Nvidia Drive

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Nvidia Drive is a computer platform by Nvidia, aimed at providing autonomous car and driver assistance functionality powered by deep learning.[1][2] The platform was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2015.[3] An enhanced version, the Drive PX 2 was introduced at CES a year later, in January 2016.[4]

Maxwell based[edit]

The first of Nvidia's autonomous chips was announced at CES 2015, based on the Maxwell GPU microarchitecture.[5] The line-up consisted of two platforms:

Drive CX[edit]

The Drive CX was based on a single Tegra X1 SoC (System on a Chip) and was marketed as a digital cockpit computer, providing a rich dashboard, navigation and multimedia experience. Early Nvidia press releases reported that the Drive CX board will be capable of carrying either a Tegra K1 or a Tegra X1.[6]

Drive PX[edit]

Drive PX

The first version of Drive PX is based on two Tegra X1 SoCs, and was an initial development platform targeted at (semi-)autonomous driving cars.

Pascal based[edit]

Drive PX platforms based on the Pascal GPU microarchitecture were first announced at CES 2016.[7] This time only a new version of Drive PX was announced, but in multiple configurations.

Drive PX 2[edit]

The Nvidia Drive PX 2 is based on one or two Tegra X2 SoCs where each SoC contains 2 Denver cores, 4 ARM A57 cores and a GPU from the Pascal generation.[8] There are two real world board configurations:

  • for AutoCruise: 1x Tegra X2
  • for AutoChauffeur: 2x Tegra X2 + 2 Pascal GPU's

There is further the proposal from Nvidia for fully autonomous driving by means of combining multiple items of the AutoChauffeur board variant and connecting these boards using e.g. UART, CAN, LIN, FlexRay, USB, 1 Gbit Ethernet or 10 Gbit Ethernet. For any derived custom PCB design the option of linking the Tegra X2 Processors via some PCIe bus bridge is further available, according to board block diagrams that can be found on the web.

All Tesla Motors vehicles manufactured from mid-October 2016 include a Drive PX 2, which will be used for neural net processing to enable Enhanced Autopilot and full self-driving functionality.[9] Other applications are Roborace.[10] Disassembling the Nvidia-based control unit from a recent Tesla car showed that a Tesla was using a modified single-chip Drive PX 2 AutoCruise, with a GP106 GPU added as a MXM Module. The chip markings gave strong hints for the Tegra X2 Parker as the CPU SoC.[11][12]

Volta based[edit]

Systems based on the Volta GPU microarchitecture were first announced at CES 2017[13]

Drive PX Xavier[edit]

The first Volta based Drive PX system was announced at CES 2017 as the Xavier AI Car Supercomputer.[13] It was re-presented at CES 2018 as Drive PX Xavier.[14][15] Initial reports of the Xavier SoC suggested a single chip with similar processing power to the Drive PX 2 Autochauffeur system.[16] However, in 2017 the performance of the Xavier-based system was later revised upward, to 50% greater than Drive PX 2 Autochauffeur system.[13] Drive PX Xavier is supposed to deliver 30 INT8 TOPS of performance while consuming only 30 watts of power.[17] This spreads across two distinct units, the iGPU with 20 INT8 TOPS as published early and the somewhat later on announced, newly introduced DLA that provided an additional 10 INT8 TOPS.

Drive PX Pegasus[edit]

In October 2017 Nvidia and partner development companies announced the Drive PX Pegasus system, based upon two Xavier CPU/GPU devices and two post-Volta (Turing) generation GPUs. The companies stated the third generation Drive PX system would be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving, with a total of 320 INT8 TOPS of AI computational power and a 500 Watts TDP.[18][19]

Next-Gen based[edit]

Drive AGX Orin[edit]

The Drive AGX Orin family was announced on December 18, 2019 at GTC China 2019.[20]


Nvidia provided
reference board
Drive CX Drive PX Drive PX 2


Drive PX 2


Drive PX 2


Drive PX 2

(Tesla 2.5)

Drive PX Xavier[15] Drive PX Pegasus[21] Drive AGX Orin[20]
GPU Microarchitecture Maxwell (28 nm) Pascal (16 nm) Volta (12 nm) Next-Gen (7nm?)
Introduced () January 2015 September 2016[22] October 2016[23] January 2016 August 2017[24] January 2017 October 2017 December 2019
Launched () N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Computing 1x Tegra X1 2x Tegra X1 1x Tegra X2 (Parker)

+ 1x Pascal GPU

2x Tegra X2 (Parker)

+ 2x Pascal GPU

2x Tegra X2 (Parker)

+ 1x Pascal GPU[25]

1x Tegra Xavier[26] 2x Tegra Xavier 2x Tegra Orin 2x Tegra Orin + 2x Next-Gen GPU
CPU 4x Cortex A57

4x Cortex A53

8x Cortex A57

8x Cortex A53

2x Denver

4x Cortex A57

4x Denver

8x Cortex A57

4x Denver

8x Cortex A57

8x Carmel ARM64[26] 16x Carmel ARM64 12x Arm Hurcules 24x Arm Hurcules
GPU 2 SMM Maxwell

256 CUDA cores

4 SMM Maxwell

512 CUDA cores

1x Parker GPGPU

(1x 2 SM Pascal, 256 CUDA cores)

1x Parker GPGPU

(1x 2 SM Pascal, 256 CUDA cores on a MXM slot[11])

2x Parker GPGPU

(2x 2 SM Pascal, 512 CUDA cores)
+ 2x dedicated MXM modules[27]

1x Parker GPGPU

1x 2 SM Pascal, 256 CUDA cores [24][25]

1x Volta iGPU (512 CUDA cores)[26] 2x Volta iGPU (512 CUDA cores)

2x Turing dGPUs

2x Next-Gen iGPU (?CUDA cores) 2x Next-Gen iGPU (?CUDA cores)

2x Next-Gen dGPU

Accelerator 1x DLA

1x PVA[26]

2x DLA

2x PVA

2x DLA

2x PVA

2x DLA

2x PVA

Memory 8GB LPDDR4[28] 16GB LPDDR4[28] LPDDR4[26] LPDDR5?
Storage 64GB eMMC[28] 128GB eMMC[28]
Performance 4 FP32 TFLOPS

10-12 DL TOPS[29][30]


10-12 DL TOPS [29][30]



20-24 DL TOPS [29][30]


10-12 DL TOPS [29][30]

10 INT8 TOPS, 5 FP16 TFLOPS (DLA)[26]
320 INT8 TOPS (total)[31] 400 INT8 TOPS (total) 2000 INT8 TOPS (total)
TDP 20W[30] 40W

SoC portion: 10 W[22]


SoC portion: 10 W[22]


SoC portion: 20 W[22]

60W [32][33][30]

SoC portion: 20 W[22]

30W[26] 500W[31] 130W 750W

Note: dGPU and memory are stand-alone semiconductors; all other components, especially ARM cores, iGPU and DLA are integrated components of the listed main computing device(s)


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  6. ^ NVIDIA ebnet den Weg für die Autos von Morgen mit den NVIDIA-DRIVE-Automotive-Computern
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  12. ^ Why Tesla’s Nvidia Supercomputer for Self-Driving is not as Powerful as Expected
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  14. ^ Baldwin, Roberto (8 January 2018). "NVIDIA unveils its powerful Xavier SOC for self-driving cars". Engadget. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Autonomous Car Development Platform from NVIDIA DRIVE PX2
  16. ^ Smith, Ryan (28 September 2016). "Nvidia Teases Xavier, A High Performance SoC for Drive PX & AI". Anandtech. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
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  18. ^ Oh, Nate. "NVIDIA Announces Drive PX Pegasus at GTC Europe 2017: Level 5 Self-Driving Hardware, Feat. Post-Volta GPUs". Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  19. ^ Auchard, Eric (10 October 2017). "NVIDIA unveils next-generation platform for fully autonomous cars". Reuters. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
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  28. ^ a b c d "Hardware". NVIDIA Developer. 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  29. ^ a b c d Ho, Joshua. "Hot Chips 2016: NVIDIA Discloses Tegra Parker Details". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
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  31. ^ a b "Nvidia AI and multi-petaOps chips for class 5 automated cars within 4 years - NextBigFuture.com". NextBigFuture.com. 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
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