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Continental and Nvidia launch car industry's fastest supercomputer

by Chuck Martin
Article ImageThe machine will be used for deep learning, simulation and virtual data generation

German automotive manufacturer Continental has launched a supercomputer for training AI-based systems, based on Nvidia’s DGX hardware.

The supercomputer, located in Frankfurt, offers computing power and storage to developers worldwide, using AI to enhance advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), among other use cases.

“The supercomputer is an investment in our future,” said Christian Schumacher, head of program management systems in Continental’s ADAS business unit. “The state-of-the-art system reduces the time to train neural networks, as it allows for at least 14 times more experiments to be run at the same time.”

The supercomputer was built with more than 50 Nvidia DGX systems, connected with the Nvidia Mellanox InfiniBand network.

Simulated driving

Up until recently, it was the Continental test vehicle fleet that provided the data for training the neural networks. The fleet drives more than 9,000 miles a day, recording images that are used to train new systems.

The new supercomputer allows the data to be synthetically generated. The process increases development speeds, since virtual vehicles can travel the same number of test miles in hours that would take weeks for a real car.

“Nvidia DGX systems give innovators like Continental AI supercomputing in a cost-effective, enterprise-ready solution that’s easy to deploy,” said Manuvir Das, head of enterprise computing at Nvidia.

“Using the InfiniBand-connected Nvidia DGX POD for autonomous vehicle training, Continental is engineering tomorrow’s most intelligent vehicles, as well as the IT infrastructure that will be used to design them.”

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