One of the most exciting announcements of NVIDIA's 2019 GTC conference is the introduction of the Jetson Nano, the latest development board for NVIDIA's arm with a Tegra productivity control system. This developer card is very different from previous Jetson cards in that it aims for a very affordable price: only 99 USD.
NVIDIA Jetson developer cards have always been several hundred dollars. In the case of the latest high performance offering, the Jetson AGX Xavier is priced at US $ 1,299. The Jetson Nano will be sold for $ 99, although the performances are obviously not up to those of AGX Xavier. The Jetson Nano development kit is passively cooled, but it has a 4-pin fan connector on the circuit board and screw holes on the aluminum heat sink if you want to install a fan for better cooling.
With this low-cost Jetson card, the Nano uses a Tegra chip similar to that found in the Jetson TX1 a few years ago. This Tegra X1 SoC is equipped with a quad-core Cortex-A57 processor and NVIDIA Maxwell 128-core graphics cards … Not as interesting as the Xavier X2 or AGX, but not so much the SoCs usually found in developer cards under $ 100 Arm.
The Jetson Nano also offers 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, Gigabit Ethernet, 12 MIPI channels, four USB ports and can handle up to two simultaneous displays. These features and Maxwell graphics easily place the capabilities of the Nano in front of most (or even all?) Arms developer tips that are needed for the under $ 100 market. One of the advantages of the old Tegra X1 design is that open source Linux kernel support is better than recently published SoCs, and there is even Tegra open source graphics support. Maxwell in the New Driver Stack.
Unlike high-end Jetson cards with eMMC storage, the Jetson Nano sits on a microSD card for storage. The development kit connectivity includes four USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, 40-pin header, MIPI CSI camera connector, micro-SD connector, M.2 WiFi connector, and Gigabit Ethernet. One of the shortcuts of this chart is that there is no built-in WiFi, but requires an external card if you are interested in wireless connectivity.
Jetson Nano supports CUDA, TensorRT and other software components of high end Jetson cards. the same JetPack software works on the Nano. Jetson Nano's "Linux 4 Tegra" targets Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, although other Linux distributions have also supported other Jetson cards.
Overall, the Jetson Nano is a fairly convincing product at $ 99 US. We have had some preliminary results in our laboratory for a few days.