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Monday, June 04, 2018
Computex: NVIDIA Announces $1,300 Isaac Platform for Building Robots

NVIDIA today announced the availability of NVIDIA Isaac, a new platform to power the next autonomous machines, bringing artificial intelligence capabilities to robots for manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction and many other industries.

Launched at Computex 2018 by NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang, NVIDIA Isaac includes new hardware, software and a virtual-world robot simulator.

"AI is the most powerful technology force of our time," said Huang. "Its first phase will enable new levels of software automation that boost productivity in many industries. Next, AI, in combination with sensors and actuators, will be the brain of a new generation of autonomous machines. Someday, there will be billions of intelligent machines in manufacturing, home delivery, warehouse logistics and much more."

At the heart of NVIDIA Isaac is Jetson Xavier, a computer designed specifically for robotics. It packs more than 9 billion transistors and delivers over 30 TOPS (trillion operations per second) - more processing capability than a powerful workstation while using less than 30W.

Jetson Xavier has six kinds of high-performance processors - a Volta Tensor Core GPU, an eight-core ARM64 CPU, dual NVDLA deep learning accelerators, an image processor, a vision processor and a video processor. These enable algorithms to be processed concurrently and in real time for sensor processing, odometry, localization and mapping, vision and perception, and path planning. This level of performance is essential for a robot to take input from sensors, locate itself, perceive its environment, recognize and predict motion of nearby objects, reason about what action to perform and articulate itself safely.

NVIDIA provides a toolbox for the simulation, training, verification and deployment of Jetson Xavier. This robotics software consists of:

  • Isaac SDK - a collection of APIs and tools to develop robotics algorithm software and runtime framework with fully accelerated libraries.
  • Isaac IMX - Isaac Intelligent Machine Acceleration applications, a collection of NVIDIA-developed robotics algorithm software.
  • Isaac Sim - a realistic virtual simulation environment for developers to train autonomous machines and perform hardware-in-the-loop testing with Jetson
  • Xavier.

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier developer kit, which includes the Isaac robotics software, will be priced at $1,299, with early access starting in August.

No New GeForce GPUs Coming Soon

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also today denied to unveil the launch window of Nvidia's next-gen gaming graphics card, assumed to be the GTX 1180. The new card, which will likely ship with GDDR6 memory did not appear at Computes, and Nvidia's CEO said the highly anticipated GPUs won't launch for "a long time from now."

Nvidia's two-year old Pascal-based GeForce cards are still in high demand. With no sign of AMD's Navi until sometime in 2019, and Vega barely competing with the high end of the GeForce 10 Series range, obviously there's nothing forcing Nvidia's hand.

Seperately, Nvidia?s Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD), which are basically massive 65-inch G-Sync HDR monitors, should be available later this year.

Tech Specs

Jetson Xavier

GPU 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor Cores
DL Accelerator (2x) NVDLA Engines
CPU 8-core ARMv8.2 64-bit CPU, 8MB L2 + 4MB L3
Memory 16GB 256-bit LPDDR4x 137 GB/s
Storage 32GB eMMC 5.1
Vision Accelerator 7-way VLIW Processor
Video Encode (2x) 4Kp60 HEVC
Video Decode (2x) 4Kp60 12-bit support

100mm x 87mm with 16mm Z-height

(699-pin board-to-board connector)

Display (3x) eDP/DP/HDMI at 4Kp60 HDMI 2.0, DP HBR3
Camera Inputs

16 lanes CSI-2, 40 Gbps in D-PHY V1.2 or 109 GBps in CPHY v1.1

8 lanes SLVS-EC

Up to 16 simultaneous cameras


5x 16GT/s gen4 controllers 1x8, 1x4, 1x2, 2x1

  • (3x) Root Port + Endpoint
  • (2x) Root Port

(3x) USB 3.1 (10GT/s)

(4x) USB 2.0 Ports

Ethernet (1x) Gigabit Ethernet-AVB over RGMII

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