Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Gamers may get better explosions through science

Filed under

To a physics fan like Manju Hegde, even today's best video games look fake. When a building blows up in a game, he notices the debris doesn't cascade like a waterfall or scatter correctly and cause damage to nearby structures.

That's because game creators haven't taken the time to calculate the physics that govern the behavior of objects such as falling bricks. Hegde, CEO of Mountain View, Calif., startup Ageia, wants to make it easy for them to do that with a chip for the personal computer that specializes in physics calculations.

Dubbed PhysX, the chip will enable things like gelatinous creatures whose bodies shift shape like a liquid, crumpling fenders in car crashes, massive explosions with 10,000 pieces of debris, clothing that hangs realistically, and lava or blood that flows like the real thing.

"We think a game should be like the 'Star Trek' holodeck," Hegde says, referring to the virtual-reality simulator from the science-fiction TV series whose illusions were indistinguishable from real life. "Our chip is the first step toward that."

Ageia has $38 million in venture capital from firms such as Apex Partners and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. It has commitments for $30 million more from other investors.
One reason Ageia has garnered such support is its chip could tip the scales in the PC's battle with game consoles.

The PC gaming community is about to be overshadowed by another set of new consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Those machines will have plenty of extra processing power to handle better physics.

The consoles will be able to calculate the interaction of moving objects and determine what the graphics chip needs to display on the screen at any instant. And they may have enough power to imbue the game environment with physical attributes, so that the grass sways when the wind blows.

Hegde says a PC with a physics chip could match the consoles.

Physics chips are "a major innovation that is likely to breathe new life into the PC as a gaming platform," said Jon Peddie, president of graphics-research firm Jon Peddie Research.

But do gamers really want to buy an add-on card just to improve the realism in their games?

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 16.10: Convergence is in a holding pattern; consistency’s here instead

There's plenty in Ubuntu 16.10 that makes it worth the upgrade, though nothing about Canonical's latest release is groundbreaking. This less experimental but worthwhile update continues to refine and bug-fix what at this point has become the fastest, stablest, least-likely-to-completely-change-between-point releases of the three major "modern" Linux desktops. Still, while the Unity 7.5 desktop offers stability and speed today, it's not long for this world. Ubuntu 16.10 is the seventh release since the fabled Unity 8 and its accompanying Mir display server were announced. Yet in Ubuntu 16.10, there's still no Unity 8 nor Mir. Read more

Red Hat named as visionary in Gartner's 2016 Magic Quadrant

Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, on Thursday announced that Gartner, Inc. has positioned Red Hat in the "Visionaries" quadrant of Gartner's October 2016 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage for Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage. Read more

Qt Creator 4.2 Beta released

Qt SCXML is a new module in Qt that allows you to create state machines from State Chart XML and embed them into Qt C++ and Qt Quick applications (Overview). It was released as Technical Preview in Qt 5.7 and will be released fully supported with Qt 5.8. Qt Creator 4.2 now supplements the module by offering a graphical editor for SCXML (experimental). It features editing states and sub-states, transitions, events, and all kinds of properties. The editor is experimental and the plugin is not loaded by default. Turn it on in Help > About Plugins (Qt Creator > About Plugins on macOS) to try it. Read more Also: Qt Creator 4.2 Beta Released

6 Best Linux Desktop Environments [Part - 2]

Linux has been developing at a good pace through this last years and with development comes better support for different hardware regarding support for proprietary drivers for video cards, better file systems, more choices in what operating system to use and one of the things that has it importance is distros graphical environment. Read