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Old 12-03-09, 08:52 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Default Re: Would you like to ask Nvidia a question?

Heres the latest questions. Some felt the original PhysX answer wasn't satisfactory so we asked them to answer it again.

#1 - How do you expect PhysX to compete in a DirectX 11/OpenCL world?

By Tom Petersen, Director of Technical Marketing: PhysX does not compete with OpenCL or DX11’s DirectCompute.

PhysX is an API and runtime that allows games and game engines to model the physics in a game. Think of PhysX as a layer above OpenCL or DirectCompute, which in contrast are very generic and low level interfaces that enable GPU-accelerated computation. Game developers don’t create content in OpenCL or DirectCompute. Instead they author in toolsets (some of which are provided by NVIDIA) that allow them to be creative quickly. Once they have good content they “compile” a specific platform (PC, Wii, Xbox, PS3, etc) using another tool flow.

During this process game studios have three basic concerns:

1. Does PhysX make it easier to develop games for all platforms – including consoles?

2. Does PhysX make it easier to have kick ass effects in my game?

3. Will NVIDIA support my efforts to integrate this technology?

And the answer to the three questions above is: yes, yes, and yes. We are spending our time and money pursuing those goals to support developers, and right now the developer community is not telling us that OpenCL or DirectCompute support are required.

In the future this may or may not change, and the dynamics of this situation are hard to predict. We can say this though:

1. AMD and Intel are not investing today at the same pace as NVIDIA in GPU accelerated physics.

2. AMD and Intel will need to do the bulk of the work required to support GPU accelerated PhysX on their products. NVIDIA is not going to do QA or design for AMD or Intel.

At the end of the day, the success of PhysX as a technology will depend on how easy it is for game designers to use and how incredible the game effects are that they create. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a good example of the type of effects we can achieve with PhysX running on NVIDIA GPUs, and we are working to make the next round of games even more compelling. At this time, NVIDIA has no plan to move from CUDA to either OpenCL or DirectCompute as the implementation engine for GPU acceleration. Instead we are working to support developers and implement killer effects.

So does NVIDIA profit from all this? We sure hope so. If we make our GPUs more desirable because they do incredible things with PhysX, then we have done a great job for our customers and made PC gaming more compelling.

#2 - Will PhysX become open-source?

Tom Petersen: NVIDIA is investing a lot of time and effort in PhysX and we do not plan to make it open source today. Of course the binaries for the SDK are distributed for free, and source code is available for licensing if game designers need it.
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