[Beowulf] coprocessor to do "physics calculations"

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Sat May 6 12:16:18 PDT 2006

Joe Landman wrote:
> Likely it has a linearized version of an ODE solver.  Nothing
> spectacular.  Shouldn't be that hard to code a simple Runge-Kutta or
> even a Simpson's rule in hardware ...
Indeed, but it probably only accelerates specific functions in the Ageia
engine. Here is what the competition (Havoc, used in Half-Life 2 for
those familiar) does:

I suspect it's like original Geforce cards were - very much a fixed
function device.

> Likely it has "game physics" and the major question is how do game
> physics map against the real world physics.
It likely has a subset (that which needed accelerating) of the Ageia
physics engine. It is also likely not tuned for accuracy.

> Thats not the only reason ...  Dedicated hardware, well designed to the
> task, can absolutely wipe the floor with general purpose hardware.  GPU
> vs CPU is a great example of this.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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