AMD’s FEMFX delivers jaw-dropping gaming physics courtesy of multi-core CPUs

(Image credit: Future)

AMD has announced that FEMFX, a multithreaded CPU library, is now available as part of GPUOpen. As there are already plugins out there, we could see some seriously fancy physics effects coming to games in the future (with any luck).

FEMFX is described as a physics method for simulating deformation, so in other words it can be used to implement all manner of realistic bending, breaking, or shattering (and other) effects.

It’s designed to “utilize multicore CPUs and benefit from the trend of increasing CPU core counts”, which is, of course, a trend led by AMD’s Ryzen processors (the new Ryzen 3950X flagship offers 16-cores in a mainstream CPU – if you can find one, that is).

As Wccftech, which spotted the launch, points out, developers can now get source code for FEMFX on GitHub, and there’s a plugin for Unreal Engine 4, as well as one for the Houdini 3D animation software.

Physics puzzles

There are more details imparted on FEMFX here, but the library will allow for highly realistic simulations of different materials bending or breaking, or indeed melting. And there are a raft of different potential physics interactions which could be incorporated in the likes of puzzles in games.

The results look very smart indeed, and promise to bring a whole new level of realism to elements such as exploding doors or windows (or indeed buildings). And the weight being dropped on a car as part of the provided demo clips looks tantalizingly realistic.

Before we get too carried away, it’s obviously still early days for FEMFX, but there’s certainly a great deal of promise here. And you can bet AMD will be pushing hard with this library, seeing as it’s tied in with making more cores useful for PC gamers (with Intel currently arguing that piling on the cores with processors is simply overkill, at least for gaming anyway).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).