Nvidia is preparing to unveil Drive Thor, its next-generation automotive chip that the company claims will be able to integrate a wide range of automotive technologies, from automatic driving features and driver monitoring systems to rear-seat Netflix streaming. kids.
The Thor, which will begin production in 2025, is not only remarkable for being a step up from Nvidia’s Drive Orin chip. It also takes the place of Drive Atlan in the lineup.
Nvidia ditching Drive Atlan on a chip early for Thor Founder and CEO Jensen Huang made the announcement at a GTC event on Tuesday. In the race to develop larger, more powerful chips, Nvidia is choosing Thor, which delivers 2,000 teraflops of performance, doubling processing power and bandwidth, according to the company.
“If we look at a car today, advanced driver assistance systems, parking, driver monitoring, mirrors with cameras, digital instrument cluster and infotainment system are different computers distributed throughout the car,” said Nvidia vice president of automotive Danny Shapiro at a press conference. briefing on Monday. “In 2025, these functions will no longer be performed by individual computers. Rather, Drive Thor will allow manufacturers to effectively integrate these features into a single system, reducing the overall cost of the system.”
One chip to control them all. One chip to help automakers create software-defined autonomous vehicles. One chip for continuous wireless updates.
Nvidia already has several automotive customers that are building software-defined system fleets using Drive chips. For example, in January, Volvo announced at its annual CES tech conference that its new automated driving features would based on Drive Orin. The automaker also said it will be powering its infotainment system with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. It was this division of space with competitors that likely spurred Nvidia to create a more robust chip.
Zikr will be the first to raise his hand to Thor. Chinese luxury electric car startup owned by Geely said it will use the advanced chip for next-generation vehicles starting in 2025, Shapiro said.
Xpeng is already using the latest generation Drive Orin chip for its G9 SUV, which will be able to support advanced driver assistance functions, “such as parking and driving on main and secondary streets, highways and private roads, as well as safe driving, entering and exiting highways, urban lanes and toll collection routes,” Shapiro said. No doubt Xpeng, which recently launched its City Navigated Guided Pilot ADAS in a P5 sedan and plans to implement it in the G9, will subscribe to the upgraded chip.
Shapiro also noted that autonomous solution provider QCraft will launch robot taxis in China based on Orin.
Other automakers that have previously announced the use of Nvidia’s Drive Orin include Baidu electric vehicle company JiDU Auto, NIO, Li Auto, R Auto, IM Motors and Polestar. Notably, a significant portion of Nvidia’s automotive customers are in China. Although the chipmaker is based in California, its chips, like almost everyone else, are made in Taiwan.
Earlier this month the US government imposed export restrictions on advanced AI chips to China, including Hong Kong, and Russia. Nvidia does not sell to Russia, but sanctions against China may cost the company $400 million. potential sales in the third quarter. The US said the move would remove the risk of the chips being used or diverted to “military end use” or “military end user” in China and Russia, but it is also a move by the Biden administration to prevent China from becoming more dominant player in the important and lucrative chip manufacturing industry.
The government has restricted access specifically to the Nvidia A100 and H100 GPUs. Luckily for Nvidia, the company can continue manufacturing the H100 in China, although purchases by Chinese buyers will be limited.
Shapiro said the restrictions placed on Nvidia’s high-end data center products will not affect automotive customers, and that the company is working with Chinese customers and the US government to “offer various alternatives that are not covered by the same license.” . requirements.”
At the GTC event, Nvidia also announced that its integrated simulation platform, Drive a SIM cardis getting a new set of AI tools it calls “neural reconstruction engine” to help test and develop autonomous vehicles.
“The use of a neural engine consisting of several [deep neural networks]real-world journeys can be recreated and reproduced exactly in the simulation, with the ability to change the configuration and location of sensors, create new scenarios, and change or add new aspects of the behavior of other road users,” Shapiro said.
The way it works is that the AI can deconstruct a 3D scene from the recorded sensor data, and that scene can then be augmented in Drive SIM with either human-generated content or AI-generated content.
Nvidia said the updates will also allow car designers, software engineers, and electronics engineers to collaborate on Drive SIM to simulate software inside the car.
The company also announced the second generation of Nvidia OVX, which will provide immersive digital twins of cities that can be used in Nvidia. Universe.
BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover are among the first customers to use OVX, Shapiro said, noting that the WPP marketing group is using the Omniverse cloud to create a suite of automotive customer services such as personalized programmatic advertising that includes “perfectly photorealistic content.” through virtual film sets, which will save automotive companies orders of magnitude on costly photo and video shoots that typically take place in scenic locations around the world.
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