If there is something that is going to rule the world, it is not a country with the most influence and superpower, or a group with secrets weapons that can control the world. It will be the technology that will everything around smarter and innovative. The technology is known as artificial intelligence (AI). There is no field in which researchers have not tried to involve AI to improve efficiency, reduce manpower, or fulfill other purposes. From manufacturing to law, from BPO to retail stores, AI has made its mark and it will continue to do so in the future. However, its influence will be increase in coming years with the advent of new technologies and creative minds of researchers and scientists. The recent example of creativity and expertise of researchers was the products unveiled by Nvidia at Computex 2018. Two products unveiled by Nvidia were Isaac, a developer platform, and the Jetson Xavier, an AI computer. Both products were developed to enhance capabilities of autonomous robots.
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia outlined that Isaac and Jetson Xavier were developed to go to the next stage of AI innovation. The next stage involved shift from software operating on the cloud to robots navigating the real world. “AI, in combination with sensors and actuators, will be the brain of a new generation of autonomous machines,” said Huang. “Someday, there will be billions of intelligent machines in manufacturing, home delivery, warehouse logistics and much more.”
The Isaac platform involves software tools to help companies develop and train robots in more simplified way than before. It has different APIs for connecting sensors and 3D cameras along with AI accelerators to run algorithms efficiently. Moreover, Isaac Sim, a new simulation environment can be used to train and test robots in a virtual space.
As the man cannot live without the heart, so is the Isaac platform. The heart of the platform is Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier computer. The compact piece of hardware with a number of processing components. These components include an eight-core ARM64 CPU, a Volta Tensor Core GPU, processors for static images & video, and two NVDLA deep learning accelerators. It contains, in totality, more than 9 billion transistors and has capability to offer computing performance of over 30 TOPS (trillion operations per second). It merely consumes 30 watts of power, which is nothing but half of the amount of electricity used by the average light bulb.
The chipmaker Nvidia has been able to achieve to low price with Jetson Xavier, along with accessibility to the Isaac platform. It only costs $1,299. The company CEO also highlighted that the computer offers the processing power as same as a $10,000 workstation. Though the comparison cannot be done without gaining knowledge of the chips used in the Jetson Xavier, but it cannot be denied that the hardware provides a lot of power at an affordable price. There will be more chips coming in the market to compete with Nvidia and it will be interesting to see what capabilities they will offer.