Nvidia Open Sources Physics Engine
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 10 December 2018

Nvidia has released a new version of its physics engine, PhysX, and has made it open source. The developers say the engine has been upgraded to provide industrial grade simulation quality at game simulation performance.

PhysX was already available for use for free, even in commercial projects, but the fact it is now open source means developers can modify the engine if they want to without paying a license fee.


PhysX is part of the Nvidia GameWorks software suite, having been originally developed by NovodeX and acquired by Nvidia as part of a takeover. Nvidia then enabled PhysX hardware acceleration on its GeForce graphics cards. Games that use it can rely on the card carrying out physics calculations rather than the CPU needing to do them. PhysX can handle operations such as explosions that create dust and debris, better joints on characters so they move in a more lifelike fashion, or special effects for weapons.

Nvidia says that running PhysX on a mid-to-high-end GeForce GPU will enable 10-20 times more effects and visual fidelity than physics running on a high-end CPU.

The new version has a number of new features, starting with a  Temporal Gauss-Seidel Solver (TGS), which makes machinery, characters/ragdolls, and anything else that is jointed or articulated much more robust.

The developers have also improved the overall stability with reduced coordinate articulations and joint improvements. There are also new filtering rules for kinematics and statics that the developers say also improves stability.

Other improvements include new bounding volume hierarchies that support fast scene queries for actors with a huge number of shapes; and the infrastructure can now incorporate Cmake projects.



More Information

PhysX Website

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