This week’s GTC 2018 keynote address saw NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang talking about the future of the ARM SoC lineup of NVIDIA. The new ARM-based SoCs are neither publicly advertised nor sold by NVIDIA. The Tegra X1, the last SoC branded Tegra, is developed by NVIDIA exclusively for their private uses. The top priority of NVIDIA has always been their DRIVE systems. These systems have the Xavier SoC at the core, both in the case of the single-SoC Xavier module and the multi-processor Pegasus module. The latter one is used mostly in level 5 vehicles.
With Xavier sampling to partners, NVIDIA is looking forward to replacing Xavier with Orin. But this time, the procedure is quite different from what happened in 2016, when NVIDIA had released an individual tease just for Xavier. Though Orin is the next generation of NVIDIA SoCs, NVIDIA is keeping it very quiet & maintaining a low profile with Orin.
Xavier and Orin have one thing in common – they ate single-chip solutions. Apart from that, not much information about Orin is released yet. NVIDIA has confirmed that they will replace the Pegasus module with a couple of Orins. Pegasus was initially introduced with two Xaviers. Each of them was equipped with an unnamed, post-Volta discrete GPU attached. It had a total power consumption of 500W. If it is successfully replaced with a couple of single-chip SoCs, it would indeed be a huge achievement that will bring enormous energy efficiency.
People are also interested to know which superhero, this new SoC, is going to be named after. This time DC looks more favorable compared to the Marvel universe. Orin is actually just another name of Aquaman. Though Aquaman isn’t that popular compared to the likes of Kal-El, Wayne, or Xavier, can Jason Momoa turn out to be a decisive factor? Let’s wait and see.