Nvidia open-sources PhysX engine for games, AI, cars, and more

Nvidia’s physics engine PhysX has been made open-source for developers to advance the capabilities of various applications.

Gaming is what often comes to mind when thinking about virtual physics. While the PhysX engine is certainly useful for gaming purposes, it can go a lot further.

Nvidia says its physics simulation can be used for emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, computer vision, and self-driving vehicles.

In a blog post, the company highlights some challenges PhysX solves:

  • 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.

PhysX is currently the world’s only GPU accelerated physics engine that is free, open-source and can handle large virtual environments.

A video introducing PhysX 4.0 can be found below:

The SDK supports a wide range of devices from smartphones to high-end multicore CPUs and GPUs. It’s already integrated with popular game engines such as Unity3D and Unreal Engine.

You can find the PhysX source code on GitHub here.

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