Nvidia Jetson TX2 packs Pascal in a pint-size package


— 9:00 AM on March 8, 2017

The Raspberry Pi Foundation makes some fun and well-supported single-board computers, but sometimes a small embedded system needs more graphical horsepower than the four 300 MHz stream processors in the Raspberry Pi 3 can provide. Nvidia's Jetson TX2 single-board computer module is ready to tackle that situation with its 256 Pascal SPs, six CPU cores, and 8GB of LPDDR4 memory. The machine also packs multiple Pi-pounding connectivity options with built-in USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Anyone who's been paying attention to Nvidia's press conferences of late probably knows that the company and its CEO Jen-Hsun Huang are obsessed with cars. To better fit automobiles, the Jetson TX2 sports a CAN bus interface for communicating with automotive embedded computer systems. The TX2 still packs same the UART, SPI, I2C, and I2S interfaces from its Jetson TX1 forebear. There are also onboard connectors for up to six cameras. The integrated SoC has a pair of Nvidia's Denver 2 ARM CPU cores along with four Cortex A57 cores. The entire Jetson TX2 module measures a compact 2" x 3.5" (5 cm x 9 cm).

The first shipping Jetson TX2 systems will be the development kits. Nvidia didn't offer exact dimensions, but the TX2 development board appears to be about the same size as the TX1, at 6.7" x 6.7" (17 cm x 17 cm). The development boards have all sorts of I/O ports, active cooling solutions, and PCIe x4 slots.

This burly hardware and robust connectivity comes at a cost. The Nvidia Jetson TX2 development board is available for pre-order now for $600. The Pi-sized Jetson TX2 module is scheduled to ship in Q2 2017, and will cost $400 when purchased in quantities of 1000 or more. Nvidia says the existing Jetson TX1 development kit's price will come down to $400 when the TX2 starts shipping. Multiple outlets, including Anandtech, report that Nvidia will offer the TX2 development board to the educational market for $300.

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