Intel and AMD may be bitter rivals in the CPU market, but when it comes to physics, or specifically the Havok physics engine they're not so unfriendly. Evidence for that conclusion comes from today's announcement that AMD and Intel-owned Havok will be working together to optimise the physics engine for all of AMD's hardware.
The press release states that " Havok Physics scales extremely well across the entire family of AMD processors, including quad-core products such as the AMD Phenom X4. As part of the collaboration, Havok and AMD plan to further optimize the full range of Havok technologies on AMD x86 superscalar processors. The two companies will also investigate the use of AMD's massively parallel ATI Radeon GPUs to manage appropriate aspects of physical world simulation in the future."
Yes, you read that properly - Havok will be able (at some point) to run on AMD graphics cards. Assuming nVidia doesn't get in on that action too, this move would put Intel, Havok and AMD even more at odds with nVidia and PhysX - which will run on G80 and newer nVidia GPUs very shortly, via CUDA.
Should this be the intention, Intel is really throwing the cat among the proverbial pigeons. It seems safe to assume that Intel's forthcoming GPU, Larrabee, will also offer support for Havok too. Perhaps some payback for the huge thrashing CUDA is allowing nVidia's GPUs to give many traditionally CPU-based applications, such as video encoding and image editing.
Definitely one to watch…