Monday, January 5, 2015

Nvidia Tegra X1 is as powerful as the most poweruful supercomputer of 2000

We all know technology has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past decades, but it never ceases to amaze me to actually see what we've accomplished. Something like shrinking down the most powerful supercomputer of 15 years ago, to the point where it can fit in a mobile device, like Nvidia did Tegra with its new Tegra X.

Nvidia touted last year's Tegra K1 power as being as a super-computer on a chip, but it didn't quite live up to its promise, in part because Android just recently gained support for 64 bit chips. With the new Tegra X1 using the latest Maxwell micro-architecture, things might be different.

The X1 has a 256-core GPU and a 8-core 64-bit CPU, that allow it to easily handle Ultra HD 4K video at up to 60fps using the latest H.265/VP9 codecs. It's also the first mobile chip surpassing 1Teraflop - a value that supercomputers first reached just 15 years ago, and at that time using machines occupying a large room and slurping 1 million watts.

Now, you can have it powering your next smartphone or tablet... and even driving your car. Nvidia envisions this powerful chip to be a perfect map for autonomous vehicles, with its Drive PX automotive system using two Tegra X1 to process up to 12 high-res cameras in a vehicle in order to allow it to do things such as autonomous parking and emergency breaking. For more entertaining purposes, it can also be used in the Drive CX infotainment system, connected to multiple high-res screens (up to 16.8 million pixels).

So, guess we better get ready for automakers to start featuring "powered by Nvidia" stickers in new vehicles to attract tech-savy customers looking for the latest and greatest chips in their future cars.

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