Nvidia makes PhysX engine open source

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Nvidia’s PhysX, a physics simulation engine, is now open source. The company behind the technology and the GeForce video cards says it is doing this because it has turned out that physics simulation has become much more important than previously thought.

Nvidia states that simulating physics fits very well with developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, computer vision and self-driving vehicles. The company states that physics simulation is the foundation for many things. For example, in AI, PhysX provides an artificial representation of the real world, so that neural networks can be trained.

Nvidia probably hopes the use of PhysX in these areas will increase, now that it has released the source code under the so-called 3-clause BSD license. According to Nvidia, PhysX is now the only solution that is free, uses GPU acceleration and is able to work with large virtual environments. The source code of PhysX sdk version 3.4 is now available on GitHub. Nvidia has also released a trailer for PhysX software development kit 4.0, which will be released on December 20.

The PhysX sdk was designed many years ago by Novodex, which was acquired by Ageia in 2004. This company was then bought by Nvidia in 2008. After that it was often part of the Nvidia GPUs, although the engine works not only on GPUs but also on CPUs.

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