Nvidia Touts Level 5 Supercomputer

Nvidia Corp. says its new Drive PX Pegasus processing platform is the world’s first supercomputer with the capability to control a fully autonomous SAE Level 5 car.

The California-based chipmaker, which announced the platform earlier today at its GPU Technology Conference in Munich, plans to launch the system in the second half of 2018. Customers using Nvidia’s current Drive PX 2 platform will be able to upgrade to Pegasus when it is available.

With the capability to process 320 trillion operations per second, Drive PX Pegasus is more than 10 times faster than Nvidia's previous-generation system. The new platform couples two of Nvidia's latest Xavier system-on-a-chip processors with two next-generation graphic processing units, which the company says are optimized for deep learning and computer vision algorithms.

Twenty of the 225 companies currently using Drive PX are developing driverless taxis, according to Nvidia. Such vehicles require a suite of camera, lidar, radar and ultrasonic sensors that produce as much as 1 terabyte of data per second.

Drive PX Pegasus, which is about the size of a license plate, requires less power than previously necessary to process the data. The company expects the new system to save “thousands of watts” of energy, compared with Drive PX 2.