As promised in the company's initial announcement earlier this month, NVIDIA has released the newly open-sourced PhysX 4.0 SDK via GitHub. Now, thanks to its 3-Clause BSD license, any game developer, hardware company, or coding enthusiast can grab the latest version of NVIDIA's realtime physics engine and tinker, improve, or implement it in hopefully creative new ways.
The one limitation, of course, is that in its current form PhysX 4.0 (and version 3.4, which is now open source, too) still references lots of NVIDIA's closed source APIs, notably CUDA. But with the PhysX framework now available to fork, there's nothing to stop an eager company or programmer from creating and implementing their own alternatives to NVIDIA's proprietary tech.
In addition to going open source, PhysX 4.0 introduces a number of new features as outlined on NVIDIA's developer site:
- 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.
- The new reduced coordinate articulations feature makes the simulation of joints possible with no relative position error and realistic actuation.
- New automatic multi-broad phase.
- Increased scalability with new filtering rules for kinematics and statics.
- Actor-centric scene queries significantly improve performance for actors with many shapes.
- Build system now based on CMake.
BSD 3 licensed platforms:
- Apple iOS
- Apple MacOS
- Google Android ARM
- Microsoft Windows
Unchanged NVIDIA EULA platforms:
- Microsoft XBox One
- Sony Playstation 4
- Nintendo Switch