Confirming rumors that appeared last month, Nvidia has announced that it has agreed to purchase Ageia Technologies. Although Ageia's PhysX physics accelerator cards only met moderate success on the PC, its physics application programming interface has been used in an array of console and PC titles, including hits like Gears of War, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Red Steel, and Unreal Tournament 3. Nvidia says there are 140 games based on PhysX technology and over 10,000 registered users of the PhysX developer toolkit.
What Nvidia plans to do with PhysX is evident, and company CEO Jen-Hsun Huang makes no secret of it in the acquisition press release. "By combining the teams that created the world's most pervasive GPU and physics engine brands, we can now bring GeForce®-accelerated PhysX to hundreds of millions of gamers around the world," Huang announces.
Nvidia says it will release more details about the acquisition during a conference call on Wednesday, February 13. It should be interesting to see whether the company plans to support existing PhysX-accelerated titles via its graphics cards, and especially whether it plans to license PhysX tech to AMD. Of course, with Microsoft having shown interest in adding physics processing to the DirectX API bundle, proprietary hardware-accelerated physics APIs could turn out to be a short-lived phenomenon.