The Perfect GPU For The Holidays

If your shopping for that perfect holiday gift, there is still plenty of time to buy a new NVIDIA Titan X or other Pascal based GPU. This year however, I decided on an NVIDIA GPU in a slightly different package, which found its way to my doorstep yesterday.

In October, when Tesla announced all new cars being produced would have full self-driving hardware, I first started to look at the Tesla Model S for the soon to be expiring lease on my current car. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the car’s “Tesla Neural Network”> is powered by an NVIDIA GPU which gave me one more reason to consider the car.

Many years ago, when I bought my first car, the main subject of conversation among my friends was typically about how much horsepower it had. With Tesla now shipping the first real AI car, new car buyers would be better served by asking how many TOPS (trillions of deep-learning operations per second) the car comes with. While Tesla doesn’t specify the exact TOPS spec for the car, they do say the new NVIDIA gear is 40 times more powerful than the previous autopilot hardware.

Today I still had to drive my new Tesla the old fashion way, with hands and feet, as the new autopilot software isn’t quite ready. Shortly, a new OTA download should be available enabling the autopilot. As you might expect, I of course got both the “enhanced autopilot” option as well as the “full self driving capability” option, which promises plenty of new self-driving features over the coming months.

I already promised my team of solution architects working on the NVIDIA DriveWorks AI car software a chance to test out the Tesla updates as soon as they are available. During the winter break, I also plan to test out the Tesla Supercharger network with drives from Santa Clara to Los Angeles and then to Portland. I’ve already given away 1 of my 10 referral discounts, but if anyone out there is thinking of buying a new Tesla this month and wants a $1000 discount, I have 9 left. Take note, however, the free supercharger network won’t be totally free anymore for vehicles purchased after January 1, 2017, as Tesla announced last month.

Holiday errands are going to be a lot more fun this year!

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About Marc Hamilton

Marc Hamilton – Vice President, Solutions Architecture and Engineering, NVIDIA. At NVIDIA, the Visual Computing Company, Marc leads the worldwide Solutions Architecture and Engineering team, responsible for working with NVIDIA’s customers and partners to deliver the world’s best end to end solutions for professional visualization and design, high performance computing, and big data analytics. Prior to NVIDIA, Marc worked in the Hyperscale Business Unit within HP’s Enterprise Group where he led the HPC team for the Americas region. Marc spent 16 years at Sun Microsystems in HPC and other sales and marketing executive management roles. Marc also worked at TRW developing HPC applications for the US aerospace and defense industry. He has published a number of technical articles and is the author of the book, “Software Development, Building Reliable Systems”. Marc holds a BS degree in Math and Computer Science from UCLA, an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from USC, and is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Management program.
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