AMD's new FEMFX physics-based CPU library offers lifelike object deformation and destruction

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Dec 17, 2019 2:57 PM

Much like NPC AI, physics-based games haven’t really progressed much beyond Half-Life 2’s box stacking in the intervening 15 years, truth be told, but more realistic physics could be back on the table if AMD’s new open source FEMFX technology is adopted.

FEM (Finite Element Method) is designed to utilise all of the available cores and threads in a multi-core processor, finding a genuine gaming use for the number of cores which can often be found on CPUs these days.

Available to download right now, FEMFX is a multithreaded CPU library which houses all sorts of information on deformable materials and how they should behave when stressed. This includes things like wood splintering when shot, rubber tyres compressing when bouncing, metal cars crushing on impact, or plastic deforming and even snapping if enough pressure is applied.

Don't just take my word for it, though, you can see it all in action in the GIFs below. This includes the bending and breaking of wood, crushing of metal, melting objects and elastic deformation.

Breaking Wood

 

Denting Metal

Elastic Deformation

Melting

The one obvious hole in the software is the lack of liquid physics but, aside from that, this CPU library clearly shows realistic on-the-fly material deformation with immense potential for physics-based gameplay solutions on top of the inherent realism.

For game developers looking to take advantage of this tech, the FEMFX library can be downloaded here while there’s also an Unreal Engine 4 plugin version available here.

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03:16 Dec-19-2019

That LOD simulation is amazing! Real nice upgrade!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UaDvIPpQnQ

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04:59 Dec-18-2019

using all the cores especialy more than 6 cores will become mainstream after developers make next gen console games which will be heavily mulltithreaded.

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17:09 Dec-17-2019

Whats the use?? Nvidia will again take these libraries, reverse engineer it, add some of their own spin, slap some fancy name on it and claim that they did it

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17:10 Dec-17-2019

better than the competition. Then all the fan boys will just praising them, and developers will use Nvidia's version cause Nvidia pays them to do so.

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02:43 Dec-19-2019

Man you guys have bad memory...Nivida already did this YEARS ago with a dedicted add on card called PhysX..But guess what? didnt take off because all the AMD fan-boys didn't like it...

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06:52 Dec-19-2019

PhysX wasn't good in terms of performance. And it wasn't open source. It wasn't a wide spread adoption and only recently they made it open source.


Havok had pretty much the same level of detail with particles but its performance was much better.


Not to mention, they gimped PhysX when using it for CPUs.

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20:57 Dec-19-2019

First, it wasn't nVidia, first version, which was in form of expansion card was done by Ageia, which was latter acquired by nVidia, who of course made PhysX part of their cards. And it didn't take off, because no one likes solutions that chain you to one corporation. Same as nVidia had to adopt adaptive sync on which FreeSync is based, similar happened to PhysX, except there was no open solution.

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20:59 Dec-19-2019

And because it was so locked down and proprietary, also games had to adopt to the fact that not everyone can run it, meaning PhysiX was very limited in use for some particles that can be safely turned off. They couldn't make games based on PhysX, which could be absolutely amazing. But since that would heavily limit target audience, here we are, thanks to nVidia. And yes, they did open it,...

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21:01 Dec-19-2019

... but a way too late. If this happened on release and all graphic cards could run it, PhysX could take off. But gaming went in different direction, away from physics simulations, destructive environments, realistically spreading fire,... Which is shame, I would love to see more of that.

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21:20 Dec-19-2019

@Seth22087 You should look at Teardown then. It's still being worked on, but it looks really promising and it's a voxel based game. He posts a lot of videos on his twitter of him testing and developing features for it.

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18:28 Dec-17-2019

is there any proof behind this "claim" or are you just another fanboy

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18:36 Dec-17-2019

Got one.

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21:29 Dec-17-2019

TressFX became Hair Works when it came to Nvidia, Aniti-Lag became Ultra Low latency mode, RIS became normal Image sharpening without any CAS algorithm in case

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21:31 Dec-17-2019

of Nvidia. Asynchronous Compute engines, which is yet to be copied by Nvidia. Turing supports Asynchronous Compute but it's leagues behind AMD's implementation.

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21:05 Dec-17-2019

The main issue of nVidia doing it is that it will be proprietary. And that means it won't get as much use as if AMD makes their own and it is open source. Because in this case anyone can use it on any hardware with enough power. Which is far better, plus it is easier to work with, since you don't need necessary option to turn it off for anyone with older hardware or non-nVidia hardware.

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16:48 Dec-17-2019

Ah, almost as good as GTA 4's vehicle destruction, just ten years later.

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16:55 Dec-17-2019

Typical AMD... ;)

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19:43 Dec-17-2019

loved the physics in gta 4 the disappointment when i saw gta v physics

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10:01 Dec-18-2019

The character physics in GTA 5 are just amazing

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11:50 Dec-18-2019

The gta 4 npc's getting hit ragdoll like physics where great. Also the car deformation, the wheels getting stuck. Every car handling felt different...

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15:07 Dec-17-2019

AMD and Steam are probably two of the biggest tech companies that keep pushing for open source software and making it better. They don't have to do it, but they still do it and it's just so beneficial for them. Steam even helped AMD by developing an open source shader compiler which makes running games on Linux faster / better (compared to how they used to run, not sure how it compares to windows). I'm glad to see that AMD have created a new open source technology for physics and I can't wait to see what will happen with it in the future

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19:23 Dec-17-2019

It's beautiful.

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17:49 Dec-19-2019

Here is the truth of the matter...AMD doesn't like you any more then Nvidia. They both NEED yo to stay in business....so the truth about tech companies and it has always been this way is who ever releases the technology first gets to call the shots. Now, Nvidia is usually first, im sure most will not even ague this point. So what this means is Nvidia being first will not make it open-source because that will not make them money....basic economics people!

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