Today NVIDIA announced a new product, the Jetson TX1 Development Kit. I received a model to review. The NVIDIA Jetson TX1 Development Kit can be ordered from Amazon here. Looky here:
Jetson TX1 Overview
The Jetson TX1 is the big brother to the Jetson TK1 Development Kit. The Jetson TX1 features a NVIDIA Maxwell GPU with 256 CUDA cores and a quad-core ARM Cortex A57 CPU. The Jetson TX1 is a modular architecture, a COM module contains the Tegra X1 SoC, 4GB LPDDR4 memory, 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi/Bluetooth and 1GB Ethernet.
The COM module is mounted on a carrier board which takes the signals and brings them out to connectors. The carrier board has the following I/O connectors:
- USB 3.0 Type A
- USB 2.0 Micro AB (supports recovery and host mode)
- M.2 Key E
- PCI-E x4
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Full size SD card reader
- SATA data+power
- Display expansion header
- Camera expansion header
There are also two expansion headers, a 40 pin, 2.54mm spaced header with signals layed out similarly to the Raspberry Pi, and a 30 pin, 2.54mm spaced header for extra GPIO.
The Jetson also includes a 5MP camera!
A module based architecture means that designers can more easily integrate Tegra X1 into custom designs by simply designing carrier boards that carry the proper signals for their application.
The Jetson TX1s ARM Cortex A57 based CPU is 64 bit, and is backwards compatible with the earlier Jetson TK1 software. The A57 can run 32 or 64 bit code.
A more detailed overview is available at NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1 Supercomputer-on-Module Drives Next Wave of Autonomous Machines
The Jetson TX1 is being delivered with CUDA 7.0 and VisionWorks along with a long list of other software standards such as OpenGL 4.5. VisionWorks is the NVIDIA implementation of OpenVX which provides hardware acceleration to vision processing tasks. The L4T 23.0 operating system is a lightly modified Ubuntu distribution.
After receiving the Jetson TX1, I have spent a few days getting a feel for how the little beast performs. One of the very nice things about the Jetson TX1 is that a large aluminum heat sink provides most of the cooling for the SoC. A small fan occasionally kicks it to help when things get heated, but it is whisper quiet. This makes extended development sessions on the TX1 much more enjoyable than the screamer fan on the Jetson TK1.
The carrier board is designed to fit into a commodity mini-ITX case, which makes it nice for a variety of applications. There’s also some piece of mind not just having the board out in the open.
The TX1 is quite a bit more responsive on the desktop than the TK1. Seat of the pants, the TX1 feels very much like a laptop computer as far as speed is concerned.
Pictures of Course
Over the next few weeks there will be a wide variety of articles about the Jetson TX1 here on JetsonHacks. We’ll start exploring the performance and some of the applications which the added performance enables. Computer vision seems like an obvious first choice.
However, don’t misconstrue this to think that the Jetson TK1 is going away. It’s just that it has a big brother when a little more power is needed.