Earlier today at E3, NVIDIA launched a new version of their PhysX software development kit. This version of PhysX has been three years in the making, and supports nearly every platform imaginable: PC, Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION3, OSX, Linux and Android.
NVIDIA says that their new PhysX engine is a complete rewrite which provides a significant performance boost across a variety of platforms. In a press release, NVIDIA outlined some of the key features and capabilities of PhysX 3:
- Larger Levels: Game levels are getting larger these days. That means they require more actors. In PhysX 3.0, developers can combine multiple actors into a single “aggregate”, which is managed as a single bounding-box entity in the broadphase stage of the collision pipeline. This reduces the computing load required to predict collisions between actors, and helps improve overall performance and memory efficiency of PhysX-3 relative to earlier versions.
- Streaming: PhysX 3.0 enables efficient streaming of asset data into a simulation through a new feature,binary in-place serialization, which allows quick and memory-efficient insertion of actors into a scene. In addition, out-of-scene actor creation, which allows actors to be created outside the scene and stored rather than being created and destroyed on demand, provides developers with better asset management while minimizing troublesome compute load spikes.
- More Effective Multithreading: The new Task Manager with managed thread pool allows games to take advantage of multi-core processors on all platforms, resulting in greatly increased performance and a much improved gaming experience.
- Flexible and Powerful Tools: In addition to a highly optimized physics runtime, NVIDIA is releasing improved tools for artists that have been tailored to work within the developer’s asset production pipeline. A new release of PhysX Visual Debugger allows superior performance profiling, detailed memory analysis and improved visualization of all PhysX content across all major platforms.