NVIDIA HAS UNVEILED a supercomputer the size of a credit card that it says harnesses the power of machine learning to enable a new generation of smart, autonomous machines.
Called the Jetson TX1 Module, Nvidia claims the chip is the first embedded computer designed to process deep neural networks, which it says addresses the challenge of creating "a new wave of millions of smart devices". That involves things like drones that don't just fly by remote control, but navigate their way through a forest for search and rescue, or robots that don't just perform tasks, but tailor them to individuals' habits.
Nvidia thinks that incorporating capabilities such as machine learning, computer vision, and navigation is the future as it will enable computer software to recognise objects or interpret information.
"This new approach to programming computers can be used to perform complex tasks such as recognising images, processing conversational speech, or analysing a room full of furniture and finding a path to navigate across it," said Nvidia. "Machine learning is a groundbreaking technology that will give autonomous devices a giant leap in capability."
Nvidia has created the Jetson TX1 Module to enable this, all in a tiny module. Powered by a 1 teraflop GPU running on a 256-core Maxwell architecture based chip, Jetson is said to deliver performance capable of powering machine learning, computer vision, GPU computing and graphics, all while drawing very little power.
It also features a 64-bit ARM A57 CPU, 4K video encode and decode support, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC storage. Jetson will also be running on the Linux for Tegra operating system.
"Jetson TX1 will enable a new generation of incredibly capable autonomous devices," explained Nvidia's VP and GM of Tegra business, Deepu Talla. "They will navigate on their own, recognise objects and faces, and become increasingly intelligent through machine learning. It will enable developers to create industry-changing products."
Available as a module, Jetson TX1 is also built into a Developer Kit, which enables hobbyists and professionals to develop and test autonomous devices, thus making it easy for them to transition from development to manufacturing and production.
The NVIDIA Jetson TX1 Developer Kit is available for pre-order from today in the US for $599, with availability in other regions coming in the next few weeks.
The Jetson TX1 module by itself will be available globally in early 2016 for $299 - in quantities of 1,000 or more - from distributors. µ
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