Ageia officially launches PhysX accelerator
Ageia has used this week's Game Developer Conference as the venue for the official launch of its PhysX physics acceleration chip for PC games. I was in Los Gatos earlier this week talking with folks from Ageia and some of its partners about the product, and I have a more robust preview of the PhysX PPU (physics processing unit) in the works. For now, though, we should note that Ageia has made the product launch announcement, and PhysX cards are now available for order inside of PC systems from Alienware, Dell, and Falcon Northwest. Alienware told me it will be selling PhysX cards in both Intel- and AMD-based PCs, and those PCs should begin shipping by March 28th. Stand-alone PhysX cards for real enthusiasts who build their own PCs won't be available until May, unfortunately. Those cards will come from at least two suppliers, Asus and BFG Tech.
Ageia has carefully and very diplomatically gone about the task of forming partnerships with game developers, publishers, tool makers, middleware vendors, and game console makers. This week has seen a slew of press releases from Ageia about those partnerships and their latest developments. Such things are obviously crucial to PhysX's success, but if you want a better sense of why physics acceleration can be exciting, I recommend looking at the game footage videos available here. I've spent a little time at the controls of Cell Factor, and it will make you a believer.