Company promises AI accelerator for games

Hardware accelerators for games seem to be the latest craze these days. After Ageia's PhysX physics accelerator and Bigfoot Networks' Killer NIC gaming network accelerator, a company called AIseek is promising an accelerator for artificial intelligence. Where PhysX allows physics interactions with a greater number of objects than software physics, AIseek says its Intia processor supports a greater number of intelligent non-playable characters than standard general-purpose processors.

To accomplish this feat, the Intia processor accelerates low-level AI tasks including movement, path-finding, terrain analysis, and line-of-sight sensory simulation. According to AIseek, Intia can run path-finding calculations 100-200 times faster than a standard processor running a software algorithm. Such speedups might not bring huge improvements to close-quarter first-person shooters akin to Doom 3, but AIseek says real-time strategy games and RPGs that often have many characters on-screen would greatly benefit from AI acceleration.

AIseek has a handful of demos of accelerated AI on its website, although they seem to be down right now. The site says nothing about a shipping product, so right now it's anyone's guess when or if the Intia processor will become available commercially. Thanks to HardOCP for the tip.

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