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Havok Tech Powering Assassin's Creed IV, Watch Dogs and The Division

Havok, a leading provider of game development technology, announced today that its Havok Physics is powering a number of next-gen Ubisoft titles, including Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag. Making use of Havok Physics, the Ubisoft Montreal development team was able to bring an unprecedented level of immersion to the massive world of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag.

Havok's technology is also being used in a variety of future Ubisoft games, including action titles such as Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy's The Division, both slated for release on next-gen hardware platforms. The publisher is leveraging Havok technology across platforms to ensure a consistent experience on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system and on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as across PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii U system from Nintendo and Windows PC.

Havok Launches Next Generation Physics Engine

Havok, a leading provider of interactive 3D game technology, today announced the launch of a major new version of its industry-leading Havok Physics technology. The release is the culmination of more than 5 years of internal R&D effort. It features significant technical innovations in performance, memory utilization, usability and simulation quality, and represents a major leap forward in physics simulation for games.

Designed from the ground up for the computing architectures that will define games for the next decade, this release targets next-generation home consoles, mobile and PC while continuing to offer full support for current generation consoles.

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012 (UPDATED)

Word has been flying round the internet about Intel's dodgy Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo'. Intel's Mooly Eden, VP, PC Client Group was attempting to demonstrate a racing game on a prototype laptop – 'ultrabook' - fitted with an upcoming 22 nm Ivy Bridge processor with a racing wheel attached and allegedly rendering DX11 graphics. However, as is very apparent at the start, it's actually a video, because the control panel for the free VLC video player pops up for a few seconds. Eden then 'drives' a car and after a few seconds puts up one hand and then the other, because as he says "they are driving it from backstage". However, there was no one driving the game "backstage", as it was just a video and Eden doesn't say anything about this at any point in the presentation.

This gives conspiracy theorists lots of ammunition, as perhaps the game was actually played on a high powered desktop PC with NVIDIA or AMD discrete graphics cards? What game was it? Eden doesn't say. "IB can't really do these graphics!" they cry and so on. Sure, man 'didn't' go to the moon, either... However, we believe that while yes, there was a bit of deception going on, it was nothing more than a white(ish) lie. Why? Because Ivy Bridge comes out in April and people aren't going to forget this demo. They will immediately put IBs DX11 graphics to the test with similar games and if it doesn't deliver, Intel will have a lot of egg on its face. Here's what Intel had to say about this demo in an official statement:

Intel Corporation to Acquire McAfee

Intel Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire McAfee, Inc., through the purchase of all of the company's common stock at $48 per share in cash, for approximately $7.68 billion. Both boards of directors have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified in the agreement.

The acquisition reflects that security is now a fundamental component of online computing. Today's security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats. Providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.

AMD Demonstrates Optimized Executions of Havok Middleware on AMD platforms

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and Havok, the premier provider of interactive software for physics simulation and content development, are presenting new, optimized executions of Havok’s physics middleware on AMD platforms at the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The demonstrations include the first OpenCL supported execution of Havok Cloth.

Havok offers a complete modular suite of products that help visual and interactive content developers create more realistic games and cinematic special effects. As the latest software developer to take advantage of ATI Stream technology to leverage multi-core architectures and accelerate execution of highly parallel functions, like real-time cloth simulation, Havok will enable game developers to offer improved performance and interactivity across a broad range of OpenCL capable PCs. AMD has recently introduced optimized platform technologies, such as “Dragon” desktop platform technology, which balance performance between the CPU and GPU with ATI Stream technology to deliver outstanding value.

AMD to Demonstrate GPU Havok Physics Acceleration at GDC

GPU-accelerated physics is turning out to be the one part of specifications AMD is yearning for. One of NVIDIA's most profitable acquisitions in recent times, has been that of Ageia technologies, and its PhysX middleware API. NVIDIA went on to port the API to its proprietary CUDA GPGPU architecture, and is now using it as a significant PR-tool apart from a feature that is genuinely grabbing game developers' attention. In response to this move, AMD's initial reaction was to build strategic technology alliance with the main competitor of PhysX: Havok, despite its acquisition by Intel.

In the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) event, AMD may materialize its plans to bring a GPU-accelerated version of Havok, which has till now been CPU-accelerated. The API has featured in several popular game titles such as Half Life 2, Max Payne II, and some other Valve Source-based titles. ATI's Terry Makedon, in his Twitter-feed has revealed that AMD would put forth its “ATI GPU Physics strategy.” He also added that the company would present a tech-demonstration of Havok technology working in conjunction with ATI hardware. The physics API is expected to utilize OpenCL and AMD Stream.

Source: bit-tech.net

PhysX will Die, Says AMD

In an interview with Godfrey Cheng, Director of Technical Marketing in AMD's Graphics Products Group, Bit-Tech.net has quoted him saying that standards such as PhysX would die due to their proprietary and closed nature. Says Mr. Cheng:
"There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX," said Cheng. "As we have emphasised with our support for OpenCL and DX11, closed and proprietary standards will die."
Bit-Tech.net interviewed the AMD person to get the company's take on EA and 2K's decision to adopt NVIDIA PhysX across all of their worldwide studios, earlier this week. Interestingly, when asked about how the major publishers such as EA adopting PhysX across all of their studios would impact the propagation of the API, Cheng responded with saying that monetary incentives provided to publishing houses alone won't help a great deal in propagating the API, and that the product (PhysX) must be competitive, and that AMD viewed Havoc and its physics simulation technologies as leaders. "Games developers share this view. We will also invest in technologies and partnerships beyond Havok that enhances gameplay." he added. PhysX is a proprietary physics simulation API created by Ageia technologies, which was acquired and developed by NVIDIA. You can read the full Bit-Tech.net interview with Godfrey Cheng here.

AMD and Havok to Optimize Physics for Gaming

AMD and Havok today announced plans to jointly investigate the optimization of physics effects utilizing AMD’s full line of products. With over 100 developers and 300 leading titles already using Havok’s physics engine - Havok Physics – the company has clearly defined its position as the leading developer of game physics. By working together, both companies are demonstrating their commitment to open standards and continued support for the needs of the game community.

Havok Offers Core Physics Free for PC Game Developers

Havok, the premier provider of interactive software and services to digital creators in the games and movie industries, today announced that the company will offer the PC version of its award-winning physics and animation software product – Havok Complete – for download free of charge. Available for non-commercial use, Havok Complete for the PC will be freely downloadable in May 2008.

New Havok Physics Engine Disables Proprietary GPU Physics

It's pretty obvious that nowadays, gamers want more than just pretty graphics in their games. The likes of Crysis, Half Life 2, Call of Duty 4 and BioShock all show that gamers really crave and enjoy realistic physics in their games. To make rendering physics easier, and to compete with Ageia's PhysX, both AMD and NVIDIA planned out physics rendering via the graphics card. Unfortunately for both of their plans, Havok is soon going to release the Havok FX engine. The Havok FX engine is responsible for calculating physics without any GPU support whatsoever, regardless of brands. If Havok FX is adopted across the board, then the prospect of GPU physics is off-limits until at least DirectX11. This is great news for Ageia, which would leave physics to physics processing units, and very bad news for AMD and NVIDIA, who have likely been perfecting their physics engines for the past two years.Source: DailyTech

Intel To Acquire Havok

Intel Corporation today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Havok Inc., the leading provider of interactive software and services used by digital media creators in the game and movie industries. Havok will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. The acquisition will enable developers in the digital animation and game communities to take advantage of Intel's innovation and technology leadership in the creation of digital media.
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