NVIDIA Corporation , the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies, and Havok, the game industry’s leading supplier of cross- platform middleware, will be demonstrating a physics effects solution that runs completely on a graphics processing unit (GPU) — an industry first — at this year’s Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Jose, California (March 21st through 24th).
The result of an ongoing engineering collaboration between Havok and NVIDIA, this new software product from Havok — called Havok FX — enables the simulation of dramatically-detailed physical phenomena in PC games, when powered by GPUs such as NVIDIA GeForce(R)7 or 6 Series GPUs and further amplified with NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technology. The Havok FX product is currently in early release to select developers and is expected to be available this summer.
Through Havok FX, GPUs can simulate the interactions of thousands of colliding rigid bodies, a fundamental technique of physics computation seen in today’s latest games. It’s now possible to compute the components of friction, collisions, gravity, mass, and velocity that form the basis of rigid body physics. Havok FX is designed for GPUs supporting Shader Model 3.0, including the NVIDIA GeForce 6 and 7 Series GPUs.
Utilizing Havok FX and NVIDIA graphics technology, game developers can now implement sophisticated physical phenomenon such as debris, smoke, and fluids that add immense detail and believability to game environments. Game designers can include advanced physics effects without burdening the CPU and slowing game-play, since the effects are simulated and rendered on the GPU.
Tyler Thompson, Technical Director of video game developer Flagship Studios states, “With Havok FX, we can explore new types of visual effects that add realism into Hellgate: London. Given the widespread installed base of GPUs and the incredible performance of the new NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX and GT GPUs, Havok FX was a natural choice.”
“We are very excited about the quality and speed we are seeing on the NVIDIA GPUs. We’ve believed for some time that GPU technology had the potential to simulate physical effects and our collaboration with NVIDIA has proven that,” says Jeff Yates, VP of Product Management at Havok. “The large installed base of Shader Model 3 class GPUs and momentum by NVIDIA in the market make Havok FX an attractive solution for game developers looking for hardware-accelerated physics.”
“Moving physics processing to the GPU is a natural progression enabled by the high programmability in today’s GPUs,” said David Kirk, chief scientist at NVIDIA. “By combining expertise with Havok, we have produced a fantastic solution for game developers that will lead to more compelling game-play and more realistic gaming experiences.”
The award-winning NVIDIA GeForce 7 and GeForce 6 graphics architectures deliver advanced technologies including full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0, enabling advanced shading programs for more realistic effects. By using the advanced programmable resources available in current GPUs, developers can harness the massive parallel computation capability of NVIDIA GPUs. The performance available to developers is further enhanced through NVIDIA SLI technology. This revolutionary platform innovation allows users to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in a single system with an NVIDIA nForce SLI MCP.