NVIDIA to Acquire AGEIA Technologies -- PhysX PPU on Future GeForceGPUs ?


S

sprite scaler

http://www.nvidia.com/object/io_1202161567170.html

NVIDIA to Acquire AGEIA Technologies

PhysX on GeForce Will Bring Amazing Physics Dynamics to Millions of
Gamers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SANTA CLARA, CA -- FEBRUARY 4, 2008--NVIDIA the world leader in visual
computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced
that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AGEIA
Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in gaming physics technology.
AGEIA's PhysX software is widely adopted with more than 140 PhysX-
based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation3, Microsoft
XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Gaming PCs. AGEIA physics software is
pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active users of the PhysX
SDK.

"The AGEIA team is world class, and is passionate about the same thing
we are--creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences,"
stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "By combining the
teams that created the world's most pervasive GPU and physics engine
brands, we can now bring GeForce(R)-accelerated PhysX to hundreds of
millions of gamers around the world."

"NVIDIA is the perfect fit for us. They have the world's best parallel
computing technology and are the thought leaders in GPUs and gaming.
We are united by a common culture based on a passion for innovating
and driving the consumer experience," said Manju Hegde, co-founder and
CEO of AGEIA.

Like graphics, physics processing is made up of millions of parallel
computations. The NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) 8800GT GPU, with its 128
processors, can process parallel applications up to two orders of
magnitude faster than a dual or quad-core CPU.

"The computer industry is moving towards a heterogeneous computing
model, combining a flexible CPU and a massively parallel processor
like the GPU to perform computationally intensive applications like
real-time computer graphics," continued Mr. Huang. "NVIDIA's CUDA(tm)
technology, which is rapidly becoming the most pervasive parallel
programming environment in history, broadens the parallel processing
world to hundreds of applications desperate for a giant step in
computational performance. Applications such as physics, computer
vision, and video/image processing are enabled through CUDA and
heterogeneous computing."

AGEIA was founded in 2002 and has offices in Santa Clara, CA; St.
Louis, MO; Zurich, Switzerland; and Beijing, China.

The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions.

More details about the acquisition will be provided during NVIDIA's
quarterly conference call, to be held on Wednesday, February 13, 2008
at 2:00 PM, Pacific Time. The Company's prepared remarks will be
followed by a question and answer period, which will be limited to
questions from financial analysts and institutional investors. To
listen to the conference call, please dial 212-231-2901; no password
is required. The conference call will also be webcast live (listen-
only mode) at the following Web sites: www.nvidia.com and www.streetevents.com.

Replay of the conference call will be available via telephone by
calling 800-633-8284 (or 402-977-9140), passcode 21354792, until
February 20, 2008. The webcast will be recorded and available for
replay until the company's conference call to discuss its financial
results for its first quarter, fiscal 2009.

About AGEIA
AGEIA Technologies, Inc., is the industry leader in gaming physics
technology. AGEIA's PhysX software is widely adopted with more than
140 PhysX-based games shipping or in development on Sony Playstation3,
Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Gaming PCs. AGEIA physics
software is pervasive with over 10,000 registered and active users of
the PhysX SDK. AGEIA is also credited with developing the world's
first dedicated hardware physics processor, the AGEIA PhysX processor.
The company, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is privately-held.
For more information visit http://www.ageia.com.

About NVIDIA
NVIDIA is the world leader in visual computing technologies and the
inventor of the GPU, a high-performance processor which generates
breathtaking, interactive graphics on workstations, personal
computers, game consoles, and mobile devices. NVIDIA serves the
entertainment and consumer market with its GeForce(R) products, the
professional design and visualization market with its Quadro(R)
products, and the high-performance computing market with its Tesla(tm)
products. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. and has
offices throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. For more
information, visit www.nvidia.com.

___________________________________________

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/multim...eveloper_of_Dedicated_Physics_Processors.html

Nvidia Purchases Developer of Dedicated Physics Processors.
Ageia Gets Acquired by Nvidia Corp.


by Anton Shilov

[ 02/04/2008 | 03:14 PM ]

Ageia Technologies, the developer of dedicated physics processing
units (PPUs), said on Monday that it was taken over by Nvidia Corp.,
the world's largest supplier of discrete graphics processors. The move
will allow Nvidia to offer better physics support with its GeForce
graphics chips in games that can take advantage of Ageia PhysX PPUs.

"Nvidia is the perfect fit for us. They have the world's best parallel
computing technology and are the thought leaders in GPUs and gaming.
We are united by a common culture based on a passion for innovating
and driving the consumer experience," said Manju Hegde, co-founder and
chief executive of Ageia.
Nvidia Acquires Ageia in Response to Intel-Havok Deal

Back in 2007 the world's largest manufacturer of x86 central
processing units (CPUs), Intel Corp., acquired Havok, a developer of
technology that allows physics to be processed on GPUs. The
consequence of the takeover was abandoning the development of Havok
FX, a physics middleware that relies on graphics chips' stream
processors to process physics.

Intel Corp. is currently the largest supplier of graphics adapters
through its core-logic chipsets with built-in graphics cores, but
Intel at this point does not supply discrete GPUs, which computational
power is required for physics effects processing. For that reason, it
was relatively important for Intel to ensure that Havok FX -
potentially, a very popular middleware - does not make it to the
market, as in the opposite scenario the importance of a high-end CPU
inside a personal computer for video gaming would decrease. However,
the acquisition of Havok was a particularly unpleasant situation for
Nvidia, who has been claiming that its GeForce graphics chips could
process physics in video games for several years and which is
interested in boosting importance of high-end discrete graphics
processors.

The acquisition of Ageia will almost certainly enable Nvidia to
accelerate physics in video games using Ageia's middle-ware, which
means that Nvidia GeForce graphics cards will be able to display
higher quality physics effects in titles that take advantage of Ageia
PhysX PPU. The development of the latter will most likely be halted.
It should be noted that both graphics and physics processing requires
massively-parallel processing engines, meaning that there is hardly a
difference for end-user or game developer whether physics effects are
computed on a CPU, PPU or GPU.

"The Ageia team is world class, and is passionate about the same thing
we are - creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences.
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," stated Jen-Hsun
Huang, president and chief executive of Nvidia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
No Immediate Benefits

Ageia's PhysX is the world's first physics processing unit (PPU),
which offloads software physics processing from central processing
units and graphics processing units to it. The architecture of the
PhysX PPU is tailored for multi-threaded processing of vertexes, which
allows game creators to develop detailed, soft and precise animation
and simulation of movements, hair, clothing, liquids, fluids and
other.

To take advantage of advanced capabilities the PhysX has, game
developers have to create games using Novodex SDK supplied by Ageia,
which requires some additional effort from them. Currently there are
almost no games that can take advantage of Ageia PhysX, therefore,
neither Nvidia, nor users with Nvidia GeForce hardware will benefit
from the acquisition in the short term. However, the company may
benefit in longer term, provided that Ageia PhysX becomes an open
standard.
GPU Physics Still Alive?

Following the acquisition of Havok by Intel actual deployment of a
Havok-developed physics engine for video games that could take
advantage of GPUs is under a big question mark, said Richard Huddy,
developer relations chief at Advanced Micro Devices, last November.

According to Richard Huddy, who joined AMD when it acquired graphics
chip company ATI Technologies back in 2006, Havok FX is unlikely to be
released at all or power many video games. While AMD admits that there
are some games on the horizon that can compute physics effects on
GPUs, it is highly unlikely that there will be a significant number of
them, unless comprehensive tools for GPU physics are available. In
fact, by acquiring Ageia, Nvidia is likely to make those tools
available after some time needed for their development. Given that
Ageia PhysX SDK (software development kit) is used to create games for
all three modern video game consoles - Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo
Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 - game developers may gladly jump on the
bandwagon and make use of "GeForce-accelerated PhysX" when it comes to
PC versions of their games.

Nevertheless, physics processing on GPUs may get a boost in popularity
when Microsoft releases its DirectX 11, which is projected to support
additional features that will provide new opportunities for games
developers. In fact, Microsoft already promised Direct Physics
application programming interface (API) [which was projected to rely
on GPU as well] sometime back, but not actual product has yet been
released. When and if Microsoft releases its Direct Physics, it will
inevitably compete against Nvidia-owned Ageia PhysX technology.


_____________________________________________



http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/08/02/05/006213.shtml

NVIDIA To Buy AGEIA
Posted by kdawson on Monday February 04, @07:33PM
from the it's-all-physics dept.

The two companies announced today that NVIDIA will acquire PhysX maker
AGEIA; terms were not disclosed. The Daily Tech is one of the few
covering the news to go much beyond the press release, mentioning that
AMD considered buying AGEIA last November but passed, and that the
combination positions NVIDIA to compete with Intel on a second front,
beyond the GPU -- as Intel purchased AGEIA competitor Havok last
September. While NVIDIA talked about supporting the PhysX engine on
their GPUs, it's not clear whether AGEIA's hardware-based physics
accelerator will play any part in that. AMD declared GPU physics dead
last year, but NVIDIA at least presumably begs to differ. The coverage
over at PC Perspectives goes into more depth on what the acquisition
portends for the future of physics, on the GPU or elsewhere

__________________

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6185534.html

Nvidia acquiring Ageia
GPU giant gobbles up physics chipmaker for undisclosed sum.

By Tom Magrino, GameSpot
Posted Feb 4, 2008 4:03 pm PT

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.

__________________

http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=5107

NVIDIA and AGEIA: together for the first time Mon, Feb 04, 2008 -
07:03 PM
Ryan Shrout | Source: PC Perspective | Subject: Graphics Card
Sure, when AGEIA was first seen on the um, scene, NVIDIA countered
their claims of physics acceleration with their own partnership with
Havok. Then, Intel bought Havok. Well, then, what's a graphics giant
to do? If you're AMD apparently the answer is "pass" but if you're
NVIDIA the answer is "buy the remaining physics software company".

Today NVIDIA announced that they were going to acquire AGEIA and their
PhysX technology, but details are going to be sparse until NVIDIA's
financial call later in the week. That doesn't keep us from debating
on what will happen in the world of accelerated physics after this
acquisition though, so check out our quick editorial and see what we
thing might happen.

NVIDIA's developer relations are incredibly strong, and there are some
very talented programmers involved in the program. Leveraging some of
that programming power towards PhysX would likely be very helpful.
NVIDIA would be much more aggressive in selling the underlying physics
software to its gaming partners as well. Within the next few months
we would see a lot more support for Ageia, perhaps not so much in how
well the software works, but rather how many more game developers will
adopt it and support it.

Ageia will likely start out as its own division within NVIDIA, but
perhaps over time they will migrate it under one of the broader
divisions. Details are sketchy at the moment, but until NVIDIA is
able to dig deeper into the architecture of the Ageia products, they
will wait to see where it would best be used. With NVIDIA looking to
release more general processors, the technology that Ageia brings
could fit very well in with their future plans.


__________________


http://www.techspot.com/news/28880-nvidia-announces-plans-to-acquire-ageia.html

Nvidia announces plans to acquire Ageia
By Justin Mann, TechSpot.com
Published: February 4, 2008, 5:33 PM EST


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Ageia has faced some tough times recently. Their technology, while
admirable, really came at a time too soon and was in a format that
didn't really work with the gaming market as it was. And while they
probably tried to stave off a takeover, even going so far as to say it
won't happen, Nvidia announced plans today to acquire Ageia.

They'll be taking over the infamous PhysX platform, software and
hardware, buying the company for an as of yet undisclosed sum. Ageia
seems to be upbeat about the situation, saying that Nvidia is a
"perfect fit" for them. They might be right, and with Nvidia's current
dominant position in the GPU market it is hard to go wrong. Perhaps
PhysX will have a good future afterall. You can read the full press
release at Nvidia's site.

________________________________________________________________________



Nvidia set to acquire Ageia
Author: Tim Smalley
Published: 4th February 2008
Comments (6) Email to a friend Digg
Nvidia has announced its intention to acquire Ageia Technologies after
signing a definitive agreement with the gaming physics specialists.

Nvidia has announced its intention to acquire Ageia Technologies after
signing a definitive agreement with the gaming physics specialists.
In a shock announcement just a few moments ago, Nvidia has revealed
that it has signed an agreement to acquire Ageia Technologies--the
company that raised the awareness of in-game physics with the launch
of the PhysX physics processing unit in 2005--for an undisclosed sum.

Details are very slim on the ground at the moment, but Nvidia says
that more information on the acquisition will be disclosed during the
company's quarterly earnings call on February 13th at 10:00PM GMT.

Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's president and CEO, hinted at bringing
"GeForce-accelerated PhysX to hundreds of millions of gamers around
the world" in the press release just issued.

"The computer industry is moving towards a heterogeneous computing
model, combining a flexible CPU and a massively parallel processor
like the GPU to perform computationally intensive applications like
real-time computer graphics," claimed Huang.

"Nvidia's CUDA technology, which is rapidly becoming the most
pervasive parallel programming environment in history, broadens the
parallel processing world to hundreds of applications desperate for a
giant step in computational performance," Huang said. "Applications
such as physics, computer vision, and video/image processing are
enabled through CUDA and heterogeneous computing."

The acquisition, Nvidia says, is still subject to customary closing
conditions, but we expect this to go through fairly quickly.

I'm not quite sure what to think at the moment, as Ageia was a company
almost waiting to be acquired by a bigger fish. That said, the
prospects of on-GPU physics is an interesting one when you consider
the fact that both ATI and Nvidia blew a lot of GPU-physics induced
hot air in 2005. Back in September, Intel announced that it had bought
Havok--the industry's leading physics middleware developer--so now that
Nvidia is set to acquire Ageia, where does that leave AMD?


______________________________________

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2008/02/04/daily18.html

Nvidia to buy gaming physics company Ageia
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Nvidia Corp. said Monday it agreed to acquire Ageia Technologies
Inc., which focuses on gaming physics technology.

Santa Clara-based Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) did not disclose financial or
other details about the acquisition.

Ageia makes software that is used in games from Sony Playstation 3,
Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and Gaming PCs.

"The Ageia team is world class, and is passionate about the same thing
we are -- creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences,"
said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. "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."

Ageia was founded in 2002 and has offices in Santa Clara, St. Louis,
Zurich, Switzerland; and Beijing, China.

The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions.

Ageia is privately held, with major investors that include Chicago-
based Apex Venture Partners and CID Equity Partners, Foster City-based
BA Venture Partners, HIG Ventures, which has an office in San
Francisco; Granite Global Ventures, which has an office in Menlo Park;
and VentureTech Alliance, which has an office in San Jose.
 
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M

Miles Bader

sprite scaler said:
SANTA CLARA, CA -- FEBRUARY 4, 2008--NVIDIA the world leader in visual
computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, today announced

Geez, I know that press releases are 90% meaning-free bullcrap, but
"inventor of the GPU"?!?

-Miles
 
F

First of One

Back in the Geforce1 days, nVidia's marketing dept was the first to brand
its graphics chip a "GPU". Of course, to keep up, ATi subsequently
"invented" the VPU.

I think video card marketing has matured a bit since the days of the
Hercules Terminator Beast...
 
T

Tim O

Back in the Geforce1 days, nVidia's marketing dept was the first to brand
its graphics chip a "GPU". Of course, to keep up, ATi subsequently
"invented" the VPU.

I think video card marketing has matured a bit since the days of the
Hercules Terminator Beast...

As evidenced by new graphics cards with pictures of stippers and
lunatics on them. :)
 
S

sprite scaler

Geez, I know that press releases are 90% meaning-free bullcrap, but
"inventor of the GPU"?!?

-Miles


I absolutely agree with your questioning Nvidia as "inventor of the
GPU". Nvidia invented their definition of the GPU. Their only "leg
to stand on" so to speak, is that they were the first to introduce a
*consumer* 3D graphics
chip with on-chip geometry processor / T&L. There were professional /
industrial / arcade / etc. graphics cards/boards with on-board polygon
processors / geometry engines / T&L since the early to mid 1990s
(probably in the 80s even). It's not unlike say, 3Dfx before them
claiming they invented desktop 3D graphics. Yeah I am sorry I didn't
edit-out the bullcrap.
 
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M

Mr.E Solved!

sprite said:
I absolutely agree with your questioning Nvidia as "inventor of the
GPU". Nvidia invented their definition of the GPU. Their only "leg
to stand on" so to speak, is that they were the first to introduce a
*consumer* 3D graphics
chip with on-chip geometry processor / T&L. There were professional /
industrial / arcade / etc. graphics cards/boards with on-board polygon
processors / geometry engines / T&L since the early to mid 1990s
(probably in the 80s even). It's not unlike say, 3Dfx before them
claiming they invented desktop 3D graphics. Yeah I am sorry I didn't
edit-out the bullcrap.

I'll go further and give the credit to Jim Clark of SGI way back in
1982. Their chip had the first geometry set up engine, which is the
essence of what we call 3D graphics.

The programming language of those early SGI chips was polished and
revised and is in use still today, but we know it as OpenGL.

If Nvidia wishes to lay claim of "inventor of the GPU" they might be
referring us to their legal department, whereas holders of the defunct
3Dfx intellectual property patents (3Dfx was SGI's and the consumer
markets love-child), they might have a stamped certificate that bestows
that title on their business indirectly. Somewhat like buying an Academy
Award on ebay.
 
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