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PhysX SDK 3.3.2 arrives, adds GPU acceleration support on Linux

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New PhysX SDK 3.3.2 release is available for download.

Update March 2015: Bug-fixing PhysX SDK 3.3.3 release is available. Release Notes.

Windows, Linux, OS X, Android and iOS builds are now available for free with source code.


Among various bug-fixes, this version also features support for GPU acceleration on Linux platform (CUDA-capable devices only) and reworked documentation.

PhysX SDK 3.3.2: Release Notes


  • Added:
    • The PhysXCommon/64.dll, nvcuda.dll and PhysXUpdateLoader/64.dll are loaded and checked for the NVIDIA Corporation digital signature. The signature is expected on all NVIDIA Corporation provided dlls. The application will exit if the signature check fails.
    • Added the PxDefaultBufferedProfiler extension for simplified SDK profile events extraction.
    • PxSceneDesc::sanityBounds allows a bounding box to be set for validating the position coordinates of inserted or updated rigid actors and articulations.
    • Linux: Now supports GPU PhysX.
    • Added set/getRunProfiled() for PxDefaultCpuDispatcher to control profiling at task level.
    • Android: Support for x86 based devices was added.
    • PxProfileEventHandler::durationToNanoseconds() added. Translates event duration in timestamp (cycles) into nanoseconds.
    • Added SnippetProfileZone to show how to retrieve profiling information.
    • Added SnippetCustomJoint to better illustrate custom joint implementation, and removed SnippetExtension.
    • Added SnippetStepper to demonstrate kinematic updates while substepping with tasks.
  • Fixed:
    • Significant revision of the user’s guide. Both structure and most content have been modified.
    • PxTask::runProfiled() now takes threadId as a parameter.
    • The static pruner now issues a performance warning in debug and checked configurations when a tree rebuild occurs and the tree is not empty.
    • PxSceneDesc::staticStructure now defaults to PxPruningStructure::eDYNAMIC_AABB_TREE.
    • Linux: Switched to shared libraries.
    • Profile zone event names changed to match function calls.
    • Overlapping read/write errors will now issue a PxErrorCode::eINVALID_OPERATION rather than PxErrorCode::eDEBUG_INFO.
    • Improved SnippetToleranceScale to better demonstrate the intended use case.
    • Increased 126 characters limit for warnings on unix platforms, 1k limit on all platforms.
    • PhysXCommon dll load within PhysX dll now respects dll name. Please see the manual’s PhysXCommon DLL load section.
    • Fixed search function of user’s guide.
    • Foundation math classes now have in-place arithmetic operators (+= etc).
  • Deprecated:
    • Indexing operators taking signed integers in PxVec3, PxVec4, PxMat33, PxMat44, PxStrideIterator have been deprecated.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Zogrim

    October 11th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Posted in PhysX SDK

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    PhysX SDK 3.3.1 is available

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    NVIDIA has released minor 3.3.1 update for PhysX SDK 3.3 branch.

    Update: PhysX SDK 3.3.2 released


    PhysX SDK 3.3.1 release is mostly focused on various bug-fixes and optimizations.

    PhysX SDK 3.3.1: Release Notes


  • Added:
    • The friction model can now be changed after scene instantiation with PxScene::setFrictionType. The friction model can also be queried with PxScene::getFrictionType.
  • Changed:
    • PxDefaultSimulationFilterShader now supports particles and cloth as well.
    • PxSimulationFilterCallback: the provided actor and shape pointers are now defined as const. Note: this is no behavior change, it was never allowed to write to those objects from within the callback.
    • The PxTriangleMeshFlag::eHAS_16BIT_TRIANGLE_INDICES and PxTriangleMeshFlag::eHAS_ADJACENCY_INFO enums have been deprecated. Please use PxTriangleMeshFlag::e16_BIT_INDICES and PxTriangleMeshFlag::eADJACENCY_INFO instead.
    • Removed following functions from the API for platforms which do not support CUDA: PxGetSuggestedCudaDeviceOrdinal, PxCreateCudaContextManager, PxLoadPhysxGPUModule.
    • PxShape::getMaterialFromInternalFaceIndex will now return a NULL pointer and produce a warning for input faceIndex value of 0xFFFFffff. This change only applies to mesh and heightfield shapes.
  • Fixed:
    • Fixed concurrency issue on windows. Calling PxScene::simulate on multiple scenes concurrently may have caused a deadlock. This only happened if the scenes shared a single PxCpuDispatcher and the dispatcher was configured to use one worker thread only.
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    Written by Zogrim

    April 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Posted in PhysX SDK

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    Unity 5 announced, incorporates PhysX SDK 3.3

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    Unity Technologies has announced new version of their popular Unity game engine – Unity 5.

    Among other features, Unity 5 will include a radical update for the built-in physics engine, as the current (and rather old) PhysX SDK 2.8.3 will be replaced with latest PhysX 3.3

    In comparison to PhysX 2.8 branch, PhysX 3 will bring a significant performance improvements and a broad amount of new features, such as advanced vehicle module, new cloth solver, reworked scene queries and CCD systems, full multi-threading support, etc.

    Written by Zogrim

    March 18th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    APEX 1.3 released, features first iteration of real-time fracturing

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    New major APEX SDK 1.3 release is now available for public download.

    Update: APEX SDK 1.3.1 released

    1.3 version is featuring support for newest PhysX SDK 3.3.0 and also includes variety of improvements and new features for APEX modules.

    Please note that corresponding authoring tools are required – PhysXLab 1.3 and DCC plug-ins 3.0

    APEX SDK 1.3: Feature Highlights

    APEX 1.3 now features a single Legacy Module (APEX_Legacy).

    In APEX 1.2 every module had its own legacy module. For example, if an application uses APEX clothing and destruction, in APEX 1.2 the application would need to load both APEX_Clothing_Legacy and APEX_Destructible_Legacy.

    However, assets created with APEX 1.1 or 1.2 should “just work” with APEX 1.3. The application must load the legacy module, which contains all the code that allows APEX to automatically upgrade assets to the latest version.

    APEX Destruction and APEX Clothing modules can now utilize Render Proxies.

    The rendering of destructibles and cloth can now be managed by a new object that is independent of the actors themselves. By default you will not see a change, but you may detach this object from the actors, meaning that the render data will not get deleted when the actors are deleted. You may delete the renderable when you’re done with it.

    This is useful for multi-threaded renderers which may have the render data queued up even after the destructible or clothing actor is deleted in the main thread.

    Speaking of Destruction, so called Behaviour Groups functionality was added to authoring pipeline.

    Some common parameters, such as damage threshold, damage spread, density, etc., are now contained in “Behavior Groups“. Every chunk references a behavior group by index, allowing the user to customize behaviors for different chunks within single asset.

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    Written by Zogrim

    December 15th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    PhysX SDK 3.2.5 and APEX 1.2.5 are available

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    For those developers who are not ready yet to switch to 3.3 branch of the PhysX engine, NVIDIA has prepared several bug-fixing releases – PhysX SDK 3.2.5, APEX SDK 1.2.5 and corresponding tools.

    Update: APEX SDK 1.3 is available


    PhysX SDK 3.2.5: Release Notes

    • General
      • Fixed a bug which could cause triggers to not fire touch events after a kinematic actor moved into or out of overlap and had no target set anymore in the next simulation step.
      • Fixed crash when setting multiple materials on a shape followed by release/removal of the corresponding actor from the scene (all while the simulation is running).
    • Rigid Bodies
      • Fixed a bug that caused bodies to not respond to applied velocities or forces if the autowake parameter in those methods was set to false. This could happen for (almost) resting bodies which were close to other bodies (bounding box overlap) but did not touch them.
    • Vehicles
      • Bugs in the suspension force and tire load computation have been fixed that affected handling when the vehicle was upside down.
      • The tire load passed to the tire force computation is now clamped so that it never falls below zero.
      • PxVehicleTireLoadFilterData now requires that mMinNormalisedLoad is greater than or equal to zero.
      • PxVehicleTireLoadFilterData now has a new member variable mMinFilteredNormalisedLoad. This value describes the filtered normalised load that occurs when the normalised is less than or equal to mMinNormalisedLoad.
      • PxVehicleWheelsSimData now has a new function setMinLongSlipDenominator. This can be used to tune stability issues that can arise when the vehicle slows down in the absence of brake and drive torques.
      • A bug in the tank damping forces has now been fixed. Tanks now slow down more aggressively from engine and wheel damping forces.
      • A new section “The Vehicle Under-steers Then Over-steers” has been added to the vehicle troubleshooting guide to describe steps to avoid twitchy handling on bumpy surfaces.
      • A new section “The Vehicle Never Goes Beyond First Gear” has been added to the vehicle troubleshooting guide to describe a common scenario that occurs when the automatic gearbox is given a latency time that is shorter than the time taken to complete a gear change.
      • A new section “The Vehicle Slows Down Unnaturally” has been added to the vehicle troubleshooting guide to describe the steps that can be taken to help the vehicle slow down more smoothly.
      • The section “SI Units” in the vehicle guide has been updated to include the new functon PxVehicleWheelsSimData::setMinLongSlipDenominator.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Zogrim

    December 12th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Posted in PhysX SDK, PhysX Tools

    Tagged with , ,

    PhysX SDK 3.3.0: Final Release

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    Final release of the new PhysX SDK 3.3 is now available for public, after two rounds of Beta Testing.

    Update: PhysX SDK 3.3.1 is available

    If you are not familiar with SDK 3.3 branch yet, we recommend you to refer Beta-1 and Beta-2 previews for features description, and for “The Evolution of the PhysX SDK” article for the performance improvements (and there are plenty) data.

    As compared with PhysX 3.3 Beta-2, final release is including a set of bug-fixes among with minor improvements, and also more detailed documentation.

    Full SDK 3.3.0 Release Notes can be viewed here.

    PhysX SDK 3.3.0 Final Release (for PC, Linux, OSX, Android and WinRT) is available for download through APEX/PhysX Registered Developer Program (our registration guide).

    Written by Zogrim

    December 11th, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Posted in PhysX SDK

    Tagged with , ,

    Introducing NVIDIA FLEX: unified GPU PhysX solver

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    About a month ago, NVIDIA has revealed a new unified GPU accelerated physics framework – NVIDIA FLEX – at “The Way It’s Meant To Be Played” press event in Montreal.

    Today, Miles Macklin, physics programmer at NVIDIA and lead-developer of the FLEX system, has joined us to share first-hand details about this exciting technology. So what is the NVIDIA FLEX exactly ? What are the main features of FLEX ?

    Miles Macklin: FLEX is a multi-physics solver for visual effects.

    It grew out of the work I did on Position Based Fluids, which was later extended to support two-way coupling between liquids and different object types such as clothing and rigid bodies.

    The feature set is largely inspired by tools like Maya’s nCloth and Softimage’s Lagoa. The goal is to bring the capabilities of these off-line applications to real-time games.

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    Written by Zogrim

    November 12th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    PhysX SDK 3.3 Beta is available for public

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    NVIDIA has released PhysX SDK 3.3 Beta 2 – first public Beta release of the new major version of the PhysX SDK 3.x

    Update: PhysX SDK 3.3.0: Final Release

    PhysX SDK 3.3 introduces a broad set of the new features and also presents a vast performance improvement.

    Please refer for SDK 3.3 Beta Preview for the detailed description of some of the features, and for “The Evolution of the PhysX SDK” article for the performance data.

    PhysX SDK 3.3 Beta 2 – Release Notes


    • Added PhysXDevice/64.dll to the PC packages. See Windows readme for more details.
    • Added support for the NVIDIA Kepler GPU architecture.
    • Added support for the Nintendo Wii U console.
    • Added support for Windows 8 Modern UI applications (ARM and x86).
    • Ported our SIMD library to the ARM NEON architecture.
    • Multi Box Pruning (MBP) is offered as an alternative broad phase algorithm to Sweep And Prune (SAP). MBP shows improved performance when all objects are moving or when inserting large numbers of objects. Its generic performance might be inferior to SAP when many objects are sleeping.
    • Significant performance and stability optimizations for rigid body solver.
    • New function to compute the minimum translational distance and direction to separate two overlapping geometry objects.
    • Improved Persisten Contact Manifold (PCM) contact generation mode is now often faster and more robust than the still available legacy path.
    • Improved performance of scene queries and contact reports.
    • Improved behavior and performance of Continuous Collision Detection (CCD).
    • Reduced memory footprint of rigid body classes.
    • Added support for sharing shapes among rigid bodies.
    • Significantly improved cloth behavior and GPU performance.
    • Added support for cloth colliding against itself, other cloth instances, and scene geometry.
    • Improved useability of binary and xml serialization.
    • Memory can be saved for objects that do not participate in the simulation and are used for scene queries only. For details see the new flag PxActorFlag::eDISABLE_SIMULATION.

    Full PhysX SDK 3.3 Beta 2 Release Notes can be viewed here.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Zogrim

    July 11th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Posted in PhysX SDK

    Tagged with , ,

    PhysX SDK and APEX now on Xbox One

    with one comment

    NVIDIA has announced that both PhysX SDK physics engine and APEX dynamics framework will offer support for next-generation Xbox One console from Microsoft.

    “We are excited to extend our PhysX and APEX technologies to Microsoft’s Xbox One console”, said Mike Skolones, product manager for the PhysX SDK at NVIDIA.

    “We look forward to the Xbox developer community taking advantage of PhysX and APEX along with Xbox One’s processing power, programmability and next-generation features to design cutting-edge games that deliver an unparalleled and ultra-realistic experience”

    Earlier this year, it was also stated that PhysX SDK/APEX SDK will be available for Sony’s Playstation 4 console.

    We assume that similar to PS4 case, PhysX for Xbox One will only use console’s CPU for physics calculations, at least at the beginning.

    Written by Zogrim

    May 21st, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Multithreaded performance scaling in PhysX SDK

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    Recent “The Evolution of PhysX” article has unvealed the current situation with performance improvements among various PhysX SDK vesions, however, one interesting case has remained outside the coverage – performance scaling in multithreaded environments.

    It is known that, while PhysX SDK 2.8 has rather limited multi-threading capabilities (mostly working on per-scene or per-compartment basis), PhysX SDK 3.x can distribute various tasks across worker threads much more effective, and thus offer better support for multi-core CPUs.

    But how well does multi-threading actually work in PhysX 3 (we’ll take the latest 3.3 version)? Using the same PEEL (Physics Engine Evaluation Lab) tool to the record the performance metrics, we will try to shed the light on this question.

    Scene #1 – random dynamic primitives in a box

    Static container filled with 256 random primitives (sphere, box, capsule).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Written by Zogrim

    May 12th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

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