Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Software Entertainment Games

NVidia Considering Porting PhysX To OpenCL 54

Posted by Soulskill
from the learning-to-share dept.
arcticstoat writes "NVidia has revealed that it's considering porting its PhysX API to OpenCL to allow PhysX GPU-acceleration on competitors' graphics cards as well. At the moment, a GPU needs to support NVidia's CUDA technology in order to accelerate PhysX on the GPU, and ATI has so far declined NVidia's offer to get CUDA working on ATI GPUs. NVidia's director of product management for PhysX, Nadeem Mohammad, said, 'In the future it's a possibility that we could use OpenCL' for PhysX, adding, 'If we start using OpenCL, then there's a chance that the features would work on ATI, but I have no idea what the performance would be like.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NVidia Considering Porting PhysX To OpenCL

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:59PM (#27380467)

    OpenCL is low leve enough that it's certainly possible to write code that works on other hardware in theory while being far too slow to do anything useful in practice.
    Knowing NV, I wouldn't be surprised to see this happening

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by linhares (1241614)
      I'm REALLY looking forward to opencl adoption. I'm working on AI, and I have to do things as simple as getting the hamming distance between two bitstrings, or adding +1 into xi for all i in a large vector. These are trivial, but I have to do them on (at least) a million different vectors at each operation. I'm dreaming that opencl will make this thing smoother.

      But then we get to the politics of the whole thing, and it's kind of depressing. Apple sends it to the Khronos group, which makes it a standard

      • Graphics languages in Linux? Blasphemy! Everyone knows that there is only a command line!

        (oh wait, now I see it: Those letters I just wrote are so pretty being slightly 3D popping out of the screen by about 1 pixel...Yay!)
      • by linhares (1241614)
        0 Redundant? Well, that's expected after bashing Apple.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by drerwk (695572)
        Sign up for ADC (for $500) and use the hardware discount. It'll be about 20% off the Apple retail price and you get all the latest developer goodies. If you intend to use OpenCL and the latest Apple OS, the only reason to build a Hakintosh is if your time is free. If that is the case then no problem. But I can't see running into a problem and sitting there wondering - is it Apple's new OpenCL, or is it my machine? And if you are ADC, then you can send Apple a trouble ticket - and maybe even get an answer.
        • by linhares (1241614)

          It'll be about 20% off the Apple retail price and you get all the latest developer goodies.

          I'm from the Federal Brazilian Banana Republic you insensitive clod. Even a macbook air [fnac.com.br] costs more than USD4.300. [google.com] Laugh it up, my friends!

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by robthebloke (1308483)

        Does anyone knows how opencl is supposed to work in windows or linux?

        In the exact same way that it'll work on Mac.

    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @04:27PM (#27381533) Homepage Journal

      OpenCL is low leve enough that it's certainly possible to write code that works on other hardware in theory while being far too slow to do anything useful in practice.

      Well if NVidia makes a sub-par implementation for competing cards, then NVidia can concentrate their efforts a cross-platform solution, while the competitor's cards are perceived as sub par. NVidia ever gets asked why they didn't do a better implementation, they could then argue this was just a token gesture and not an all out effort. In the meantime OpenCL gets picked up by games developers and NVidia gets a lead while the competition realises they have some catching up to do.

      This is sneaky, but the competitors only have themselves to blame if they don't recognise where things are going.

      • While they could do that, any kind of significant deviation in performance that's not due to hardware differences is just going to drive developers away. PhysX is only of value to NVIDIA if developers use it, otherwise if they all flock to Havok (which is getting its own OpenCL implementation) then being able to run PhysX quickly isn't going to be of any real benefit to NVIDIA.

        NVIDIA can't play games with OpenCL and PhysX, not at this stage at least.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      It's not clear to me that any other outcome is possible, really, since Intel demanded that OpenCL not include any features that couldn't be implemented on Intel integrated GPUs. That makes it basically a lowest-common-denominator spec that's missing support for a lot of the sort of stuff you can do in CUDA.

  • OpenCL? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mac1235 (962716) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:59PM (#27380479)
  • A standard (even if it's a de facto one) API for physics would mean more developers would consider it and gamers would be happy because it'd work with all cards.
    I guess Nvidia would gain money through licensing and AMD/ATI...I don't know, do they stand to lose anything because of this?
    Besides that, physx is available for the PS3 and (I believe) the Wii so it would be a (more or less) universal API for physics acceleration.
    • Besides that, physx is available for the PS3 and (I believe) the Wii so it would be a (more or less) universal API for physics acceleration.

      The Wii uses an ATI card. How could that be possible already?

      • by Elledan (582730)
        PhysX can run both on a CPU and a PPU/GPU. Or a Cell processor for that matter. Of course, the GPU & Cell options will be light years ahead compared to the CPU when it comes to performance, but it would run.
  • It's nice to see somebody doing the decent thing for once. Much better to put the thing out there and use it to sell some next-gen graphics cards instead of spending years trying to "win" via lock-in-and-lawyers.

    If only people like the RIAA could see a similar light.

    • It's nice to see somebody doing the decent thing for once. Much better to put the thing out there and use it to sell some next-gen graphics cards instead of spending years trying to "win" via lock-in-and-lawyers.

      Agreed. nVidia has traditionally been a big supporter of open APIs. I remember back in 3dfx's hey-day, glide (3dfx's proprietary API) was all the rage...until nVidia entered the market and pushed OpenGL quite heavily.

  • Total hypocrits (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How about those fuckers at nvidia start by writing real open source drivers for their cards ?

    xorg's nv is incredibly lame (doesn't even handle clock speed, because of "proprietary information"), and if you're not running one of those few systems that supports BINARY CLOSED SOURCE DRIVERS, you're totally out of luck.

    First, they should play ball, then they can talk about writing standards.

    • by jensend (71114)

      They didn't talk about writing standards. Even if they had, that would have no relevance to whether or not they produce open-source drivers.

      Are you sure you know what "hypocrite" means?

      In any case, they're under no obligation to cater to you or the other few people who are unable or unwilling to use closed source drivers.

      Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see open-source nV drivers and think that they and AMD/ATI are making a huge mistake by essentially allowing Intel to dictate the development of the revamped

  • Step One: Port PhysX to OpenCl

    Step Two: Encourage Developers to program with Physx, Now that it works on both sides

    Step Three: After universal acceptance of PhysX, include bugs that will only affect ATI owners, making ATI look bad.

    Not saying that this *will* happen, but just that its a possibility.

    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Step Four, get sued past the point of any potential returns from the actions outlined.

      There are unfair competition/business laws present that could offer a halt to that sort of thing. This is a big part of what MS was busted for and even though the anti trust case was more or less a busted slap on the wrist, Sun did end up taking a sizable chunk of change from MS over the Java implementations that did exactly what you suggested and MS is currently restricted by the settlement over certain things it can do.

      B

    • Step Four: Frustrated by their games underperforming on half the systems in the world game developers migrate in mass to competing product leaving PhysX an ugly footnote and huge negative entry in NVidia's accounting sheets.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

Working...