Back in 2006 a start-up company known as AGEIA launched the PhysX PPU
, the first Physics Processing Unit (PPU) for offloading physics calculations in games and applications that utilize the PhysX API onto this discrete processor for boosting overall system performance.
Even prior to the hardware launching we talked to them about Linux support
and they mentioned it would be quite easy, but it wasn't a priority item for them due to the lack of games on Linux, especially those that could take advantage of their PhysX API to actually make such Linux hardware support useful. After the launch, AGEIA ended up providing support for their Software Development Kit on Linux, but without any Linux hardware drivers for their PhysX PPU cards.
AGEIA was ultimately bought out by NVIDIA
and then NVIDIA ended up bringing PhysX support to their CUDA architecture
that allowed PhysX to run atop modern NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. However, the PhysX Linux SDK disappeared over the course of time. The good and interesting news today, however, is that this Linux SDK has returned.
In the PhysX support center area
is now this message, "Linux 32 & 64-bit SDK beta version 184.108.40.206 added 8-3-10 - send email to PhysXDevSupport@nvidia.com if you want to participate in the Linux beta program. In your email, provide a description of how you plan to use the SDK - we are limiting the number of beta testers so make a good case.
So while the PhysX SDK is back up and running on Linux, it's currently in a semi-closed beta program. There's also more gaming-related news to be announced shortly, but if you follow us on the various social networks, you should already know there's announcements pending.