NVIDIA’s Proprietary PhysX Engine Is Now Open Source
Ron Perillo / 11 months ago
Physics Simualtion for Everyone
NVIDIA is announcing via their blog that the PhysX physics simulation engine is finally going open source. According to the company, they are doing this because “physics simulation — long key to immersive games and entertainment — turns out to be more important than (NVIDIA) ever thought.”
While physics simulation translates to gamers as ‘eye candy’, it also dovetails nicely to other areas of computing. In fact it is foundational for many things. This includes AI, robotics, self-driving vehicles and high-performance computing.
- In AI, researchers need synthetic data — artificial representations of the real world — to train data-hungry neural networks.
- In robotics, researchers need to train robotic minds in environments that work like the real one.
- For self-driving cars, PhysX allows vehicles to drive for millions of miles in simulators that duplicate real-world conditions.
- In game development, canned animation doesn’t look organic and is time consuming to produce at a polished level.
- In high-performance computing, physics simulations are being done on ever more powerful machines with ever greater levels of fidelity.
Where Can You Get the NVIDIA PhysX Source Code?
Starting November 3, 2018, PhysX is open source under the simple BSD-3 license. This also makes NVIDIA’s PhysX the only free, open-source physics solution that takes advantage of GPU acceleration and can handle large virtual environments.
Since the physics simulation engine is designed for easy integration, it is already supported in popular game engines. This includes Unreal Engine versions 3 and 4, as well as Unity3D.
You can find the full source code on GitHub.