Nvidia announces New Drive PX 2 ‘supercomputer’ for self-driving cars at CES 2016


The chip maker, Nvidia is kicking off CES 2016 as it did last year, with its traditional first keynote. In the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas, Nvidia will announce a powerful computing engine for cars.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang wasted no time getting to the Punchline “a new computer for cars” he’s calling the Drive PX2, the follow-up to last year’s Drive CX. Its latest automotive system is about the size of a lunchbox, powered by an array of Nvidia graphics chips that offer the computing power of about 150 MacBook Pro laptops costing about $300,000, Mr. Huang said.




Nvidia is known for throwing out big numbers to commend the power of their processors and many of them were mentioned on stage. New Drive PX 2 has 12 CPU cores that support a combined eight teraflops and 24 deep learning tera operations per second. It’s also water-cooled, which makes sense given how hard these chips need to work.

Nvidia certainly compares GPU power with the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which now sports an Intel Iris Graphics 6100 chip. The PX 2 features two next-gen Tegra processors, as well as a Pascal-based GPU. In total, the system can push up to eight teraflops and recognize up to 2,800 images per second using the AlexNet neural network-based deep learning algorithm.

Volvo is Nvidia’s first partner to use the Drive PX2, it will deploy it in some test self-driving vehicles.

Nvidia said its new Drive PX 2 computer consumes 250 watts of power and will typically be deployed with liquid cooling rather than fans. That’s partly to ensure reliability in extremely hot weather, Mr. Huang said.

The company said the product will be widely available in the fourth quarter of 2016, with samples shipping to some customers in the second period.

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