Nvidia supports PhysX effort on ATI Radeon

Posted by Theo Valich

Mountain House (CA) – You gotta love this industry. 12 days ago, we reported about a website making progress in getting Nvidia’s CUDA platform and PhysX to run on ATI Radeon cards, which Nvidia denied would be possible. Some even claimed that such a tool was a planned hoax. Now we are told that developer Eran Badit has not only been invited to join Nvidia’s developer program, but has also been offered hands-on help. Here is an update to a fascinating story that may soon bring PhysX support to your Radeon graphics card.    

Eran Badit editor-in-chief of NGOHQ.com posted an update to the events of last week yesterday. He confirmed that he is receiving support from Nvidia to get PhysX to run on ATI cards. “It’s very impressive, inspiring and motivating to see Nvidia's view on this,” he wrote. He believes that Nvidia most likely wants to “take on Intel with CUDA and to deal with the latest Havok threat from both AMD and Intel.”

He also noted that he made progress getting his hands on a Radeon 4800 card and noted that his CUDA Radeon library is “almost done.” Badit said that “there are some issues that need to be addressed, since adding Radeon support in CUDA isn’t a big deal - but it’s not enough! We also need to add CUDA support on AMD’s driver level and its being addressed as we speak.”
 
The tone at Nvidia has changed quite a bit over the past week. It appears that Nvidia does not mind running PhysX on ATI Radeon (or just about any other GPU) cards. In fact, Nvidia has opened access to Developer Relations and is providing assistance to Badit, including access to documentation, SDKs and more importantly, hardware and actual engineers. In the end, if Badit could get PhysX to run on Radeon cards, the PhysX reach would be extended dramatically and Nvidia would not be exposed to any fishy business claims – since a third party developer is leading the effort.

We contacted Nvidia for a statement and received the following note from Roy Taylor, vice president of developer relations:

"Eran and I have been talking via email and we have invited him to join NVIDIA’s registered developer program.  We are delighted at his interest in CUDA and in GPU accelerated physics using PhysX.  Eran joins a long line of developers who are now working on using the GPU to run physics and who are doing so with the world's leading physics software - PhysX. "

Derek Perez, who is in charge of Nvidia’s PR department joined Taylor with this statement:

"We’ll help any and all developers are using CUDA.  That includes tools…documentation…and hands on help. We’re delighted with the interest in CUDA and PhysX; and that includes the news on www.ngohq.com."

Eran told us that he needs support from AMD as to get the utility developed and compatible with the ATI Radeon 2900, 3800 and 4800 series of graphics cards. According to Badit, it took AMD seven days to respond and send the requested documents. We also asked AMD for comment, but have not received a reply so far. As soon as we receive a comment from AMD, we will update this article.

We are in touch with Badit and as soon as we receive a PhysX_on_AMD run-time we can use we will provide you an update. At least right now it appears that one guy from Israel is changing the face of GPU-accelerated physics, giving developers a choice what physics API to use for next-gen gaming titles.