Driverless Ed: Students Advance Self-Driving Research at ’Formula Student Germany’ Competition

Insulin, quantum theory and the Nash equilibrium are just a few of the landmark discoveries that university student researchers have made pivotal contributions to.

Autonomous vehicles — one of the biggest transportation breakthroughs of the past century — are no different. In fact, much of today’s self-driving technology was born out of university challenges funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (better known as DARPA) in 2005 and 2007.

The Formula Student Germany (FSG) Driverless competition, which took place earlier this month in Hockenheimring, Germany, is one of the arenas in which students have the chance to test and demonstrate their skills in autonomous vehicle development.

Now in its second year, the competition is a growing part of the FSG international design event, which draws 4,000 students from 25 countries. To advance their designs, five of the 17 FSG Driverless student teams — including the winning group from ETH Zurich — chose to engineer their autonomous vehicles on powerful NVIDIA GPUs.

“The FSG Driverless challenge is another step where we have the chance to learn a lot about the latest technologies in the field of autonomous driving,” said Tu Pham, chief technical officer of the Technical University of Darmstadt’s racing team. “By using NVIDIA GPUs for our computer vision neural networks, we experienced a huge increase in performance — and we haven’t even come close to its computational limits.”

All-Around Competition

The teams competing in this year’s FSG Driverless competition were tasked with designing and deploying a self-driving car from the ground up.

The student teams must independently create a concept and business plan for their vehicle, build it and undergo intense technical inspection as well as “scrutineering” — rigorous oversight from the competition’s officials. Then, the teams must test their vehicle in several disciplines on the racetrack during the FSG event week.

The driverless competition takes place alongside combustion and electric vehicle competitions, which also require teams to design, engineer and compete with their own innovations.

In the week leading up to the final challenges, each team’s technical design, manufacturing and cost plans are closely evaluated. Those results are then combined with scores in the static — design, business plan, strategy — and dynamic, or racetrack, disciplines. The teams with the highest overall scores achieve top placement.

A GPU-Powered Finish

As development progressed from blueprints to the racetrack, students said NVIDIA GPUs made the process of advancing their deep learning algorithms seamless.

“As our goal as a first-year team was to complete all dynamic events with similar lap-times as last year’s winner, we needed to aim high,” said Mathias Backsaether, chief driverless engineer the Norwegian University for Science and Technology’s racing team. “For this, we used NVIDIA, facilitating easy testing of our autonomous software.”

The work these teams accomplished in building and deploying a driverless vehicle will contribute to the overall development of this groundbreaking technology. And NVIDIA will continue to partner with university researchers around the globe, helping students make their designs and innovations a reality, and showcasing their findings on the global stage.

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GeForce RTX Propels PC Gaming’s Golden Age with Real-Time Ray Tracing

They say real-time ray tracing is the future of graphics — and always will be. No longer. NVIDIA today unveiled the biggest breakthrough in PC gaming in over a decade: the GeForce RTX series and the advent of real-time ray tracing. It’s a watershed moment, the start of a new, golden age of gaming. And Read article >

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GeForce RTX Propels PC Gaming’s Golden Age with Real-Time Ray Tracing

They say real-time ray tracing is the future of graphics — and always will be. No longer.

NVIDIA today unveiled the biggest breakthrough in PC gaming in over a decade: the GeForce RTX series and the advent of real-time ray tracing. It’s a watershed moment, the start of a new, golden age of gaming. And the technology — regarded as the “holy grail” of computer graphics — has come 10 years earlier than most predicted.

“Games will never be the same,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, during his Gamescom presentation, where he unveiled GeForce RTX.

Slide comparing RTX on and off

Graphics is advancing at 10x the rate of Moore’s law, before it ends. Propelling this are architectural advancements, which are responsible for GeForce RTX’s massive leap forward. Turing’s innovations fuse real-time ray tracing, all-new AI capabilities and advanced shaders to deliver 6x the performance of Pascal.

This approach, called hybrid graphics, reinvents computer graphics and represents the biggest generational performance leap ever, delivering on the promise of 4K HDR gaming at 60 frames per second on even the most advanced games.

Slide showing Turing's huge performance leap over Pascal

The invention of hybrid graphics requires a new way to measure performance. We call this RTX-OPS, or the performance available when rendering next-generation games with hybrid graphics. The resulting performance of GeForce RTX is astounding — 78 trillion RTX-OPS, 6x that of the previous Pascal generation, and 10 GigaRays per second, or 10x Pascal.

The Timing Is Perfect

GeForce RTX is coming to market at the perfect time, with a blockbuster holiday season ahead.

New games are the No. 1 reason most gamers upgrade, and this coming holiday season looks to be massive. Projections are for double-digit, year-over-year growth, with a great run anticipated for game publishers like Activision Blizzard, EA, Take Two and Ubisoft.

This year’s lineup of releases includes no less than eight major titles — from franchises with user bases of hundreds of millions of gamers and tens of billions dollars in past sales. Two of the biggest — Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider — ship in the next couple months with RTX technology. 

Battefield V with NVIDIA RTX technology

Gamers Need to Gear Up for 4K HDR

Just as 4K is fast becoming the standard for TVs, PC gamers are moving to 4K — the new breathtaking baseline for games. Monitor prices are dropping under $300 and shipments have increased 1.5x over the past year.

Yet, PC gamers still aren’t ready. That’s because 4K gaming requires 4x the processing power of 1080p at 60 frames per second. Even our Pascal flagship GeForce GTX 1080 Ti can’t run the latest cinematic games at 4K 60 FPS.

That’s also why top gaming sites today recommend gamers think “GPU first” and, whatever their budget, allocate about 40 percent to the GPU. For a $2,500 4K rig, that’s a $1,000 investment, more than twice the CPU.

GeForce RTX 20-series are the first GPUs that will play AAA games at 4K 60 FPS HDR.

For Esports, Performance Is a Matter of Life or Death

Esports has been a big driver in bringing new players to PC gaming. And to these gamers, the stakes for graphic performance is much higher. Data shows esports pro players perform best with high FPS, low latency, high resolution and no stutter or flickering.

That’s also why all esports tournaments, without exception, are played with top-of-the-range GeForce GPUs. But for esports enthusiasts, the choice of GPU can be a matter of life or death, with high-end GeForce GPUs resulting in 1.5x the kill/death ratio in battle royale games.

Esports GPUs chart

Overwhelming Developer Support

The industry is anxious for the next big thing in graphics to create a new look for games — RTX technology will deliver that promise.

Just listen to Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Deep Silver: “From a game publishing perspective, GeForce RTX from NVIDIA is really exciting. We can see a future where games are more realistic and more immersive for our game-playing customers. This is a great time to be a PC gamer.”

Microsoft is releasing an update to DX12, called DXR, that supports RTX ray tracing and puts tremendous firepower into the hands of developers.

Epic Games has integrated RTX technology into the most popular game engine in the world, Unreal Engine.

Over 20 RTX titles are set for release — starting this holiday season — and more than 40 game developers are working on future titles that will integrate RTX.

NVIDIA RTX game developers ecosystem

Dawn of a New Golden Age

GeForce RTX is reinventing graphics. For today’s games, and well into a bright future.

Turing’s fusing of advanced shaders, AI and ray tracing will deliver 60 FPS gaming in 4K HDR today, and is the platform for a new era of photorealism for fully ray-traced games.

The golden age of PC gaming has begun.

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NVIDIA Unveils GeForce RTX, World’s First Real-Time Ray Tracing GPUs

Wait. What? WHAT! Holy @#$%.

In a series of announcements that left more than 1,200 gamers gathered Monday in Cologne alternately breathless, giddy with laughter, and shouting their enthusiasm, Jensen Huang introduced the GeForce RTX series of gaming processors, representing the biggest leap in performance in NVIDIA’s history.

“This is a historic moment,” the NVIDIA founder and CEO declared as he rolled out the new GPUs, starting at just $499. “Computer graphics has been reinvented.”

Delivering the “holy grail” of graphics to gamers, Huang introduced the world’s first real-time ray-tracing gaming GPUs — supported by a fat roster of upcoming blockbuster game titles — to a heaving crowd at the Palladium, a spare steel and concrete music venue tucked between railroad tracks and metal fabrication shops on Cologne’s gritty industrial north side.

Unveiled ahead of Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming expo, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 GPUs are the first gaming processors based on our new Turing architecture, packed with new features that will deliver 4K HDR gaming at 60 frames per second on the most advanced titles.

The RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 — including Founders Edition cards direct from NVIDIA — will be available for pre-order starting Monday. The RTX 2070, starting at $499, will be available in October.

These products are built on the NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture introduced a week ago in Vancouver, which fuses next-generation shaders with real-time ray tracing and all-new AI capabilities. Huang said this new hybrid graphics capability represents the biggest generational leap ever in gaming GPUs, delivering 6x more performance than its predecessor, Pascal.

Huang also announced that a barrage of 21 new games —including Battlefield V, Final Fantasy XV, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Shadow of the Tomb Raider — are being developed on the NVIDIA RTX platform.

The show stopper: a demo of Battlefield V that had the audience alternately bursting into applause and shouting with enthusiasm as they saw scenes from an urban battle reflected in a soldier’s eyes, fire from from a flame-throwing Churchill Crocodile tank reflected from the hood of a car, or an explosion from a V1 rocket reflected in the windows of nearby storefronts moments before the shockwave from the explosion shattered them.

“It does exactly what you would expect it to do and it does it all by itself,” Huang said from the stage of the effects Turing unleashes. “Everything just works because ray tracing just works.”

Delivering the Holy Grail

To put Turing’s capabilities into perspective, Huang’s talk opened with a video telling the visual history of computer graphics over the past half century, narrated by its pioneering figures.

It’s the tale of a grand quest to simulate the world, one that’s captivated some of the world’s brightest minds. It highlights breakthroughs in films such as Star Wars and The Abyss, and games like Crysis and Destiny 2.

NVIDIA RTX is the product of 10 years of work and 10,000 engineering years of effort in computer graphics algorithms and GPU architectures, Huang said. The NVIDIA RTX platform benefits from support in Microsoft’s new DirectX Raytracing API, games adopting it in development for Windows and Vulkan APIs, and hardware acceleration integrated into NVIDIA’s Turing architecture.

The headline feature — RT Cores — represent a kind of “holy grail” for gamers, accelerating the crushingly computationally intensive work of tracing beams of light through to generate images in real time, Huang said.

RTX: A Big Difference for Big Games

Turning to a tested computer graphics teaching tool, the Cornell Box — a 3D box inside which various objects are displayed — Huang showed how Turing uses ray tracing to portray increasingly complex scenes incorporating reflections, refractions, and shadows with stunning photo-realism. Each iteration of the demo got an instant reaction from audience members, who clapped and gasped every time Huang showed what RTX could do.

“Everything just works,” Huang said. “Everything….just…works…you just turn it on.”

To give the audience a taste of what Turing can do, Huang teed up a demo, dubbed Sol, showing a pair of robotic assistants placing glossy-white armor onto a lone figure, each piece finding its place with a gratifying “snick.”

As the protagonist ascends to a hatch to jump into action — with ray-traced reflections of the futuristic environment all around him gleaming from his suit and visor — the now unsupervised robots begin to dance to the irresistible rhythms 1977’s “Boogie Shoes” by KC and the Sunshine Band.

Hearing the music, the armored figure returns, cocks his head in surprise, and then demonstrates his own fluid, loose-limbed dance moves in a twist the had the audience howling with delight.

Turing also includes unprecedented deep learning capabilities — thanks to its built-in Tensor Cores, which accelerate the deep-learning algorithms driving the deep learning revolution.

Now that technology is coming back to games, with NVIDIA harnessing banks of supercomputers to train network, such as the NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling, which turn low resolution into high resolution ones, and can run on Turing’s Tensor Cores.

Cybernetic Soul

Huang ended his presentation with a real-time demo that how the academic world of computer graphics — and the rollicking fun of computer games — intersect. It brings the audience back to the inside of the Cornell box — this time outfitted with a disco ball and strobe lights — where the armored figure from the video Huang showed just a few minutes before pops up again, dancing, only to freeze after the music stops.

The message is clear: you’re going to have a blast playing with Turing’s cutting-edge graphics.

See all our Turing coverage:

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NVIDIA Unveils GeForce RTX, World’s First Real-Time Ray Tracing GPUs

Wait. What? WHAT! Holy @#$%. In a series of announcements that left more than 1,200 gamers gathered Monday in Cologne alternately breathless, giddy with laughter, and shouting their enthusiasm, Jensen Huang introduced the GeForce RTX series of gaming processors, representing the biggest leap in performance in NVIDIA’s history. “This is a historic moment,” the NVIDIA Read article >

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NVIDIA Turing Propels VR Toward Full Immersion

Over the last few decades, VR experiences have gone from science fiction to research labs to inside homes and offices. But even today’s best VR experiences have yet to achieve full immersion.

NVIDIA’s new Turing GPUs are poised to take VR a big step closer to that level. Announced at SIGGRAPH last week and Gamescom today, Turing’s combination of real-time ray tracing, AI and new rendering technologies will propel VR to a new level of immersion and realism.

Real-Time Ray Tracing

Turing enables true-to-life visual fidelity through the introduction of RT Cores. These processors are dedicated to accelerating the computation of where rays of light intersect objects in the environment, enabling — for the first time — real-time ray tracing in games and applications.

These optical calculations replicate the way light behaves to create stunningly realistic imagery, and allow VR developers to better simulate real-world environments.

Turing’s RT Cores can also simulate sound, using the NVIDIA VRWorks Audio SDK. Today’s VR experiences provide audio quality that’s accurate in terms of location. But they’re unable to meet the computational demands to adequately reflect an environment’s size, shape and material properties, especially dynamic ones.

NVIDIA Holodeck VRWorks Audio

VRWorks Audio is accelerated by 6x with our RTX platform compared with prior generations. Its ray-traced audio technology creates a physically realistic acoustic image of the virtual environment in real time.

At SIGGRAPH, we demonstrated the integration of VRWorks Audio into NVIDIA Holodeck showing how the technology can create more realistic audio and speed up audio workflows when developing complex virtual environments.

AI for More Realistic VR Environments

Deep learning, a method of GPU-accelerated AI, has the potential to address some of VR’s biggest visual and perceptual challenges. Graphics can be further enhanced, positional and eye tracking can be improved and character animations can be more true to life.

The Turing architecture’s Tensor Cores deliver up to 500 trillion tensor operations per second, accelerating inferencing and enabling the use of AI in advanced rendering techniques to make virtual environments more realistic.

Advanced VR Rendering Technologies

Turing also boasts a range of new rendering techniques that increase performance and visual quality in VR.

Variable Rate Shading (VRS) optimizes rendering by applying more shading horsepower in detailed areas of the scene and throttling back in scenes with less perceptible detail. This can be used for foveated rendering by reducing the shading rate on the periphery of scenes, where users are less likely to focus, particularly when combined with the emergence of eye-tracking.

Multi-View Rendering enables next-gen headsets that offer ultra-wide fields of view and canted displays, so users see only the virtual world without a bezel. A next-generation version of Single Pass Stereo, Multi-View Rendering doubles to four the number of projection views for a single rendering pass. And all four are now position-independent and able to shift along any axis. By rendering four projection views, it can accelerate canted (non-coplanar) head-mounted displays with extremely wide fields of view.

Multi-View Rendering
Turing’s Multi-View Rendering can accelerate geometry processing for up to four views.

VR Connectivity Made Easy

Turing is NVIDIA’s first GPU designed with hardware support for USB Type-C and VirtualLink*, a new open industry standard that powers next-generation headsets through a single, lightweight USB-C cable.

Today’s VR headsets can be complex to set up, with multiple, bulky cables. VirtualLink simplifies the VR setup process by providing power, display and data via one cable, while packing plenty of bandwidth to meet the demands of future headsets. A single connector also brings VR to smaller devices, such as thin-and-light notebooks, that provide only a single, small footprint USB-C connector.

VirtualLink

 

 

Availability

VRWorks Variable Rate Shading, Multi-View Rendering and Audio SDKs will be available to developers through an update to the VRWorks SDK in September.

NVIDIA Turing-based Quadro RTX and GeForce RTX GPUs will be available starting this fall on nvidia.com and from leading manufacturers and add-in card partners.

* In preparation for the emerging VirtualLink standard, Turing GPUs have implemented hardware support according to the “VirtualLink Advance Overview”. To learn more about VirtualLink, see www.virtuallink.org.

The post NVIDIA Turing Propels VR Toward Full Immersion appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

NVIDIA Turing Propels VR Toward Full Immersion

Over the last few decades, VR experiences have gone from science fiction to research labs to inside homes and offices. But even today’s best VR experiences have yet to achieve full immersion. NVIDIA’s new Turing GPUs are poised to take VR a big step closer to that level. Announced at SIGGRAPH last week and Gamescom Read article >

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NVIDIA RTX Platform Brings Real-Time Ray Tracing and AI to Barrage of Blockbuster Games

Gamescom -- Following the introduction of the first NVIDIA Turing architecture-based GeForce RTX gaming GPUs, NVIDIA today announced that a barrage of blockbuster games — led by Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider — are being developed on the NVIDIA RTX platform, enabling real-time ray tracing and all-new AI capabilities in games.

NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang to Kick Off GeForce Gaming Event Ahead of Gamescom 2018

You know. We know you know. You know we know you know. Gamescom — the world’s largest gaming expo — is almost here. We’ve already told you our GeForce gaming event on Monday, Aug. 20, at the Palladium in Cologne, Germany, will be loaded with exclusive, hands-on demos running on the hottest upcoming games, presentations Read article >

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