The NovodeX Physics SDK is the first and only asynchronous (multithreaded) physics API capable of unleashing the power of multiprocessor gaming systems. It also is the only SDK to offer comprehensive API support for the first-ever physics processing unit, Ageia’s PhysX chip.
The PhysX chip, due to launch as a PC add-on card later this year, is intended to be a stand-alone PPU (physics processing unit) in the same way that the GPU is currently purchased on graphics cards, and Ageia is leveraging its NovodeX Physics SDK to allow game creators to make both software and optional hardware-enhanced levels and games.
By performing advanced physics simulations in real-time, the PPU can respond to gamer actions as well as environments contributing to pervasive interactive reality. By introducing dramatic amounts of physics, games can now react uniquely to each input adding a tremendous variety of game play. Physics will offer a host of advanced features including universal collision detection, rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics, fluid dynamics, smart particle systems, clothing simulation, soft-body deformation with tearing, and brittle fracturing for destruction of objects in gaming environments.
“The NovodeX Physics SDK has been available for over a year, which has given game developers a head start in implementing game features that will leverage the hardware acceleration of the PhysX chip,” said Manju Hegde, CEO and co-founder of Ageia. “Because of this strategy, we expect to see top-tier game titles in the market by Christmas 2005 that can take advantage of hardware acceleration and deliver unprecedented interactive realism.”
“We considered many options in our search for a powerful physics engine for the next generation of games, but none impressed us in performance and capabilities as the NovodeX Physics SDK,” said Tim Johnson, technical director at Artificial Studios. “Our artists will now have the ability to create realistic character interaction and movement that they only dreamed of in the past. NovodeX is very easy to implement and integrate into our existing workflow, and the support from AGEIA has been tremendous.”
The game industry has been quick to realize the power of the NovodeX SDK, with leading publishers such as Atari, Sega, and Ubisoft offering support. NovodeX also provides plug-in interfaces for major 3D tools vendors, enabling animators to view their work in a familiar environment. Major game developers are also on board with NovodeX, such as Big Huge Games, Artificial Studios and Epic Games, who recently incorporated NovodeX into their acclaimed Unreal Engine 3.