Nvidia Tegra X1 “super chip” for mobile to drive cars

Nvidia announced its new mobile processor, the Tegra X1, during its press conference at CES in Las Vegas on Sunday evening (Monday morning, South Africa time).

The new processor is based on the chip maker’s Maxwell graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture, which it said was rolled out only months ago in the GeForce GTX 980.

Tegra X1 provides double the performance of its predecessor, the Tegra K1, which debuted at last year’s CES and was based on its previous generation Kepler architecture, Nvidia said.

It will also be featured in Nvidia’s new “Drive” range of car computers.

“Drive PX is an auto-pilot computing platform that can process video from up to 12 onboard cameras to run capabilities providing Surround-Vision, for a seamless 360-degree view around the car, and Auto-Valet, for true self-parking,” Nvidia said.

“Drive CX is a complete cockpit platform designed to power the advanced graphics required across the increasing number of screens used for digital clusters, infotainment, head-up displays, virtual mirrors and rear-seat entertainment.”

Maxwell is Nvidia’s 10th generation GPU architecture, and the company said that it allows the Tegra X1 to rival supercomputers and game consoles.

“We see a future of autonomous cars, robots and drones that see and learn, with seeming intelligence that is hard to imagine,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of Nvidia.

“They will make possible safer driving, more secure cities and great conveniences for all of us,” Huang said. “To achieve this dream, enormous advances in visual and parallel computing are required. The Tegra X1 mobile super chip, with its one teraflops of processing power, is a giant step into this revolution.”

Tegra X1 will begin appearing in the first half of 2015, Nvidia said.

Technical specifications

Nvidia also promised that Tegra X1 supports all major graphics standards, including Unreal Engine 4, DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, CUDA®, OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack.

Tegra X1’s technical specifications include:

  • 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • 8 CPU cores (4x ARM Cortex A57 + 4x ARM Cortex A53)
  • 60 fps 4K video (H.265, H.264, VP9)
  • 1.3 gigapixel of camera throughput
  • 20nm process

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Nvidia Tegra X1 “super chip” for mobile to drive cars