NVIDIA has published an update of the PhysX SDK. You can download it HERE (an account is required). No detailed release note is available with PhysX SDK 18.104.22.168.
One of the new feature of PhysX 2.8.4.x branch is the driverless model. In a word, with driverless model, the PhysX system software is no longer required to run a PhysX app. The developer ships with its app few PhysX DLLs and that’s all. Here is how things work:
Driverless PhysXLoader for PC CPU distribution:
In 2.8.4, application developers must ship PhysXCore.dll, PhysXCooking.dll, the cudarXX_XX_X.dll and physxdevice.dll with the application ‘locally’, in the directory where the .exe is located:
- The application requests PhysXCore or PhysXCooking (v 2.8.4) from the PhysXLoader.
- PhysXLoader searches for another DLL called ‘PhysXUpdateLoader’.
- If PhysXUpdateLoader is not found, PhysXLoader will load the local PhysXCore or PhysXCooking.
- If PhysXUpdateLoader is found, it looks for an updated replacement for the PhysXCore or PhysXCooking dlls.
- If PhysXUpdateLoader cannot find the specified replacement DLL, PhysXLoader will load the local PhysXCore or PhysXCooking dlls.
- If PhysXUpdateLoader can find the replacement DLLs, these will be loaded in place of the local PhysCore or PhysXCooking dlls.
The net result is that the developer has more control over the game installation process, doesn’t have to worry about shipping a large System Software with the game, doesn’t have to worry that the player will break his System Software somehow, etc.