Gaming has reached a graphical pinnacle. Games are becoming more and more photorealistic and offer tons of visuals. Physics in games is also becoming a standard since people want more reality and more dynamic gameplay. As the games increase so does the desire for a more realistic game. CPUs are greatly hindered by physics calculations and games that use physics are generally dont use as much as the player desires. Aegia has solved this problem with an incredible product. I guarantee this product will be as popular as your AGP/PCIE video card is.
Aegia has created a PPU, physics processing unit. What this does is give the developer a way to send physics data directly to this PPU to compute all physics throughout the game. As I watched the live demo I saw a game with 400 rigid bodies (rigid bodies are like rocks and static objects that dont change). As they were knocked over the CPU had to calculate all of those blocks. The framerate didnt drop because of the low count but when I saw a demo of 4000 bodies it went to a crawl. The CPU simply could not handle all of that data fast enough to render it at a decent framerate (decent meaning playable).
The Aegia PPU can handle up to, if not more, 32,000 rigid bodies on the screen at a time. Think of you driving your car into a lake and actually seeing the water splash off the car and over the hood as it does in real life, its absolutely stunning as to what this PPU can do.
The developers are given an SDK to develop with and they can do it both in software and hardware, so if you dont have the PPU card you can still play the game. The card will be available in both PCI and PCI Express at a price range of about 250-300 dollars. There is no high-end or low-end model, but that isnt out of the picture. The PPU is already in a ton of games such as Rise of Nations 2, and is backed by Sony and Microsoft.
The price to license the API is very cheap, considering the alternatives. I asked if an independent developer was out of luck and he assured me that they could easily afford it. This is incredibly good news for the indy developer scene and Im sure they will be all over it when its available.
The videos and live demos that I saw simply blew me away, this is real, its not the Phantom. Asus has already backed it up and it may be a new feature built into new motherboards in the near future.
This is expected to come out fall of 2005 and will be in every computer on Earth. There is absolutely no reason to pass this up. Im amazed it took this long for something like this to come out. Buy it; you have no reason not to.