Ageia today announced version 2.4 of its PhysX software development kit (SDK), which includes performance updates for physics simulations on Sony’s upcoming game console Playstation 3 (PS3). Rather than throwing complex physics calculations at the main PPU (Power processing unit), “several components” of the PhysX pipeline have been offloaded to the SPUs (Synergistic Processor Units) of the Cell processor, Ageia said.
The changes in the SDK have resulted in a 50% reduction of maximum PPU load, which should leave more room for processing game code in the PPU.
The availability of the SDK does not mean that Sony will be implementing Ageia’s actual physics chip into the PS3. Instead, physics capability will be made availability through the threading feature of the Cell processor.
Nvidia, which will be supplying the graphics processor for the P3, yesterday announced that it will be introducing a feature called “SLI-Physics” to its graphics chip family. While the company said that also single-chip solutions will see some benefit from SLI-Physics, it was unclear whether this feature will also be made available on the PS3.
Nvidia announces SLI-accelerated physics