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NVIDIA PhysX 5.1 SDK goes open source

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Available now under a BSD license, today NVIDIA put up the NVIDIA PhysX 5.1 SDK as open source which is great to see from team green.

Something they now use in NVIDIA Omniverse, their real-time graphics collaboration platform, it wasn't entirely clear if they would open it up like previous versions but now they have. Great for game devs and anyone else who wants to see what they're doing with it.

From their announcement:

“Having a powerful, open-source tool for physics like NVIDIA’s new PhysX 5 library is a critical part of the realism delivered by the Open 3D Engine,” said Royal O’Brien, Executive Director at the Open 3D Foundation and General Manager of Digital Media and Games at the Linux Foundation.

“As PhysX use cases spread to other important 3D domains like simulation and digital twins, we are excited to see NVIDIA working with open source, allowing everyone to harness the innovation and collaboration that these communities can bring,” O’Brien said.

What is PhysX exactly:

PhysX is a library for representing three dimensional worlds made of discrete entities named actors which can in turn be composed of multiple shapes. PhysX lets the user create and destroy such actors, and tracks their explicit or proximity based interactions. Actors can either be static, be moved around by the user, or be moved by PhysX according to the laws of classical mechanics. PhysX’ dynamics simulation capability includes support for collision, joints and actuation using maximal and/or reduced coordinates. Furthermore, the world may be queried by the user using a number of different tools ranging from simple ray-casts to sweep and overlap tests. PhysX provides extensions for special purpose functionality such as vehicle simulation.

PhysX is designed to be robust, high performance, scalable, portable, as well as easy to integrate and use. These capabilities make PhysX suitable as a foundation technology for game engines and other real time simulation systems.

NVIDIA Documentation

NVIDIA said in the announcement their plan is to also bundle Flow (combustible fluid, fire and smoke simulation) and Blast (a destruction library) which don't depend on PhysX, but they've decided to include that too under the same open source license.

Seems like NVIDIA plan to up open more of Omniverse too as time goes on.

Source code can be found on GitHub.

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CatKiller Nov 8, 2022
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QuoteNVIDIA said in the announcement their plan is to also bundle Flow (combustible fluid, fire and smoke simulation) and Blast (a destruction library) which don't depend on PhysX, but they've decided to include that too under the same open source license.

That's nice to see. One of the disappointments of Q2RTX was that when they announced it they showed fluid particle effects for the explosions, but when it got released those had been replaced by sprites because they didn't want to open source those parts. It's good to see developers moving to more open stuff.
slaapliedje Nov 8, 2022
Nice! I still remember wanting the PhysX expansion cards before NVIDIA bought them, then when they integrated the hardware into the Geforce cards. Sadly I don't think they've updated it in years, so it does make sense that they finally are just dropping it out there as open source.
wvstolzing Nov 8, 2022
It looks like they're releasing new versions under whatever license, then putting them under a less restrictive license afterwards.

Free as in beer, for physx 3, in 2015:
BSD-3 for physx 4, in 2018:

- & now this. Who knows what they're thinking? I mean, this is the company that released firmware that 'called home' to spy on overclockers.
MayeulC Nov 8, 2022
Oh wow, that's an nVidia I like, for a change. I might even consider their products at some point.

Godot was in the market for a new physics library...
WMan22 Nov 9, 2022
This is great assuming it's under a license people can do something with, I hope they continue to open source stuff, because I just want Wayland to work as well as it does on AMD cards, man.
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