NVIDIA announced its PhysX, the most popular physics simulation engine on the planet, is going to be made available as open source.
"We’re doing this because physics simulation — long key to immersive games and entertainment — turns out to be more important than we ever thought," NVIDIA said in a blog post.
Physics simulation dovetails with AI, robotics and computer vision, self-driving vehicles, and high performance computing. It’s foundational for so many different things that NVIDIA wanted 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 ongoing research and development to meet the needs of those working in robotics and with autonomous vehicles," the company said.
Free, Open-Source, GPU-Accelerated
PhysX will now be the only free, open-source physics solution that takes advantage of GPU acceleration and can handle large virtual environments.
It’s available today as open source under the simple BSD-3 license.
PhysX solves some serious challenges.
- 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.
The list goes on.
The PhysX SDK addresses these challenges with scalable, stable and accurate simulations. It’s widely compatible, and it’s now open source.
The PhysX SDK is a scalable multi-platform game physics solution supporting a wide range of devices, from smartphones to high-end multicore CPUs and GPUs.
It’s already integrated into some of the most popular game engines, including Unreal Engine (versions 3 and 4) and Unity3D.
You can find the full source code on GitHub. Dig in.