Nvidia has announced that PhysX 5.0 will be arriving at the start of 2020. Chief among the new features is what Nvidia are calling a ‘unified constrained particle simulation framework’, which sounds like the sort of thing that an engineer in Star Trek might talk about just before his starship implodes, but when you think about it it is kind of self-explanatory.
Meanwhile PhysX 5.0 also adds the Finite Element Model (FEM) simulation technique which helps to replicate the different strengths of materials when their movement is being calculated. Discrete particle simulation is being added to help model fluids and granular flow and the Discrete Element Model (DEM) adds support for modelling friction and adhesion between surfaces.
Lastly arbitrary meshes can now be simulated as cloth or rope by the PhysX constrained particle model. One example of how this can be used is to preserve volume within application defined pressures, enabling more accurate simulation of inflated shapes. It can also be used for deformation of rigid shapes.
It sounds like it opens up what the system demands will be, and is it just a succession of beautifully simulated inflated white elephants (or in the case of the demo video, flamingos) or something more tangible with practical benefits for all. We’ll no doubt have a better idea when it arrives.