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Nvidia launches ‘world’s most advanced’ chip for robotics and autonomous driving

Nvidia has launched what it describes as the “world’s most advanced” chip for robotics and autonomous driving.

The Nvidia Drive AGX Orin is said to be a highly advanced software-defined platform, powered by a new system-on-a-chip called Orin.

The new chip consists of 17 billion transistors and is the result of four years of research and development investment.

The Orin SoC integrates Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architecture and Arm Hercules CPU cores, as well as new deep learning and computer vision accelerators that, in aggregate, deliver 200 trillion operations per second – nearly seven times the performance of Nvidia’s previous generation Xavier SoC.

Orin is designed to handle the large number of applications and deep neural networks that run simultaneously in autonomous vehicles and robots, while achieving systematic safety standards such as ISO 26262 ASIL-D.

Built as a software-defined platform, Drive AGX Orin is developed to enable architecturally compatible platforms that scale from a Level 2 to full self-driving Level 5 vehicle, enabling original equipment manufacturers to develop large-scale and complex families of software products.

Since both Orin and Xavier are programmable through open CUDA and TensorRT APIs and libraries, developers can leverage their investments across multiple product generations.

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, says: “Creating a safe autonomous vehicle is perhaps society’s greatest computing challenge.

“The amount of investment required to deliver autonomous vehicles has grown exponentially, and the complexity of the task requires a scalable, programmable, software-defined AI platform like Orin.”

Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Navigant Research, says: “Nvidia’s long-term commitment to the transportation industry, along with its innovative end-to-end platform and tools, has resulted in a vast ecosystem – virtually every company working on AVs is utilizing Nvidia in its compute stack.

“Orin looks to be a significant step forward that should help enable the next great chapter in this ever improving technology story.”

The Nvidia Drive AGX Orin family will include a range of configurations based on a single architecture, targeting automakers’ 2022 production timelines.

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