ATI has announced its controversial Boundless Gaming technology and made some bullish claims about what it will mean for high-end graphics.
The physics technology, which is being positioned as a high-end development framework, combines the power of two ATI graphics cards with a third card devoted to modelling the environment in the same PC.
The company has claimed that this asymmetric CrossFire configuration in an Intel Core Duo 2-powered PC will result in the best graphics and highest physics performance of anything available. An AMD-based version is also on the way.
ATI has maintained that traditional PC games are bound by the limitations of the core processor capability and by the amount of information the graphics cards can process. The same processing limitations impact how real games look. ATI said that the processing architecture of the Radeon X1900 XTX will deliver 360Gflops of processing power. This will result in gaming scenes with up to 30,000 distinct objects being simulated and rendered at real-time frame rates.
Game developer Havok is the first to support the approach.
David O’Meara, chief executive of Havok, said: “By unleashing Havok FX on ATI graphics processing units, we’re opening the door for some of the most compelling game experiences ever seen.”
Godfrey Cheng, marketing director for platform technologies at ATI, said: “The addition of physics to the CrossFire platform, and the continuing evolution of CrossFire, is based directly on the feedback of hardcore gamers. CrossFire is not ATI’s platform, it is the gamers’ platform.”
However, the impact that Boundless Gaming will have is already in doubt since public support from motherboard makers, system builders and leading games ho uses did not follow ATI’s announcement. In fact, physics processing specialist Ageia has already questioned ATI’s physics claims and its approach.
Ageia said in a statement: “In the end, what matters is who develops software for the product. There are games shipping for Ageia's PhysX technology today and more than 20 announced for 2006. In addition, more than 65 developers of more than 100 games are deep in development for PhysX. No specific games are announced, or even in development mode, for ATI.”
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