At CES 2014, NVIDIA took the wraps off of the Tegra K1, its first 64-bit mobile processor with the same Kepler graphics core architecture that its desktop GPUs used. This year at CES the company is at it again with the announcement of the follow up processor, the massively powerful NVIDIA Tegra X1.
The Tegra X1 uses the same Maxwell graphics architecture as the latest, super-powerful desktop GPUs that NVIDIA released near the end of last year, the GTX970 and GTX980, which were both highly impressive pieces of kit pushing out buckets of performance at relatively low power consumption.
The Tegra X1 ups the amount of graphics cores to 256, from its predecessors 192, and packs in the same eight core standard ARM processor layout as many of its contemporaries including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. The 64-bit processor is based on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture which pairs four high-powered ARM A57 cores with four lower powered ARM A53 cores to share the burden of calculations between them.
According to NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, the Tegra X1 is capable of a teraFLOP of computational power a figure it took supercomputers until 1996 to first achieve. It will start to find its way into tablets and smartphones throughout 2015 but the biggest chance that NVDIA has for the success of the Tegra X1 lies in the automotive market.
For a large part of the CES presentation Huang showed off the NVDIA Drive CX and NVDIA Drive PX systems for automotive applications. The Drive CX is a platform for the interior of a car and can drive multiple high-resolution displays. It supports Android, BlackBerry’s QNX and Linux operating systems but there’s no word on whether it supports Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto systems, although we can’t imagine why it wouldn’t.
The Drive PX is a driver assistance system for cars that uses a pair of Tegra X1 processors to manage up to 12 separate HD cameras. Drive PX builds an environment model that it then uses something NVIDIA is calling “deep learning” to understand the car’s surroundings. According to NVIDIA detect other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, road signs and other information while travelling at speed and can notify the driver through a heads-up-display as to potential dangers that they may have missed.NVIDIA, Via – Ars Technica]