NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1 Supercomputer-on-Module Drives Next Wave of Autonomous Machines

Posted on November 11, 2015 by Dustin Franklin 21 Comments Tagged Autonomous Vehicles, cuDNN, Deep Learning, Jetson TX1, Tegra
Today NVIDIA introduced Jetson TX1, a small form-factor Linux system-on-module, destined for demanding embedded applications in visual computing. Designed for developers and makers everywhere, the miniature Jetson TX1 (figure 1) deploys teraflop-level supercomputing performance onboard platforms in the field. Backed by the Jetson TX1 Developer Kit, a premier developer community, and a software ecosystem including Jetpack, Linux For Tegra R23.1, CUDA Toolkit 7, cuDNN, and VisionWorks, Jetson enables machines everywhere with the proverbial brains required to achieve advanced levels of autonomy in today’s world.jtx1_figure1-300x171

Figure 1. The 50x87mm embedded Jetson TX1 module and thermal plate, featuring integrated Maxwell GPU, ARMv8 CPU, and H.265 video processor.

Aimed at developers interested in computer vision and on-the-fly sensing, Jetson TX1’s credit-card footprint and low power consumption mean that it’s geared for deployment onboard embedded systems with constrained size, weight, and power (SWaP). Jetson TX1 exceeds the performance of Intel’s high-end Core i7-6700K Skylake in deep learning classification with Caffe, and while drawing only a fraction of the power, achieves more than ten times the perf-per-watt.

Jetson provides superior efficiency while maintaining a developer-friendly environment for agile prototyping and product development, removing extra legwork typically associated with deploying power-limited embedded systems. Jetson TX1’s small form-factor module enables developers everywhere to deploy Tegra into embedded applications ranging from autonomous navigation to deep learning-driven inference and analytics.
Jetson TX1 Module

Built around NVIDIA’s 20nm Tegra X1 SoC featuring the 1024-GFLOP Maxwell GPU, 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A57, and hardware H.265 encoder/decoder, Jetson TX1 measures in at 50x87mm and is packed with performance and functionality. Onboard components include 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC flash, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and accepts 5.5V-19.6VDC input (figure 2). Peripheral interfaces consist of up to six MIPI CSI-2 cameras (on a dual ISP), 2x USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0, PCIe gen2 x4 + x1, independent HDMI 2.0/DP 1.2 and DSI/eDP 1.4, 3x SPI, 4x I2C, 3x UART, SATA, GPIO, and others. Needless to say, Jetson TX1 stands tall in the face of many an algorithmic and integration challenge.

Figure 2. Jetson TX1 block diagram. Blocks on the outside indicate typical routing on the carrier.

The Jetson module utilizes a 400-pin board-to-board connector (figure 3) for interfacing with the Developer Kit’s reference carrier board, or with a bespoke, customized board designed during your productization process.  Tegra’s chip-level capabilities and I/O are closely mapped to the module’s pin-out.  The pin-out will be backward-compatible with future versions of the Jetson module.  Jetson TX1 comes with an integrated thermal transfer plate (figure 3), rated between -25°C and 80°C, for interfacing with passive or active cooling solutions.  Consult NVIDIA’s Embedded Developer Zone for thorough documentation and detailed electromechanical specifications, in addition to visiting the active and open development community on Devtalk.


Figure 3. Left to right: Top of Jetson TX1 module, bottom (with connector), and complete assembly with TTP.Figure 3. Left to right: Top of Jetson TX1 module, bottom (with connector), and complete assembly with TTP.

2 thoughts on “NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1 Supercomputer-on-Module Drives Next Wave of Autonomous Machines

  1. etson TX1 draws as little as 1 watt of power or lower while idle, around 8-10 watts under typical CUDA load, and up to 15 watts TDP when the module is fully utilized, for example during gameplay and the most demanding vision routines. Jetson TX1 provides exceptional dynamic power scaling either based on workload via its automated governor, or by explicit user commands to gate cores and specify clock frequencies. The four ARM A57 cores automatically scale between 102 MHz and 1.9 GHz, the memory controller between 40MHz and 1.6GHz, and the Maxwell GPU between 76 MHz and 998 MHz. Touting 256 CUDA cores with Compute Capability 5.3 and Dynamic Parallelism, Jetson TX1’s Maxwell GPU is rated for up to 1024 GFLOPS of FP16. When combined with support for up to 1200 megapixels/sec from either three MIPI CSI x4 cameras or six CSI x2 cameras, along with hardware H.265 encoder & decoder, integrated WiFi and HDMI 2.0, Jetson TX1 is primed for all-4K video processing. The Jetson TX1 module retails for $299 and has 5-year availability. In addition to releasing the ecosystem tools, NVIDIA has made available the Jetson TX1 Developer Kit to help users get started today.


    • Jetson TX1 Developer Kit

      NVIDIA’s Jetson TX1 Developer Kit includes everything you need to get started developing on Jetson. Including the pre-mounted module, the Jetson TX1 Developer Kit (figure 4) contains a reference mini-ITX carrier board, 5MP MIPI CSI-2 camera module, two 2.4/5GHz antennas, an active heatsink & fan, an acrylic base plate, and a 19VDC power supply brick.

      Pin head

      BBD9 and SEP 21
      Figure 4. Jetson TX1 Developer Kit, including module, reference carrier and camera board.Figure 4. Jetson TX1 Developer Kit, including module, reference carrier and camera board. (Click image to zoom)
      Blocker 21 pining out to date the score of 51 plus 12 semial 56 times 81 lazer 1 plant 4 — There’s more to these coming later my friends “”Quoations application signal 25 pins 10 :p “

      The PCIe lanes on the Jetson TK1 Developer Kit are routed from the module to a PCIe x4 desktop slot on the carrier for easy prototyping, in addition to an M.2-E mezzanine with PCIe x1 for wireless radios. Available on the Embedded Developer Zone, NVIDIA shares the schematics and design files for the reference carrier along with the 5MP CSI-2 camera module, including routing and signal integrity guidelines. Board software support bundled by Jetpack provides easy flashing and device configuration. Out of the box, the Jetson TX1 Developer Kit provides the experience of a desktop PC, but in a small embedded form factor that only draws a fraction of the power. The Jetson TX1 Developer Kit is available for pre-order immediately for $599, with shipments beginning November 16 in the US and December 20 in Europe and APAC.

      Select researchers had the chance to review the Jetson TX1 Developer Kit in the lead-up to launch. MIT professor Dr. Sertac Karaman and his autonomous robotics lab worked hands-on with the new kit, upgrading their self-driving RACECAR from their previous Jetson TK1 setup. Figure 5 shows their autonomous vehicle in action.


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