Hardware acceleration for physics is still in its infancy, but Microsoft
appears to be wasting no time getting in on the action. According to an
on ExtremeTech, Microsoft is actively developing a Direct Physics
application programming interface to complement the DirectX toolkit.
posting on Microsoft’s website reads:
The Windows Graphics and Gaming Technology group is looking for a
software design engineer to join a growing team responsible for
developing Direct Physics. This team is responsible for delivering a
great leap forwards in the way game developers think about integrating
Physics into their engines. . . . You will be a member of the core
engine team who will be primarily responsible for working closely with
our Direct3D team, helping to define, develop and map optimized
simulation and collision algorithms onto data structures that are
optimized for the GPU.
The job posting dates back to August 2005, so a Direct Physics API could
be well underway by now.
Going by the mention of “data structures that
are optimized for the GPU,” it sounds like Direct Physics may be similar
to Havok’s Havok
FX API, which harnesses shader power on modern graphics cards for physics acceleration. ExtremeTech does point out, however, that Microsoft licensed Ageia’s PhysX SDK for an apparently unrelated