AI Hardware Accelerator in the Works

Israeli company AIseek promises to offer a hardware artificial intelligence accelerator card. AIseek seeks to offload AI tasks from the CPU by using an in-house designed processor dubbed the Intia processor. The Intia processor offers hardware accelerated path finding, sensory simulation and terrain analysis functionality—features typically processed by the CPU which AIseek claims takes quite a bit of CPU power. AIseek also claims the Intia processor can process low-level AI tasks 100-200 times faster than the system CPU can.

Games that will benefit from hardware accelerated AI include RTS, RPG and FPS games according to AIseek. A few examples of how these genres benefit from hardware AI acceleration technology are also stated in the FAQ:

With accelerated AI, RTS worlds can be large, complex and highly dynamic, with thousands of AI-controlled units moving and behaving intelligently at all times. In RPG games, cities and landscapes can come alive with thousands of fully-simulated characters. With full simulation, all characters remain alive and intelligent both on-screen and off-screen (i.e., no loss of AI level-of-detail), resulting in much more believable, life-like worlds. For Action games and Shooters, accelerated AI means no more dumb enemies.

It is unknown when AIseek’s hardware AI accelerator board or technologies will arrive in retail or gain developer support, though it most likely won’t be for a while. With manufacturers advertising the ultimate gaming experience as having multi-GPU rendering technologies such as ATI’s CrossFire or NVIDIA’s SLI, an Ageia PhysX accelerator, Creative Labs X-Fi Fatal1ty and Bigfoot Networks’ KillerNIC, there seems to be more expansion cards needed than slots available for the ultimate gaming experience.

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