Hyper-fast Orin SoC powers Nvidia’s latest software-defined AV platform


Pioneering computing systems developer Nvidia has introduced the new DRIVE AGX Orin, a highly advanced software-defined platform for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and robots.

Nvidia’s invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited the next era of computing through artificial intelligence (AI), with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world. Using its advanced AI capabilities, Nvidia’s DRIVE platform has become the industry standard for AV development, used globaly by automakers, truck manufacturers, ‘robotaxi’ companies, software developers and universities.

The company’s latest platform is powered by a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) called Orin, which consists of 17 billion transistors and is the result of four years of R&D investment. The Orin SoC integrates Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architecture and Arm Hercules CPU cores, as well as new deep learning and computer vision accelerators that, in aggregate, deliver 200 trillion operations per second; nearly 7x the performance of Nvidia’s previous generation Xavier SoC. Orin is designed to handle the large number of applications and deep neural networks (DNNs) that run simultaneously in AVs and robots, while achieving systematic safety standards such as ISO 26262 ASIL-D.


Built as a software-defined platform, DRIVE AGX Orin is developed to enable architecturally compatible platforms that scale from a SAE Level 2 to full self-driving Level 5 vehicle, enabling OEMs to develop large-scale and complex families of software products. Since both Orin and Xavier are programmable through open CUDA and TensorRT APIs and libraries, developers can make use of their investments across multiple product generations. The Nvidia DRIVE AGX Orin family will include a range of configurations based on a single architecture, targeting automakers’ 2022 production timelines.

“Creating a safe autonomous vehicle is perhaps society’s greatest computing challenge,” said Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s founder and CEO. “The amount of investment required to deliver autonomous vehicles has grown exponentially, and the complexity of the task requires a scalable, programmable, software-defined AI platform like Orin.”


Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Navigant Research, commented, “Nvidia’s long-term commitment to the transportation industry, along with its innovative end-to-end platform and tools, has resulted in a vast ecosystem; virtually every company working on AVs is utilizing Nvidia in its compute stack. Orin looks to be a significant step forward that should help enable the next great chapter in this ever-improving technology story.”


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