Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PhysX Experiment: Nvidia Acquires Ageia

Nvidia made a surprise announcement, acquiring Ageia Technologies and its PhysX line of hardware and software. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Ageia’s sale comes almost five months after rival physics technology maker Havok was acquired by Intel. Nvidia’s acquisition puts an even stronger emphasis on physics-focused hardware and software for gaming and also gives the Intel-Nvidia combination a leg up on rivals AMD and ATI in the physics department (AMD had reportedly considered a bit for Ageia late last year). “The AGEIA team is world class, and is passionate about the same thing we are—creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia, in a press statement. "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.”

Nvidia will now have the benefit of Ageia’s PhysX hardware, or physics processing unit, as well as the company’s PhysX SDK middleware offering for game developers. Ageia’s technology is currently being used in more than 140 titles that have shipped or are currently in development for both the PC as well as the next generation consoles. Some notable titles include Gears of War, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Tom Clamcy’s Rainbow Six Vegas, and Unreal Tournament 3. Recently Ageia increased its efforts to provide PhysX-based mod tools for Unreal Tournament 3, including a special UT3 mod kit and brand new maps for the multiplayer shooter.

“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, in a press statement.

Nividia said the acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions.

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