Nvidia confirms its commitment to making PhysX an open standard for everyone
After Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, said that Nvidia planned to provide PhysX support in CUDA, many people (including us) thought this meant that Nvidia planned to keep PhysX all to itself. However, the company has confirmed that it’s going to stick by its guns, by making PhysX a free API that’s available to anyone.
Nvidia’s director of product PR for EMEA and India, Luciano Alibrandi, told Custom PC that ‘We are committed to an open PhysX platform that encourages innovation and participation,’ and added that Nvidia would be ‘open to talking with any GPU vendor about support for their architecture.’
As well as this, Alibrandi also promised that the free PhysX SDK would continue to be available to game developers. ‘We plan to continue supporting all key gaming platforms, including the PC and all next-gen consoles, with free PhysX binaries,’ said Alibrandi. He also added that Nvidia planned to make this a ‘continually improving set of tools in an open development platform that encourages leading-edge partners to extend the PhysX eco-system.’
Nvidia is currently working on implementing PhysX into its CUDA language, which is supported by all GeForce 8-series GPUs. When this is ready to go, Alibrandi said that owners of these GPUs will ‘simply need to download the CUDA PhysX drivers from Nvidia,’ and that ‘hardware acceleration will then be transparently supported for applications making use of the PhysX SDK.’
Nvidia plans to support PhysX in a number of ways, and Alibrandi says that these ‘could include both single and SLI based options.’ He also confirmed that Nvidia’s relationship with Havok is now over, saying that ‘we are 100 per cent focused on enabling CUDA-based GPUs to accelerate PhysX processing.’
If you’re one of the rare owners of a PhysX card, then you’ll be pleased to know that Alibrandi also confirmed that Nvidia would ‘continue to support the PhysX processor as demand dictates,’ although he said that CUDA-enabled GPUs would ‘outperform the PPU,’ Interestingly, when we asked if Nvidia would finally reveal the details of the inside of the PhysX chip, he replied: ‘Maybe.’ Ageia was very secretive about the inner workings of the PhysX chip, and we’d love to know what was inside it.
Either way, it looks as though there’s hope for AMD / ATI getting a bite of the GPU PhysX pie after all; the guys at AMD just need to decide whether they want it.