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PhysX now open source


Senior member
May 22, 2015

Wow, didn't expect this. Credit where credit's due.

This is good for consumers since the likes of AMD can now provide their own hardware acceleration without any royalties or licensing fees.
PhysX is "open-sourced" since 2015.

I can't find any changes in license or policies, there are still pre-compiled libs used.

So, it's basically still NOT open-sourced at all due to used 3-clause BSD license license - you can't modify source code at all
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
  • Neither the name of NVIDIA CORPORATION nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permissions

To begin, clone this repository onto your local drive.

To build PhysX and APEX SDKs:

(1) Build PhysX SDK by opening one of the solutions found under PhysX_3.4\Source\compiler. Supported platforms: Windows, Linux, OSX, Android, iOS.

(2) The APEX SDK distribution contains pre-built binaries supporting GPU acceleration. Re-building the APEX SDK removes support for GPU acceleration. The solutions can be found under APEX_1.4\compiler. Supported platforms: Windows, Linux, Android.
Just a PR bluff :/


Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
Isn't PhysX pretty much dead? Is it still used in many games?
Don't get mixed up between gpu and cpu physx - cpu physx is used in loads of games. Also if you look this announcement has nothing to do with games - it's to get it used in robotics, computer vision (self driving cars), etc. That means it's got to run on whatever hardware those things use.
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No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
Isn't PhysX pretty much dead? Is it still used in many games?
its used in a few. since its a standard component of Nvidia cards nowadays its not really hurting anyone by being there. Game Devs are free to use it if they want without anyone suffering.
Back when PhysX required a separate card lots of people complained, and rightly so.

Theres actually a buttload of special features on modern GPU's that dont get used on every game out there, but we just dont talk about them like we do PhysX.


Senior member
Nov 14, 2014
When Nvidia speaks about "open sourcing", they usually mean it as a "release model" rather than a "collaborative development model" as their competitor would have it ...

Suffice to say it, I took a look and their APEX framework has been deprecated so in the future that means no more nonsense like relying on proprietary runtimes which have closed source implementations like CUDA to be able to use PhysX. Their replacement libraries such as NvCloth, Blast, Flex, and Flow all offer backend agnostic solvers in D3D11/D3D12/Vulkan which run on HLSL/SPIR-V shaders ...

What the competitors truly need are access to the library solvers themselves since those hot loops largely remain as black boxes to the other IHVs ...

Anyways, it's too late to salvage PhysX as being the dominant game physics library anymore when many other engines implement their own custom cloth and particle solvers ...
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