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NVIDIA announces PhysX SDK 4.0, makes engine open-source under BSD-3 license

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NVIDIA has revealed a new PhysX SDK 4.0 version of the PhysX engine, which incorporates numerous improvements in simulation stability and accuracy (as hinted previously at GDC 2018).

Update: PhysX SDK 4.0 is available

New features include:

  • Temporal Gauss-Seidel Solver (TGS), which makes machinery, characters/ragdolls, and anything else that is jointed or articulated much more robust. TGS dynamically re-computes constraints with each iteration, based on bodies’ relative motion.
  • Overall stability has been improved with reduced coordinate articulations and joint improvements.
  • Increased scalability via new filtering rules for kinematics and statics.
  • New Bounding Volume Hierarchies support fast scene queries for actors with a huge number of shapes.
  • Infrastructure can now incorporate Cmake projects.
  • In addition, both new PhysX SDK 4.0 (starting December 20) and current PhysX SDK 3.4 (starting today) are now available as open-source under 3-Clause BSD license.

    (Please note that BSD-3 licensed platforms include Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS and Android, but not Xbox One, PS4 and Switch).

    PhysX SDK 3.4 source code as available at

Written by Zogrim

December 3rd, 2018 at 8:03 pm

GDC 2018: new PhysX SDK will focus on simulation accuracy

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As announced at GDC 2018 talk “Nvidia GameWorks: New Simulation Features” (which you can view at GDC Vault now) PhysX SDK team is planning to shift the development focus from reaching maximum performance to increasing quality of the simulation, to better comprehend use cases such as robotic simulation and VR games.

Common problems, that one can face with current PhysX rigid body solver (and other game oriented physics engines in general) include innacurate simulation of complex jointed objects, erratic interactions between objects with high mass difference and instability of small scale simulations.

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Written by Zogrim

March 31st, 2018 at 11:19 am

Posted in PhysX SDK

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GDC 2016: PhysX GPU Rigid Body and NVIDIA Flow

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At Game Developer Conference 2016 (GDC), NVIDIA has announced the GameWorks 3.1 development kit, which introduces several new physics simulation solutions – PhysX GRB and NVIDIA Flow. Let’s take a look at them more closely:


PhysX GRB is the new GPU accelerated Rigid Body simulation pipeline. It is based on heavily modified branch of PhysX SDK 3.4, but has all the features of the standard SDK and almost identical API. PhysX GRB is currently utilizing CUDA and requires NVIDIA card for GPU acceleration.

Unlike previous implementations, PhysX GRB is featuring hybrid CPU/GPU rigid body solver, and the simulation can be executed either on CPU or GPU with almost no difference in behavior, supported object types or features (GPU articulations are not implemented yet, however).

GRB provides GPU accelerated broad phase, contact generation, constraint solver and body/shape management. In addition, it introduces new implementations of island management and pair management that have been optimized to tolerate the order of magnitude more complex scenes that can be simulated on GPU compared to CPU. New mechanisms to parallelize event notification callbacks and a new feature to lazily update scene query asynchronously are also provided.

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Written by Zogrim

March 17th, 2016 at 3:07 am

Fallout 4 beta patch adds Nvidia FLEX based particle debris effects

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Recent 1.3 Beta update (availabe through Steam on PC) for Fallout 4, among various bug fixes, adds several new graphics features – HBAO+ ambient occlusion and, suprisingly, physically simulated debris effects from bullet impacts, exclusive to NVIDIA GPUs.

(You can also find some comparison videos on YouTube – Link 1, Link 2)

More intersting, said effects are completely based on the new NVIDIA FLEX solver, and are not using any portions of PhysX SDK, like many other GPU PhysX games.

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Written by Zogrim

January 16th, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Posted in GameWorks, PhysX Games

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Physics Engine Evaluation Lab (PEEL) is released

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Pieere Terdiman has announced the release of Physics Engine Evaluation Lab or PEEL – a handy tool (previously only used internally by PhysX team), that can be utilized to test performance, identify bottlenecks and determine simulation bugs of a physics engine in a number of specific use cases, thus providing a basis for further optimization and improvements.

Update: PEEL source code is now available on GitHub

We have used PEEL previously to prepare articles “Multithreaded performance scaling in PhysX SDK” and “The Evolution of PhysX SDK, performance-wise“.

PEEL 1.0 release is available for free with source code included, and features a default integration of various physics engines (Newton 3.13/3.9, Bullet 2.79/2.81/2.82, PhysX 2.8.4, a number of PhysX 3.x releases, even an early PhysX 3.4 branch) and collision libraries (OpCode 1/2).

Written by Zogrim

April 4th, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Posted in PhysX Tools

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Adding GPU PhysX support to Assassin’s Creed IV: interview with Ubisoft Kiev

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After the latter update, PC version of the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (AC IV) has became the first Ubisoft’s game that implements GPU accelerated PhysX effects.

In the Black Flag, GPU PhysX support was shaped into volumetric particle effects (“PhysX Particles“), implemented through the APEX Turbulence module.

Bearing in mind that Assassin’s Creed series is already using competitive physics solution, Havok Physics engine, it was certanly an interesting technical task.

Semen Kovalev, Producer of Assassin’s Creed IV for PC at Ubisoft Kiev, was kind enough to share company’s experience on the PhysX integration process. What kind of GPU accelerated physics effects can be found in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag?

Semen Kovalev: In Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, our development team decided to focus on adding physical smoke effects to the game. The smoke effects are present in a variety of forms such as smoke from flintlock pistol or musket shots, smoke bombs.

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Written by Zogrim

December 20th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

SOE reveals EverQuest Next

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During the SOE Live 2013, Sony Online Entertainment has presented its next MMORPG title in the EverQuest series – EverQuest Next.

The game will be based on modified Forgelight engine, the one that powers PlanetSide 2, and will offer players an outstanding amount of creative possibilities (and destructive ones), thanks to the voxel-based terrain technology.

Moreover, according to our information, EverQuest Next will use multiple PhysX SDK and APEX features, as well as support GPU physics acceleration.

Written by Zogrim

August 3rd, 2013 at 10:39 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified to have advanced Cloth and Particle PhysX effects

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Recent IGN Commentary video has revealed that PC version of “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified“, third-person shooter with tactical elements from 2K Games, will feature, among other improvements, the support for GPU accelerated PhysX effects.

Update: GPU PhysX effects trailer

As one can notice (at 1:30), the Advanced Graphics options menu of The Bureau includes “PhysX Particles” and “PhysX Cloth” settings, that can be switched On and Off separately.

According to information we have recieved so far, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified will be based on PhysX SDK 2.8.4 and Unreal Engine 3, and will feature not only particle (mesh debris) and cloth effects, but also use APEX Turbulence module.

Written by Zogrim

July 19th, 2013 at 9:48 am

Posted in PhysX Games

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Batman: Arkham Origins will feature GPU PhysX effects as well

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More interesting news are coming from NVIDIA Press Event (Editor’s Day), which was held recently at E3 2013.

It is now confirmed that Batman: Arkahm Origins, third game in the award-winning Batman Saga, will support GPU accelerated PhysX effects.

Both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City are ones of the best games in the GPU PhysX pocket, so we hope that Arkham Origins will not dissapoint us as well.

Written by Zogrim

June 12th, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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The Witcher 3 will support GPU PhysX, now officially

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As the PhysX SDK and APEX integration was announced for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, new RPG title from CD Project Red, the only question was bothering us – will the game actually include hardware accelerated PhysX effects?

Finally, the following photo from the NVIDIA Editor’s Day presentation at E3, revealed recently by Igor Stanek, Head of NVIDIA EMEAI Tegra PR, is putting an end to the debate – The Witcher 3 will officially support GPU PhysX, along with other enhancements.

So far, we do not have any detailed information about PhysX SDK (we only assume that PhysX 3 will be used) integration or level GPU PhysX effects.

We can only say that “Fur and Hair”, mentioned in the slide, are related to actual physically simulated hair and fur technology (APEX Hair & Fur), presented previously.

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Written by Zogrim

June 12th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Posted in PhysX Games

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