Recent provoking claims by AMD regarding GPU PhysX and all hype around Open Physics Initiative are causing me some Deja Vu feeling.
Why ? Because, actually, hardware accelerated PhysX was criticized by AMD/ATI throughout it’s lifespan (more or less). Let’s take a retrospective look at escalation of the conflict:
In June 2006, just after Ageia PPU launch, ATI unveils their GPU physics processing conception called “Boundless Gaming” (also known as Asymmetric Physics Processing) based on Havok FX engine (technology was supported by Nvidia as well).
X1900 XT GPU was promised to deliver over 9x performance of a PhysX PPU card and games augmented with Havok FX physics were supposed to come out in 2007.
Result ? Havok FX died with Intel aquisition of Havok company, no games were released, 16 titles with Ageia PPU support from hardware PhysX side.
To be honest, AMD was threating PhysX enough politely those times, even considering to buy whole Ageia company:
Richard Huddy saying, “we’ve had that discussion, yes. It’s a discussion that goes round every three months – someone turns to me and says “why don’t we buy Ageia?”
Things started to get worse when Nvidia bought Ageia with all patents, personell, software and hardware developments. GPU PhysX was buried alive by AMD beforehand
“There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX,” said [Godfrey] Cheng “As we have emphasized with our support for OpenCL and DX11, closed and proprietary standards will die.”
To support its position, AMD comes to GDC 2009 with GPU accelerated Havok demonstrations, this time with promises to port it to OpenCL platform.
Result ? 7 complitely new titles with GPU PhysX support in 2009, no games with OpenCL Havok, but “PhysX will become irrelevant” claims again and hollow “Accelerated physics processing” label to HD4xxx GPU series feature set.
Meanwhile, whole year passed since than, and now new Open Physics strategy is on the GDC 2010 scene, accompanied by more intensive GPU PhysX abuse
And where is GPU Havok now ?! Following Havok FX in it’s way to oblivion, I guess.
So, why do you think, readers – will this hardware accelerated Bullet & DMM duet took up this time, or it’ll end like other AMD’s attempts to settle on GPU physics field for past 4 years ? Are they really planning to bring peace and unity to developers absolutely disinterestedly, while Nvidia is using GPU PhysX to make money ?