AMD Looks to Intel-owned Havok for Physics

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When Nvidia snapped up Ageia in early 2008 and rolled the company’s PhysX physics engine into its own Nvidia GPUs, things looked sour for AMD. Intel, after all, had acquired the Havok physics engine in September of the previous year, Nvida had Ageia, but AMD and its ATI Radeon line of GPUs were left with nothing to compete.  Now the jolly green giant is seeking refuge in the bosom of its main competitor by cooperating with Intel-owned Havok.

The company announced on Thursday that it was working with Havok to optimize physics across its entire product line of both system processors and GPUs. According to AMD, much of the research will go into how to leverage the Radeon’s parallel processing capabilities for physics.

“The feedback that we consistently receive from leading game developers is that core game play simulation should be performed on CPU cores. The clear priority of game developers is performance and scalability on of the CPU,” said Havok’s managing director David O’Meara, in a statement. “Beyond core simulation, however, the capabilities of massively parallel products offer technical possibilities for computing certain types of simulation. We look forward to working with AMD to explore these possibilities.”

While both companies merely announced a research agreement, the results of the work might very well be seen in a forthcoming generation of Radeon GPUs or game-oriented AMD CPUs.