Nvidia acquires PhysX maker Ageia

Nvidia, the maker of graphics chips used in some Mac models, has announced plans to acquire Ageia Technologies. Ageia develops a middleware product called PhysX that provides realistic physics effects in games.

PhysX is cross-platform technology that's been used in more than 140 games, according to the companies, including some titles on the Mac, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and Windows.

Ageia's chief rival is Havok, a company whose eponymous physics software has been used in many computer and console video games. Havok has expanded its offering to provide animation and behavior attributes for in-game characters, all in a unified software development kit (SDK). PhysX's chief advantage has been support for hardware-based acceleration. The company has scored several deals with manufacturers like Dell and HP to include PhysX hardware accelerators in some of its gear.

Nvidia plans to build support for Ageia's PhysX technology into its card, providing hardware-based acceleration of PhysX-enabled games, according to the press release.

  
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