NVIDIA has been awarded a contract worth up to $20 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to research embedded processor technologies that could lead to dramatic improvements in the ability of autonomous vehicles to collect and process data from on-board sensors. Existing embedded processors deliver about 1 gigaflops of performance (1 billion floating point operations each second) per watt. The NVIDIA program, known as Project Osprey, will research low-power circuits and extremely efficient architectures and programming systems that enable 75 gigaflops per watt, using process technologies as advanced as 7 nanometer (nm) compared with today’s 28-nm process.
“The technologies developed with this program can transform the capabilities of embedded systems, making autonomous vehicles more practical and intelligent,” said Steve Keckler, senior director of Architecture Research at NVIDIA. “This research will help NVIDIA continue to advance mobile computing for both government and consumer applications.”