Under “Would you like to Ask Nvidia A question?” iniative Nvidia employees have answered another portion of questions, this time solely related to PhysX:
#1 – How do you expect PhysX to compete in a DirectX 11/OpenCL world?
By Tom Petersen, Director of Technical Marketing: PhysX does not compete with OpenCL or DX11’s DirectCompute.
PhysX is an API and runtime that allows games and game engines to model the physics in a game. Think of PhysX as a layer above OpenCL or DirectCompute, which in contrast are very generic and low level interfaces that enable GPU-accelerated computation. Game developers don’t create content in OpenCL or DirectCompute. Instead they author in toolsets (some of which are provided by NVIDIA) that allow them to be creative quickly. Once they have good content they “compile” a specific platform (PC, Wii, Xbox, PS3, etc) using another tool flow.
During this process game studios have three basic concerns:
1. Does PhysX make it easier to develop games for all platforms – including consoles?
2. Does PhysX make it easier to have kick ass effects in my game?
3. Will NVIDIA support my efforts to integrate this technology?
And the answer to the three questions above is: yes, yes, and yes. We are spending our time and money pursuing those goals to support developers, and right now the developer community is not telling us that OpenCL or DirectCompute support are required.
At the end of the day, the success of PhysX as a technology will depend on how easy it is for game designers to use and how incredible the game effects are that they create. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a good example of the type of effects we can achieve with PhysX running on NVIDIA GPUs, and we are working to make the next round of games even more compelling. At this time, NVIDIA has no plan to move from CUDA to either OpenCL or DirectCompute as the implementation engine for GPU acceleration. Instead we are working to support developers and implement killer effects.
#2 – Will PhysX become open-source?
Tom Petersen: NVIDIA is investing a lot of time and effort in PhysX and we do not plan to make it open source today. Of course the binaries for the SDK are distributed for free, and source code is available for licensing if game designers need it.
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