NVIDIA PhysX SDK Goes Open Source, 4.0 Due Later This Month

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Dec 4
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Yet another fairly important NVIDIA announcement flew under the radar. The PhysX SDK just went open source (under the 3-Clause BSD license), which means that game developers will be able to tweak and extend the PhysX SDK as they see fit. Here’s what NVIDIA said in a press release:

We’re doing this because physics simulation – long key to immersive games and entertainment – turns out to be more important than we ever thought. Physics simulation dovetails with AI, robotics and computer vision, self-driving vehicles, and high-performance computing.

It’s foundational for so many different things we’ve decided to provide it to the world in an open source fashion. Meanwhile, we’re building on more than a decade of continuous investment in this area to simulate the world with ever greater fidelity, with on-going research and development to meet the needs of those working in robotics and with autonomous vehicles.

You may now download the NVIDIA PhysX SDK (currently at version 3.4) from GitHub. A new version, 4.0, is due to become available on December 20th, and according to NVIDIA it will allow ‘industrial grade simulation quality at game simulation performance’. You may check a demonstration video below.

screen1_rtx_on_metro_exodusRelated Metro Exodus Features NVIDIA HairWorks and Advanced PhysX, Too; RTX Demo Ran at 1080p@40

New features:

  • Temporal Gauss-Seidel Solver (TGS), which makes machinery, characters/ragdolls, and anything else that is jointed or articulated much more robust. TGS dynamically re-computes constraints with each iteration, based on bodies’ relative motion.
  • Overall stability has been improved with reduced coordinate articulations and joint improvements.
  • Increased scalability via new filtering rules for kinematics and statics.
  • New Bounding Volume Hierarchies support fast scene queries for actors with a huge number of shapes.
  • Infrastructure can now incorporate Cmake projects.

BSD 3 licensed platforms:

  • Apple iOS
  • Apple Mac OS X
  • Google Android ARM (version 2.2 or later required for SDK, 2.3 or later required for snippets)
  • Linux (tested on Ubuntu)
  • Microsoft Windows XP or later (NVIDIA Driver version R304 or later is required for GPU acceleration)

Unchanged NVIDIA EULA platforms:

  • Microsoft XBox One
  • Sony PlayStation 4
  • Nintendo Switch
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