Nvidia unveils Jetson TX1 computer-on-module

November 11, 2015 | 11:21

Tags: #com #computer-on-module #cortex-a57 #jetson #jetson-k1 #jetson-tx1 #maxwell #tegra

Companies: #arm #nvidia

Nvidia has announced its latest Jetson board, the TX1, which it hopes will span the market from well-heeled makers through to commercially-shipping products thanks to high performance and a modular design.

Following up from the Jetson TK1, announced back in March and sold into the UK through high-street electronics detailer Maplin, the Jetson TX1 is considerably more expensive: the Developer Kit, which includes the computer-on-module Jetson TX1 itself plus a break-out board turning it into a fully-functional system, is priced in the US at $599 compared with $197 for the original Jetson TK1. That's a lot of money, which may explain why the company is positioning the board for everything from automated drone piloting and self-driving vehicles to machine intelligence projects - all growth markets where money is often not an issue. A discount will also be available for educational use, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology already declaring it will base its robotics systems and science course around the module.

To justify the cost of the board, Nvidia has packed in the technology: there are four central-processing cores based on ARM's 64-bit Cortex-A57 design linked to a 256-core Maxwell-architecture graphics processor offering a claimed teraflop of compute. On-board video codecs offer support for 4K resolutions, a camera interface is claimed to push 1,400 megapixels per second, and there's 4GB of LPDDR4 with a throughput of 25.6 gigabits per second. There's onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, wired gigabit Ethernet, and 16GB of eMMC storage for the bundled OS - Linux for Tegra (L4T), which is based on Canonical's Ubuntu Linux.

Measuring 50mm x 87mm the Jetson TX1 module certainly crams in the features, though its dimensions belie its usability: to actually make use of any of that on-board hardware, users will need to mate the module with a base board which breaks out connectivity - and add an active heatsink-fan assembly, included in the bundle. The idea, of course, is that once product development is complete the user can design their own custom base board, featuring only the connectivity and features they require in their design, into which Jetson TX1 modules can be dropped. To support this, Nvidia has confirmed plans to release the Jetson TX1 module in bulk quantities in early 2016, priced at a still-hefty $299 each in quantities of 1,000 units.

Nvidia has not yet announced UK availability and pricing for the Jetson TX1 Development Kit. More information is available on the official product page.
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