slimjim8201 wrote:Game physics and large scale simulation matrix solving are two completely different things. There is so much more going on within a CFD solver than with simple game physics. Even the most high end games employ relatively "simple" game physics.
That is true enough, however sparse matrix solving is something extremely well suited to the GPU. That component is essentially a very fast vector processor with fast access for random memory reading. This is exactly what you want for CFD, but the technology isn't ripe enough yet to allow for simple adaptation of existing codes. GPUs are likely much better suited to the engineering applications than the usual out-of-order CPU designs, but ease of use is still lacking.
A very similar thing is true of the Cell processor in the PlayStation 3. It's excellent at processing a stream of information rather than a sequence of various different instructions, which is exactly what you usually need in physics and engineering problems. Look at this story for an example (which is really all about solving partial differential equations):
http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/news/20 ... ercomputer
It is not that these kinds of processors are unsuitable for engineering applications, quite the contrary, the problem is that it's still emerging technology that will take a while to become adopted. I do expect many more vector processors being used for serious computations in the next few years, though.