NVIDIA today introduced the IGX Edge AI computing platform for secure autonomous systems.
IGX combines hardware with programmable security extensions, commercial operating system support, and powerful AI software that enables companies to securely deploy AI to support human-machine collaboration.
The all-in-one platform enables next-level security and perception for healthcare and industrial edge AI use cases.
Robots and autonomous systems are being used to create “factories of the future” where humans and robots work side by side, resulting in improved efficiencies for manufacturing, logistics and other workflows.
Such autonomous machines have built-in functional safety features to ensure smart spaces are free from collisions and other safety threats.
NVIDIA IGX enhances this functional security by using AI sensors in the environment to add proactive security alerts—that detect security concerns before an incident occurs—on top of existing reactive security capabilities that mitigate security threats.
“Safety has long been a top priority for industrial companies,” said Riccardo Mariani, vice president of industry safety at NVIDIA. “What’s new is that we’re using AI across sensors in a factory to create a centralized view that can improve safety by providing additional input to the intelligent machines and autonomous mobile robots working in the environment.”
For sensitive environments where people and machines work together – such as factories, distribution centers and warehouses – the security functions of intelligent systems are particularly important.
Proactive security for the industrial edge
There are three levels of functional safety at the industrial edge.
First, reactive security is the mitigation of security threats and events after they have occurred. For example, if a human gets in a robot’s direct route, the bot may stop, slow down, or shut down to avoid a collision.
This type of safety mechanism already exists in autonomous machines according to the standard regulations. However, reactive stops of an intelligent machine or assembly line result in unplanned downtime that can cost some manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour.
Second, proactive security means identifying potential security concerns before breaches occur. NVIDIA IGX is focused on enabling organizations to add this layer of security to intelligent environments to further protect employees and save costs. It offers powerful, proactive security features built into its hardware and software.
For example, if IGX-powered proactive safety is involved, cameras in the warehouse could detect a human heading in the path of a robot. It could signal the bot to change route and avoid being in the same motion field, completely avoiding the collision. IGX can also alert workers and other robots in the area and reroute them to eliminate the risk of factory backup.
And third, predictive security is the anticipation of future security threats based on past performance data. In this case, organizations can use simulations and digital twins to identify crossing patterns or improve a factory layout to reduce the number of security incidents.
One of the first companies to deploy IGX at the edge is Siemens, a technology leader in industrial automation and digitalization working with NVIDIA on a vision for autonomous factories. Siemens is collaborating with NVIDIA to extend its work into industrial computing, including digital twins and for the industrial metaverse.
Siemens is already adding next-level perception to its edge-based applications through NVIDIA Metropolis. With millions of sensors in factories, Metropolis connects entire fleets of robots and IoT devices to bring AI to industrial environments, making it one of the premier application frameworks for edge AI running on the IGX platform.
Zero-trust security, high performance, and long-term support
In addition to security requirements, edge AI deployments have unique security requirements compared to systems in data centers or the cloud, as humans and machines work side-by-side in edge environments.
The IGX platform features a hardened end-to-end security architecture that starts at the system level and is augmented with over-the-air updates from the cloud. Advanced networking and a dedicated security controller are combined with NVIDIA Fleet Command, which offers secure edge AI management and orchestration from the cloud.
The first product offering of the IGX platform is NVIDIA IGX Orin, the world’s most powerful, compact and energy-efficient AI system for accelerating the development of autonomous industrial machines and medical devices.
IGX Orin Developer Kits will be available early next year. Each includes an integrated GPU and CPU for powerful AI computations, and an NVIDIA ConnectX-7 SmartNIC to deliver high-performance networking with ultra-low latency and advanced security.
IGX also offers up to 10 years of full-stack support from NVIDIA and leading partners.
Learn more about IGX and other technological breakthroughs by watching the latest GTC keynote from NVIDIA Founder and CEO Jensen Huang: