NVIDIA Xavier AI SoC Now Sampling, DRIVE IX & DRIVE AR SDKs Announced

Well over a year ago, NVIDIA introduced Xavier, their next generation self-driving and artificial intelligence processor, with eight custom ARM cores, a 512-core Volta GPU, and support for 8K video encoding and decode. A few months ago, the company provided some more details and unveiled NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus A.I. computer for level 5 autonomous driving with two Xavier processors and two NVIDIA next-generation GPUs delivering a total 320 TOPS of computing power. For that it’s worth, 320 TOPS is about 3200 times more powerful than Intel Movidus Neural Network Compute Stick.

CES 2018 has now started, and NVIDIA made several announcement related to gaming and automotive markets, and confirmed Xavier is now sampling to select customers.

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What’s really new from the announcement is the addition of two new SDKs (software development kits) for the processor beside the original NVIDIA DRIVE AV autonomous vehicle platform:

  • DRIVE IX – Intelligent experience software development kit that will enable AI assistants for both drivers and passengers using sensors inside and outside the car.
  • DRIVE AR – Augmented Reality SDK designed for interfaces that deliver information points of interest along a drive, create alerts and navigate safely and easily.

This type of powerful hardware and software is however reserved to automotive customers, so most of us won’t be able to get hold of such platform, but we may end up being users of the technology soon enough, as NVIDIA announced partnerships with Volkswagen, Uber, ZF tier-one automotive supplier working with Baidu, and Aurora, a US startup designing and building self-driving technology.

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