Game developers the world over would be overjoyed to know that NVIDIA has, surprisingly, released the PhysX 4.0 SDK to the masses. Making the physics simulation engine fully open source.
NVIDIA’s decision comes in line with the announcement of the TITAN RTX. According to NVIDIA’s blog post, the company says that the decision to make the SDK free is the realisation that “physics simulation – long key to immersive games and entertainment – turns out to be more important than we ever thought”.
Adding on, the company states that physics simulation “dovetails with AI, robotics and computer vision, self-driving vehicles, and high performance computing”. Making it one of the most crucial decisions NVIDIA has ever made.
The PhysX SDK was created by a company known as NovodeX, which was acquired by Ageia in 2004. Prior to NVIDIA’s acquisition of Ageia, and long before the former incorporated the technology in to their cards, PhysX simulations were executed via a stand-alone card known as a physical processing unit (PPU).
The release of the GPU brand’s long-held simulation literally opens up many avenues for game developers, allowing them to finally incorporate the PhysX SDK into their game. Without having to pay a licensing fee or royalties to NVIDIA for using it.
One company that is certainly going to benefit from NVIDIA’s largesse is AMD’s Radeon department. Effectively, AMD is now able to draw from the SDK’s source code via GitHub, thus improving – if not applying – PhysX support for its Radeon GPUs.