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Messages - Stefan

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2581
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GPU3:  Next generation GPU core, based on OpenMM.  We have been making major advances in GPU simulation, with the key advances going into OpenMM, our open library for molecular simulation.  OpenMM started with our GPU2 code as a base, but has really flourished since then.  Thus, we have rewritten our GPU core to use OpenMM and we have been testing that recently as well.  It is designed to be completely backward compatible, but should make simulations much more stable on the GPU as well as add new science features.  A key next step for OpenMM is OpenCL support, which should allow much more efficient use of new ATI GPUs and beyond.

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2583
3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA PhysX SDK 2.8.3 - Release Notes
« on: September 30, 2009, 08:56:03 PM »
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Release Notes - NVIDIA PhysX SDK 2.8.3

30th September 2009

What's New In NVIDIA PhysX 2.8.3

General

·         This release enables clothing simulation. These new features are required to run the APEX clothing module

·         The release also adds a hierarchical solver for cloth

·         Introduction of split pair notification for cloth (existed for soft bodies only in previous versions)

·         Improved statistics to track GPU memory utilization

·         Updated with 64Bit Windows support

Supported Devices

·         The supported devices are the same as for PhysX 2.8.1 (see below), except that the AGEIA PhysX Processor (PPU) device support was removed

Performance

·         The hierarchical cloth solver runs before the regular solver at each time step. This does not immediately improve cloth simulation performance. However, running the hierarchical solver achieves the same stiffness of the cloth with fewer solver iterations of the regular solver. Thus, the performance is increased by explicitly reducing the number solver iterations.

·         Added support to run force field updates on the scene's worker threads. Can be enabled by raising the flag NxSceneFlags::NX_SF_MULTITHREADED_FORCEFIELD and by setting NxSceneDesc::internalThreadCount to the number of worker threads which will compute the force field updates besides the scene thread.

Fixed Bugs

·         NxArray::insert() did not work properly if elements were inserted anywhere else than at the end of the array.

·         Crash when fluid tries to access invalid convexes. Mirrored convexes can get corrupted when a heap allocation fails.

·         GPU fluids: Force and deletion updates are performed on wrong particles in case the updates address particles that have been added since the last execution of NxScene::simulate().

·         GPU fluid mesh collision kernel crashes on GT200 cards due to heavily unbalanced workload.

·         GPU fluids: Releasing static primitive rigid body shapes has no effect on particle collision.

·         Concurrency issues with multi compartment scene configurations.

·         Wrong contact normals in the mesh vs. capsule collision case could occur, if the capsule hit an edge shared by two mesh triangles. Please note that this fix may change the simulation behavior compared to previous versions of the SDK.

·         Contact reports: Under certain circumstances, incorrect contact normals in the capsule vs. mesh case were provided when continuous collision detection was enabled.

Known Issues and Limitations

·         NxScene::cookFluidMeshHotspot(...) is only supported for fluids configured to run on the GPU. Calling the method on a scene with just software (windows) fluids just has a memory impact and no benefit. There is no effect on consoles.

·         The 64 bit PhysX SDK has an extra limitation on Windows Xp64 due to an Xp64 thread local storage bug: The maximal number of scenes/compartments supported can be derived as follows:
#NxScene*4 + #NxCompartment(SW)*2 + #NxCompartment(HW)*1 < (65 - 25)
Note that the compartments can be inspected using NxScene::getCompartmentArray(...), including default compartments.

·         Please also see the previous lists from 2.8.1 and earlier.

API changes

·         Hierarchical cloth

o    NxClothMeshDesc.numHierarchyLevels - used for cooking a mesh hierarchy into the cloth mesh

o    NxClothDesc.hierarchicalSolverIterations - how many iterations of the hierarchical solver to run at each time step

o    NxCloth::getHierarchicalSolverIterations()/

o    NxCloth::setHierarchicalSolverIterations(NxU32 iterations)

·         Clothing

o    The constrain positions and normals are set at each time step via

§ void NxCloth::setConstrainPositions(void* buffer, NxU32 byteStride = sizeof(NxVec3)

§ void NxCloth::setConstrainNormals(void* buffer, NxU32 byteStride = sizeof(NxVec3))

o    The cloth vertices then stay within a certain distance to the constrain positions. The constrain positions are typically given by the animation of the clothing using skeletal skinning.

o    Coefficients like the maximum distance from the constrain positions are set using

§ void NxCloth::setConstrainCoefficients(const NxClothConstrainCoefficients *coefficients, NxU32 byteStride = sizeof(NxClothConstrainCoefficients))

§ class NxClothConstrainCoefficients

o    In a typical scenario, the coefficients are set only once after the cloth is created and remain constant during the simulation. They can also be updated between time steps.

o    The clothing functionality is also available for soft bodies. Use NxSoftBodyConstrainCoefficients instead of NxClothConstrainCoefficients in connection with soft bodies.

o    NxSoftBodyVertexFlags::NX_SOFTBODY_VERTEX_SECONDARY can be set per vertex in NxSoftBodyMeshDesc::vertexFlags before the mesh is cooked. This flag is used to make the softboy behave like cloth. Only the vertices without this flag set are simulated. The secondary vertices follow the primary ones keeping the tetrahedral mesh in shape for skinning of multi layered clothing.

o    Hard stretch limitation. This feature is enabled by setting the flag NX_CLF_HARD_STRETCH_LIMITATION. When the flag ist set, the solver keeps the maximal amount of stretchiness below a factor given by NxClothDesc.hardStretchLimitationFactor. The featurer only works when constrain positions and coefficients are provided. It is useful in connection with clothing simulation to make the cloth inextensible (limitation factor = 1.0). The method to achieve this is non-physical. It works best when the cloth is attached at the top and hangs down such as with skirts or capes.

o    Untangling. When self-collision handling is turned off (for performance reasons), the cloth can locally entangle and remain in this state. When this NX_CLF_UNTANGLING is set, the simulator tries to untangle the cloth locally. This is done non-physically and can introduce ghost forces! The flag can be turned on and off during run-time but it has to be set when the cloth is created in order for the necessary data structures to get initialized. The feature is supported for cloth only

·         Cloth

o    Added selfCollisionThickness parameter. Use selfCollisionThickness for for self collision, thickness for collision with other objects.

o    Added NX_CLF_INTER_COLLISION cloth flag, to enable cloth to collide with other cloth. (not implemented)

 

·         Soft bodies

o    Added selfCollisionThickness parameter. Use selfCollisionThickness for for self collision, particleRadius for collision with other objects.

o    Added NX_SBF_INTER_COLLISION cloth flag, to enable soft bodies to collide with other soft bodies. (not implemented)

 

·         Split pair notification

o    class NxClothSplitPairData

o    NxClothDesc.splitPairData

 

·         Added NxSceneFlags::NX_SF_MULTITHREADED_FORCEFIELD to enable the multi-threaded version of force field for fluids

·         Added NxSceneFlags::NX_SF_ALTERNATIVE_FLUID_TRIANGLE_COLLISION to enable an alternative fluids triangle-mesh collision CUDA kernel which could be significantly faster than the default one in some scenarios

2584
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Irrlicht 1.6 Released
« on: September 30, 2009, 08:33:58 PM »
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We just released Irrlicht version 1.6. As always, this version contains a lot of bugfixes and corrections, but also some new features:

    * New mesh and image loaders (.PLY mesh loader, .RGB, .RGBA, .SGI, .INT, and .INTA textures)
    * New Material properties ColorMask, Mipmap LOD, Depth test function, AlphaToCoverage, selective Anti-Aliasing
    * New console device and possibility to create different devices from the same library
    * OverrideMaterial for changing material properties globally
    * New Filesystem with tighter integration of different archive types
    * Improved Software rendering engine

2585
3D-Tech News Around The Web / PGI CUDA Fortran Compiler Beta Released
« on: September 30, 2009, 06:48:55 AM »
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Lets programmers code NVIDIA CUDA GPUs in Fortran

Read full story at DDJ.

2586
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...STALKER: Call of Pripyat screenshots that highlight the game's DirectX 11 graphics. The first two screenshots highlight GSC's use of tessellation to add more detail to the DX11 character. The last 8 shots focus on the game's DX11 contact hardened shadows, which are compared to DX10.1 shadows.

In the DX11 contact hardened shadows screenshots (images 04, 06, 08, 10), you can see the sharper shadow edges where they contact the object that's casting the shadow. The shadow edge gets blurrier further away from the object.

Watch gallery at FiringSquad.

2587
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NVIDIA today announced work with Microsoft to promote NVIDIA Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs) for high performance parallel computing using the Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system.

Read full story at TPU.

2588
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What’s New in v2.0-beta3

    * ATI Stream SDK v2.0 OpenCL™ for x86 CPUs is now certified conformant by Khronos on September 3, 2009.
    * 64-bit atomic built-ins are now recognized.
    * Fixed some compiler assertion issues.
    * Fixed some incorrect compiler warnings.
    * Fixed some incorrect compiler assertion failures.
    * Fixed some code generation issues.

Supported Processors:

    * X86 CPU w/ SSE 3.x or later

Note:
You cannot mix ATI samples with NVIDIA runtime or vice versa because of different procedure entry points.
Therefore ATI's opencl.dll is not recognised by Everest Ultimate beta 1586

2589
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We have a real-time task distribution engine. The frame buffer stream is being analyzed and checked on-the-fly. By approaching graphics on computational level we resolved frame dependency.

Read full story at BSN.

2590
3D-Tech News Around The Web / GLC_Player 2.1 available
« on: September 26, 2009, 05:27:28 AM »
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GLC_Player 2.1.0
List of the new fonctionnalities :

    * Add 3DXML V3 and V4 Ascii file format.
    * Add Collada V1.4 file format (Mesh, structure and materials properties).
    * Display axis to show view orientation.
    * Posibility to chose between "Track Ball" and "Turn Table" navigation mode.
    * Display the bounding box size in the view "Instance properties"


2591
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Tokyo Game Show 2009 trailer round-up
« on: September 25, 2009, 04:42:20 PM »
DemoNews collected more than 30 trailers.

2592
3D-Tech News Around The Web / NVIDIA Forceware 191.03 Beta available
« on: September 25, 2009, 04:24:44 PM »
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This is a beta driver for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, and 200-series desktop GPUs and ION desktop GPUs.

New in Version 191.03

    * Adds support for OpenGL 3.2 for GeForce 8, 9, 100, and 200-series GPUs and ION GPUs.
    * Accelerates performance in several gaming applications. The following are examples of improvements measured with version 191.03 drivers vs. version 190.62 drivers (results will vary depending on your GPU, system configuration, and game settings):
          o Up to 12% performance increase in ARMA 2
          o Up to 8% performance increase in Batman: Arkham Asylum with GPU PhysX enabled
          o Up to 50% performance increase in Call of Juarez: Blood in Bound with SLI enabled
          o Up to 14% performance increase in Fallout 3 (indoor scenes) with antialiasing enabled
          o Up to 10% performance increase in Far Cry 2 (DX9 version) with antialiasing enabled
          o Up to 34% performance increase in Prototype with antialiasing enabled
    * Adds SLI support for Darkfall, Dawn of Magic 2: Time of Shadows, Dreamkiller, Fuel, Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, Need for Speed: Shift and more.
    * Includes numerous bug fixes, including the following key fix (additional bug fixes can be found in the release notes on the documentation tab): For graphics cards supporting multiple clock states, 3D clocks correctly return to 2D clocks after exiting a 3D application.

New in Release 190/191 Drivers

    * Installs PhysX System Software version 9.09.0814.
    * Supports CUDA 2.3 for improved performance in GPU Computing applications. See CUDA Zone for more details.

Existing Support:

    * Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI technology* on DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and OpenGL.
    * Supports NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on a dedicated GeForce graphics card. Use one card for graphics and dedicate a different card for PhysX processing for game-changing physical effects. Learn more here.
    * Supports GeForce Plus Power Pack #3. Download these FREE PhysX and CUDA applications now!
    * Supports GPU overclocking and temperature monitoring by installing NVIDIA System Tools software.

*Note: The following SLI features are only supported on Windows Vista and Windows 7: Quad SLI technology using GeForce 9800 GX2 or GeForce GTX 295, 3-way SLI technology, Hybrid SLI, and SLI multi-monitor support.

Download driver from NVIDIA.
opencl.dll and nvcompiler.dll are missing, but these are version independent, so you can keep copies from 190.89 drivers
Get OpenCL 1.0 Conformant Release (Tools & Utilities) from laptopvideo2go
Get NVIDIA PhysX System Software 9.09.0914 from Guru3D

2593
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Bloomberg Uses GPUs to Speed Up Bond Pricing
« on: September 25, 2009, 09:22:45 AM »
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GPUs or graphics cards are specialized chips that run inside PCs to display 2D and 3D graphics. They tend to contain hundreds of floating point processors that are good at handling mathematically intensive and parallel processes such as Monte Carlo simulations

Read full story at WS&T.

2594
3D-Tech News Around The Web / ATI Catalyst 9.10 Beta available
« on: September 24, 2009, 08:23:16 PM »
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This driver fixes the OGL memory leak with VBO's just in case anyone is interested since that affects quite a few OGL apps / games.

Get it via Rage3D.

2595
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Dirt 2 has been confirmed to be one of the first games that will use Microsoft's new DirectX 11 API. PC Games Hardware had the chance to interview Bryan Marshall, the Technical Director of the Codemasters development team.

Read full story at PCGH.

2596
3D-Tech News Around The Web / TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.3.5 avaialble
« on: September 24, 2009, 03:42:44 PM »
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Revision History
0.3.5

    * ATI Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress) fully supported (includes voltage monitoring)
    * Added or improved support for NVIDIA FX5500, 9400 GT, G73, GTS 240, GT 140, FX 1800, GT 120 (Apple), FX 380, FX 350, GTX 295 Single PCB, Quadro CX, FX 5800, FX 4800, FX 3800, GTX 180M, GTX 260M, FX 2700M, G 110M, GT 120M, GT 220M, FX 1700M, G 105M, MCP79MX
    * Added or improved support for ATI HD 4730, HD 4650 AGP, M92, M96, M98
    * Added clock reading for Intel i910, i915, i945, 946
    * Added support for DDR3 detection on G9x
    * Added monitoring support for RV7xx based mobile chips
    * Voltage controller "slaves" are now called "phases"
    * Added Intel Havendale detection
    * Fixed BIOS parsing on some newer HD 4870 cards
    * Added voltage monitoring support for MSI N275GTX Lightning

Download from TPU.

2597
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No one has ever shown such a complex demonstration of true interactive GI using a GPU or CPU implementation. 
Why? Because GPUs and CPUs are not architected to fully solve the ray tracing problem efficiently. 
The CausticRT platform addresses these deficiencies and enables GPUs and CPUs to shade with an efficiency comparable to rasterization.

Read full story at PCPER.

2598
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AMD's waited 15 months to introduce a new graphics-card architecture. It arrives in the form of the high-end Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850 GPUs.

Launched a month before the release of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, AMD is hoping to leverage the significant interest generated by the well-received OS and use it to catalyse sales of the next-generation cards.

Review round-up via EliteBastards.

2599
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Paint.NET v3.5 Beta 1 with DirectWrite support
« on: September 23, 2009, 04:45:03 AM »
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Paint.NET v3.5 Beta 1 -  Download, released on September 20, 2009
The first beta of Paint.NET v3.5 is now available! Changes since version 3.36:

    * Refreshed user interface with new icons and visual styling. On Windows 7 and Vista, it is enhanced for Aero and "glass".
    * Now uses and requires .NET 3.5 SP1, which has many built-in performance improvements.
    * New effect: Blurs -> Surface Blur, by Ed Harvey
    * New effect: Distort -> Dents, by Ed Harvey
    * New effect: Distort -> Crystalize, by Ed Harvey
    * Effect dialog responsiveness has been greatly improved.
    * Images open much faster, especially on single CPU systems.
    * Selection outline is no longer animated. Instead of "dancing ants", an antialiased and stippled "XOR" outline is drawn.
    * Startup performance on most systems will be better by about 20%.
    * Memory usage has been greatly reduced when more than one image is open.
    * The font system for the Text tool has been completely rewritten, and problems with missing fonts and crashes should be a thing of the past.
    * On Windows XP and Vista, the Text tool has improved text rendering quality (it uses GDI instead of GDI+).
    * On Windows 7, the Text tool will use DirectWrite (instead of GDI) which gives even better performance and quality.

2600
3D-Tech News Around The Web / Away3D Programming Tutorials
« on: September 23, 2009, 04:39:41 AM »
Matthew Casperson has written a new tutorial series that shows you how to create a 3D Flash game using the Away3D engine.


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