Nvidia acquiring Ageia

GPU giant gobbles up physics chipmaker for undisclosed sum.

With the dominance of its GeForce 8 series in the PC gaming circuit and the resurgence of the PlayStation 3 in the console hardware race, Nvidia is anything but strapped for cash. Reporting on its third-quarter financials in November, the Silicon Valley-based graphics chipmaker reported its first-ever billion-dollar quarter, posting revenues that eclipsed an equally strong second quarter that saw a three-for-two stock split.

Today, the cash-flush semiconductor company announced it would be biting off a larger chunk of the gaming market with the purchase of physics chipmaker Ageia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the buyout remains subject to pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.

Ageia debuted the world's first dedicated physics processor in 2006. The chip is designed to handle real-time physics calculations that allow for more impressive and diverse visual effects. In addition to PC titles, Ageia's PhysX software is employed in the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii.

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Discussion

97 comments
PuhJesus
PuhJesus

Granted, I have an Ageia PhysX card because it was cheap.. But.. I have yet to use it on a game that i'm aware of. I don't really see why they were bought out if having the card doesn't make much a real difference.

Neoyamaneko
Neoyamaneko

I hope they allow the standalone PhysX cards to work with the future stuff rather than buying an "All-in-one" card.

AnnoyedDragon
AnnoyedDragon

It baffles me why so many people are happy about this buy out, did you hate Ageia that much? Because thanks to this instead of buying an Ageia brand parallel processor just for physics, you get to buy an Nvidia brand parallel processor just for physics. What's the difference? Except of course CUDA is only fully supported on the Nvidia 8 series, oh and it won't work on any ATI cards. So we have gone from no hardware bias, to buy a Geforce 8+ or it won't work properly. Wonderful improvement is it not?

wingnut99
wingnut99

Good for nvidia.Bad for AMD/ATi.i think AMD/ATi is just going to make good cards for drit cheap. Like there CPU's. But I like AMD's CPU's. I dont care to much for Intel. To much cash for something thats goin to be called slow in just a few weeks.

jakob_187
jakob_187

WOW! This is huge news for PC gamers. Nvidia has always been at the top of their game (despite their lack of support for DeepFreeze on their chipsets, the bastards....fix that, please). Now that they've got Ageia, this could see them taking a much bigger slice of cake from ATI than they already had. Imagine the power of an Nvidia DX10 card packaged up with the physics processing power of Ageia. My mouth is watering already...

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

well, ati needs to get a solution for this too because if they dont, what developers are going to make games use the nvidia features if half the consumers ont he market can't use them? this means that ati and nvidia will eventually have to set a standard for that type of cpu

Autolycus
Autolycus

subrosian - when writing code, you cant tell the compiler or the processor which task to pull from the CPU to go to the GPU. The game has to be specifically written for it. The benefit of the merger is that there will be more people out there and it can be on the same circut board as the GPU's. More people that have the technology, more reason for developers to support it, meaning more they can pull from the processor, instead of bogging the CPU down w/ physics.

Autolycus
Autolycus

Greatest video company on the planet. intel drivers suck, ati drivers suck worse then intel and if you want performance, QUALITY, and close to perfect drivers, NVIDIA is the leader. ATi just takes what makes processors work and put more of it in. Kind of like AMD's latest approach ( which i seriously dont think AMD can survive without being the performance leader, intel is whooping em, and that makes me sad )

ShotGunBunny
ShotGunBunny

Well, if Nvidia plays it smart, they'll release a new card with onboard physics proc fast, and then there's no way ATI/AMD is ever going to compete unless they manage to do the same.

raze-boi
raze-boi

I hope Nvidia will make a graphics card with Ageia Physics in it, so that we can use 2 with only 1 PCI Slot..

Dust24311
Dust24311

I think this will yield a better usage of the SPUs, and perhaps more flexible SPUs in the future.

Dav_id83
Dav_id83

Officially the 9800GX will not be an official 9xxx series card below is taken off wiki The series will be succeeded by the GeForce 9 series, it was however rumoured that the codenamed G92 and G98, which is still in development, will be a member of the GeForce 8 series, instead of the anticipated GeForce 9 series. The top-end product of the GeForce 9 series, according to Michael Hara (VP of Investor Relations), will be capable of 1 TFLOPs per chip, based on a 65 nm fabrication process. So with them now buying Ageia they could implement it but it's already in development so if depends on if they can fit it in.

daveg1
daveg1

good stuff... p.s. cant wait for the 9800 gtx.

runstalker
runstalker

Where Ageia completely missed the mark was with basic hardware acceleration. The biggest failing of the PhysX card is that it does not, by default, accelerate a game that uses Ageia physics. Whereas your graphics card will always attempt to do something with the Direct3D/Open GL/whathaveyou API--as in it always attempts a basic acceleration, with the PhysX card it's different: a game must be insanely baby-sitted, programmed specifically to use hardware physics. With the dozens of Ageia middleware-powered games out there, Ageia should have followed a much closer relationship between the middleware and the hardware. All PC games with Ageia physics should have included support for some kind of default hardware assist, instead of the pathetic selection of Ageia co-produced demo games or sloppy post-release patches that added token hardware novelties to what, like 4 or 5 mainstream games? If Nvidia really wants to do it right, they'll ensure there's a proper convergence/standard and a raw baseline hardware acceleration of physics calculations.

subrosian
subrosian

IMPORTANT: GPU Physics does not mean making a physics chip in the GPU. Please stop thinking this, that's not what this purchase means, it is not what this purchase will EVER mean. Intel was planning on parallel "assist" processor designs, in essence, building a GPU that could have certain processing tasks offloaded onto it by the CPU. What we see here is an extension of that - and in fact what foldng@home can do with powerful enough GPUs. Rather than bogging the CPU down with physics effects calculations, which are by nature tasks well suited to a parallel processor, these tasks can be assisted by the GPU.

thanatose
thanatose

I can't wait to see where Nvidia goes with this purchase considering how stellar their purchase of 3DFX was for their product lines.

runstalker
runstalker

Dear Nvidia, Create a combination value card that includes the GeForce 8800 GT and PhysX chipset, 512 MB, and sell it for $250. Include patched-up editions of the most popular PhysX games (CellFactor, Warmonger etc.) plus a full edition of something Dx10. These GeForce PhysX packages would sell. Or you could pillage the parallel processing technology for your GF 8950 unified architecture and close down the whole PhysX hardware biz so we can move on. Mind you, there are tons of new PC and console games using Ageia middleware, so it could prove beneficial to keep the PhysX hardware/drivers around...

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

A separate chip to handle physics is pointless. CPUs and soon all GPUs will be multicore. One of the CPU cores could be make do only calculations for the physics.

Aureatus
Aureatus

This is going to be interesting... first Nvidia bought 3Dfx (original SLI) and crossfire still trying to catch up... now we are getting physics... it is a good time to invest in Nvidia I tell ya... GO Nvidia...Go

subrosian
subrosian

Offloading physics processing onto the GPU - place a highly parallel processing task on a parallel processor - seems like a good idea, right? nVidia needed Aegia - the war with Intel is coming. Ultimately the upcoming battle between nVidia, Intel, and AMD is something out of an old DBZ cartoon - ridiculously muscled heavyweights trash talking, powering up, and "training" for dozens of episodes, before spending thirty fighting a "five minute" battle.

Skat137321
Skat137321

I guess now we can expect Nvidia and Ageia bundles or maybe a video card with the Ageia chip in it.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

No wonder Nvidia got Company of The Year 2007 in some business mag I saw the cover of recently. Respect!!! Nvidia is not just PC and console graphics. They also make chips for TVs, cellphones, and other stuff that I can't remember.

selbie
selbie

GPUs will eventually have multiple cores anyway so the only benefit here is the technology IP

zoe256
zoe256

This is great news, the two combined on one card = even more great gaming courtesy of Nvidia!

Fanible
Fanible

Useless because few developers take it into consideration compared to it's sales. With Nvidia's ownership, you're going to see combined technologies between the two with the GPU's, and probably more developers utilizing it's functionality. This move could definitely be a big plus for seeing great physics at better frame rates.

The_PC_Gamer
The_PC_Gamer

Ageia cards are still fairly useless. Nvidia is shooting for the future with this purchase.

Targzissian
Targzissian

Whoaaa!!! If nVidia buys Ageia, then who is the competition in the physics processing market? Intel??? AMD??? If this deal gets approved will probably be a good thing for the future of physics processing in games. I'm excited.

kain_lad
kain_lad

i think that mean that nvidia will but the ageia physx processor in the upcoming card making it 1 card with 2 processor one is the nviida GPU and the 2nd is Ageia processor i hope the make more than one model of the ageia with every card catagory sorry for my bad eng.

shiben
shiben

nice, good 4 Ageia, i dont think ne1 was using their hardware... wid nvidia they will do good in market.

ArchAngel2284
ArchAngel2284

hmm i should get some nvidia stock while its still under 30.

bropie
bropie

Just one card...thats a good thing.

AnnoyedDragon
AnnoyedDragon

I spent a year plus correcting the people who kept referring to GPU physics as a physics processor built into the GPU, obviously since they are still doing it I wasted my time. You people are unbelievable you know that? If GPU physics is going to be the future you can at least refer to the technology in the right way. Say it with me, CUBA programming architecture on the Nvidia GPU, not a bloody physics processing chip built into the GPU!

DJ_Quack_Quack
DJ_Quack_Quack

if this continue, the future of computer will be powered by one card. No motherboard, no sound cards, just one card.

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

this might mean that I can have 3 SLi video cars and a Physics card at the same time I hope, right now I only have One PNY 8800gt w/ 512mb of V Ram. but having two more and a physics card imagine how sweet Crysis would look at full spec. right now I play it scaled down a lot and it is still beautiful.

ice_bey
ice_bey

I just hope NVIDIA create sound card cause I hate every sound card developers out there (you know who...)

true_apollo
true_apollo

Probably a very smart move for Nvidia, although I'm still of the mind that physics processors are superfluous in a world of multi core processors. Why have a dedicated PPU when you've got 4 processing cores which aren't being fully utilized? This point will be made even more valid when multi core GPUs start appearing.

thesaxmaniac
thesaxmaniac

So this means that the geforce 9 or 10 series will probably have built in physics processors. Or something of the like?

V-Nine
V-Nine

So the next consoles past the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii will all be even more dificult to program for...cool! Nothing like seeing virtual paper tear in real time. (no I 'm not being sarcastic, its the lil things that make games great sometimes)

Tremere1
Tremere1

This is a great move, especially for the gamers. Better graphics and physics are always welcomed.

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

OMG this would be a fantastic move on Nvidia's part! There GPU's are only going ot get better and better! I wonder how much the buy out is?

t37nguye
t37nguye

Great! Now we can expect future GeForce GPU to have physics processor built in. Good news for both Nvidia and Ageia.

JackfnBurton
JackfnBurton

Hard to say what this will mean in the end, particularly since I am not particularly knowledgeable on anything related to hardware design or architecture! LOL But Nvidia certainly has a game plan - just one more reason the next few years will be good ones to be a gamer.

Canitbe
Canitbe

There are plenty of software based physics engines being used in an assortment of programs right now.ATI can optimize their drivers to take advantage of anyone of those. This just secures a ppu architecture for inclusion in a future chipset of nvidia. (Similar to how Nvidia eventually included 3dfx's SLI tech in their graphic cards, not to mention over 90% of their techs). Either way, it's a smart move on their part since Aegia's company value has continued to decline to near garbage status.

Kfoss
Kfoss

umm wonderful there drivers are annoying though....especially since the cards don't currently have the chip...please install the latest version of PhysX..even though you don't have any hardware for it..ARG!!...but i guess since they just did this, every card on the market is now OBSOLETE....GREAT! *bangs head on desk*...i wonder how the physX will handle being SLI'd...lol...FEEL THE POWER!...wonder what ati is gonna do...???...lol mabey they will use the physX to pull off the Quad GPU Config..LOL i can dream cant i...

krimlin077
krimlin077

Hrm? AMD bashers? Eh i have never had a problem with my rig with an AMD nor have my friends. Pro's and Cons to each manufactur really. Had a bad run with Intel back a few years, but they made a lemon series ( which i had at the time )with the heat problems but now that Nvidia is tied with them, and the Intel is looking better, might have to cross the border again. Nothing a few cooling fans cant fix if need be! Wait ...Mrklorox, have you not upgraded to PCI-E? Seriously? how old is your rig, you have to TRY and find non-PCI-E stuff these days, less you built about 5 years ago.