news nvidia agx xavier puts the brains in autonomous robots

Nvidia AGX Xavier puts the brains in autonomous robots

A lot of talk around here revolves around powerful parts suitable for your latest personal computer, phone, workstation, or server. That list doesn't cover all the use cases for a juicy, tasty chunk of processing power. Enter the latest member in the company's Jetson family of "system-on-modules," the Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier.

Nvidia says the AGX Xavier board has 10-W, 15-W and 30-W configurable operating modes, and is fit for robots, computer vision, medical instruments, and autonomous machines, among other applications. The company says Xavier offers the performance of a workstation in a board measuring 3.9" by 3.4" (10 x 8.7 cm). That claim is certainly bold, but then again, the system's specs are also generously sized.

According to Nvidia, Xavier's neural-network output is 32 TOPS. That impressive figure comes by way of Xavier's centerpiece, a Volta GPU with 512 shader ALUs and 64 tensor cores. The cerebellum in the chip is an eight-core Nvidia Carmel ARM v8.2 processor with 8 MB of L2 cache and 4MB of L3. The CPU is connected to 16 GB of LPDDR4x on a 256-bit bus.

The 9-billion-transistor Xavier includes two Deep Learning Accelerator engines and a vision processor. The module's video-handling capabilities can deal with up to four streams of HEVC 4K video at 60 FPS. Additionally, the SoC offers 16 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity along with a bevy of miscellaneous I/O including Ethernet, multiple display outputs, USB, and an alphabet soup's worth of peripheral connectivity acronyms.

It's not difficult to think up more than a few use cases for this kind of tech, and Nvidia's PR notes an interesting one. Oxford Nanopore, a startup focusing on DNA sequencing, apparently built a hand-held computer based on the AGX Xavier. The startup named the device the MinIT, and claims that it can run DNA sequencing up to 10 times faster than a "standard laptop."

Interested developers can order Jetson AGX Xavier boards for the amount for $1099 a piece, so long as they're buying at least 1000. The price may be steep, but we figure the performance available on tap likely justifies it.

0 responses to “Nvidia AGX Xavier puts the brains in autonomous robots

  1. Just in time. I was just putting the finishing touches on my robot and was wondering what chip to plug in it. It’s called C3PO.

  2. Denver was just too…Weird. If they sured up the performance unpredictability I’d be interested in it being tested in a phone or tablet again, but Denver 1’s problem was the binary translation, it would do great in a straight line at the time but any unpredictable paths would be met poorly.

  3. Sort of. Nvidia taught it [i<]their[/i<] three laws: [list<][*<]A Xavier may not ignore a customer or, through inaction, allow a customer to buy a competitor product. [/*<][*<]A Xavier must obey the Proprietary Nvidia code and avoid using open standards wherever possible. [/*<][*<]A Xavier must protect its own existence, either through sabotage, market segmentation, or developer bribery.[/*<][/list<]

  4. Did they teach it Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”?

    Apparently, they didn’t read about those in China…
    [url<][/url<] That information and the links must be getting blocked by the "Great Firewall of China". [url<][/url<]

  5. Eh … honestly Xavier isn’t anything even [u<][i<]close[/i<][/u<] to being something "Special!" I'm certainly not dropping any cash on anything less than at [u<][i<]LEAST[/i<][/u<] a Spacely Sprocket or a Cogswell Cog! Even then I'm likely holding-out for an Elroy or a Judy. Heck, even an Astro barely merits a page click.

  6. if i’m not mistaken Carmel is pretty much Denver successor. if they were using stock ARM core then we should know which ARM core being use by now.

  7. So is nVidia making their own CPU cores for this, or is it based on a licensed core? It would be impressive if they were designing their own cores, given that they apparently don’t get much use in high-volume products. Maybe in cars… ?

  8. I get it now. Poor Carmel, her daily commute to 1 Infinite Loop at an infinitesimal speed certainly is an awful experience, and her self-driving car isn’t programmed to break traffic rules when it should.

  9. As much as I love to bash Apple, this is an inside joke that Kampman will get due to his geographic location.

  10. “Infinite loop”, does it mean circling around Apple campus, within the event horizon of the RDF?

  11. Anybody trying to benchmark Carmel will get caught in an infinite traffic circle loop.
    Especially in autonomous vehicle tests.