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Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 module gains third party carrier boards

Mar 20, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 1,572 views
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Connect Tech released three carriers for the Jetson TX2 and TX1: Cogswell with GigE Vision, Spacely for cam-intensive Pixhawk drones, and a $99 Sprocket.

Last April, Connect Tech announced an Astro carrier board for Nvidia’s Tegra X1-driven Jetson TX1 COM, and then followed up with the Orbitty and Elroy boards in May. Now, following Nvidia’s release of the Jetson TX2 earlier this month, Connect Tech has launched three new carriers that support both the TX2 and TX1 modules.



Cogswell
(click image to enlarge)

Connect Tech’s Cogswell, Spacely, and Sprocket boards continue the company’s tradition of using product names based on characters in the 1960s’s animated series, The Jetsons. The three new carriers are offered as more affordable, and more vertically oriented alternatives to Nvidia’s $599 Nvidia Jetson TX2 Developer Kit, which costs $599 including the Jetson TX2 module. (See farther below for a summary of the TX2.)


Sprocket (left) and Spaceley
(click images to enlarge)

All three boards support -40 to 85°C temperatures, although the Jetson COMs are limited to -25 to 80°C. The Cogswell board is aimed at Gigabit Ethernet vision camera (GigE Vision) applications, while the Spaceley is optimized for multiple CSI cameras and offers integration with Pixhawk UAVs. The $99 Sprocket is the affordable general purpose board of the bunch, and is primarily aimed at small drones.

 
Sprocket

Connect Tech predicts that the $99 Sprocket will be its most popular Jetson carrier. The 29-gram, 87 x 50mm board has the same 87 x 50mm dimensions as the Elroy and Orbitty, making them slightly smaller than the 87 x 55mm Nvidia Jetson TX1/TX2 modules themselves.



Sprocket (left) and with Jetson TX1 module
(click images to enlarge)

The Sprocket is designed for any space-constrained device, but is particularly suited for small drones, says the company. The Sprocket features a micro-USB OTG port, as well as onboard interfaces including MIPI CSI-2, 2x 3.3V UART, 2x I2C, and 4x GPIO.

 
Spaceley

The 125 x 95mm Spacely board targets unmanned vehicles and other applications where situational awareness is critical, says Connect Tech. It includes a pair of “multi-I/O” ports (labeled “P12” and “P13”) with GPIO, UART, and I2C signals that are intended to enable easy connection to drone autopilots such as the Pixhawk. The Spaceley also enables simultaneous capture of up to 6x MIPI CSI-2 cameras, and provides an optional GPS/GNSS module.



Spaceley (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Typical real-world coastline ports include dual micro-USB 3.0 ports, a micro-USB OTG port, a mini-HDMI connector, a microSD slot, and a SIM socket. Onboard interfaces include 2x GbE, 2x USB 2.0, as well as mini-PCIe and mSATA expansion.


Spaceley detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Additional Spaceley interfaces include CAN and SPI. The board runs on 12-22V DC power.

 
Cogswell

The Cogswell supports the GigE Vision standard for industrial Ethernet cameras. Its five Gigabit Ethernet ports can run in one of two Power-over-Ethernet modes. In one mode, four of the ports support IEEE 802.3af (PoE) with 15.4W power sourcing. In the other mode, two of the ports support IEEE 802.3at (PoE+) with 25.5W power sourcing.



Cogswell block diagram (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The 178 x 147.5mm, 12V Cogswell is the largest of Connect Tech’s six Jetson carriers, and offers the most real-world ports. These include the GbE ports, HDMI, USB 3.0 OTG, USB 2.0 OTG, and a USB 2.0 port. You get a microSD slot and SIM card slot, as well as onboard mini-PCIe and mSATA. The Cogswell is further equipped with CAN, dual RS-232, I2C, and GPIO interfaces.

 
Jetson TX2 background

Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 module runs Linux4Tegra on a hexa-core Tegra Parker SoC with 256-core Pascal graphics, offering twice the performance and/or efficiency of the TX1. Tegra Parker adds two high-end “Denver 2” cores in addition to the four Cortex-A57 cores found on the Jetson TX1’s Tegra X1.



Jetson TX2 with (left) and without thermal transfer plate
(click images to enlarge)

The TX2 offers 8GB of 58.3GB/s LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of eMMC 5.1, both of which are twice the capacity of the TX1. Like the Jetson TX1, the Jetson TX2 communicates with carriers via a 400-pin connector, and offers a GbE controller, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, and support for up to 6x cameras.

Other continuing features include support for DisplayPort 1.2, eDP 1.4, and HDMI (now 2.0), as well as USB 3.0, micro-USB 2.0, SDIO, SATA, UART, SPI, I2C, I2S, and GPIO interfaces. You can run the module in an under 7.5 Watts Max-Q mode or crank up the performance with a high-power Max-P mode that runs at less than 15 Watts.



Auvidea J140
(click image to enlarge)

In its TX2 announcement, Nvidia mentioned that Connect Tech and Auvidea would both be delivering TX2-ready carrier boards. Auvidea has yet to announce its entry, although it still offers J120 and J130 boards, as well as a “new” dual-GbE J140 board, all listed as supporting the TX1. There is no press release, or mention of TX2 support, but the earlier boards may well be TX2 compatible as well.

 
Further information

Connect Tech’s Cogswell, Spacely, and Sprocket carrier boards for the Nvidia Jetson TX2 and TX1 are available now. The Sprocket costs $99, but no price was listed for the Cogswell or Spacely. More information may be found on the Cogswell, Spaceley, and Sprocket product pages.
 

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