AMD talks up graphics as Nvidia kicks off GPU conference

It’s an unwritten rule of marketing that when your competition is holding a mega event, you should try to get some publicity off the back of it. Hence we saw AMD dragging Intel Developer Forum delegates off the street in San Francisco last week to bend their ears. This week it’s Nvidia’s turn in the spotlight and Sunnyvale- based AMD has quite coincidentally banged out a couple of releases pushing its graphics offerings.

AMD is working with Pixelux Entertainment on a joint development to expand the use of real-time physics with graphics through the open source Bullet Physics engine. By encouraging development of physics middleware built around OpenCL and Bullet Physics, AMD and Pixelux say they’re offering ‘a route toward physics simulation that spans game consoles, PCs and other hardware platforms’.

“Proprietary physics solutions divide consumers and ISVs, while stifling true innovation; our competitors even develop code that they themselves admit will not work on hardware other than theirs,” said Eric Demers, chief technology officer for graphics at AMD. “By working with Pixelux and others to enable open support of physics on OpenCL and DirectX 11 capable devices we are taking the exact opposite approach.”

Pixelux will be providing a new version of its Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) System that can be licensed by anyone and that more easily integrates with other physics systems. This new version will feature integration with the free and open source Bullet Physics engine. DMM and Bullet are designed to operate together to enable players to experience visually and kinetically realistic worlds where objects react as they do in real-life, such as crumbling stone walls, denting metal, splintering wooden beams and swaying organic plant life.

“Pixelux wants to ensure that our technology can take advantage of the computing resources that any particular hardware platform offers without locking in our users to any single platform,” said Mitchell Bunnell, Pixelux CEO.

New partner program
AMD is also launching what it calls the Fusion Partner Program, designed to provide channel partners with tools and resources by merging its four existing partner programs. Partners will receive more personalized tools, training and resources – both in person and online – that fit with their specific business objectives, says AMD.

AMD is grouping its partners into Elite, Premier and Select tiers, with Elite being the first tier and Select the third. The company reckons the new system will provide meaningful differentiation across tiers and reward AMD’s highest-performing partners based on their sales records for all-AMD solutions.

Partners will also be placed into one of six business tracks, which are designed to align programs and offerings to partners’ business models to reflect the diversity of the channel landscape. These business tracks include channel providers, e-tailers, retailers, commercial solution providers, consumer solution providers and commercial volume resellers.

AMD plans to phase in the Fusion Partner Program over the next 12 months. Additional developments planned include an improved partner Web portal and new loyalty programs.