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Rugged new Jetson TX2i module gains carrier support

Jul 23, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 801 views

Aetina has launched Nvidia’s Linux-driven Jetson TX2i module — a rugged, version of Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 with -40 to 85°C and 10-year support that’s also available from CTI. Both vendors support the TX2i with existing TX2 carrier boards.

Aetina has begun shipping its NSO-MD-TX2 module, a branded version of Nvidia’s new industrial Jetson TX2i spin of its hexa-core Arm-based Jetson TX2 module. We missed Nvidia’s Jetson TX2i announcement in the Embedded World news rush of early March. Several distributors have released the industrial temperature module since then, including Arrow and Connect Tech, Inc. (CTI) in the U.S. (see farther below).

Aetina’s NSO-MD-TX2 (Nvidia Jetson TX2i)
(click images to enlarge)

Like CTI, Aetina supports the Jetson TX2i module with its own line of Jetson TX1/TX2 carrier boards. The module is available with Aetina’s ACE-N510, which has an 87 x 50mm footprint that matches that of the TX2 and TX2i modules themselves. Aetina also offers the Nano-ITX (120 x 120mm) form factor ACE-N261 and ACE-N622 boards. (The earlier ACE-N620 appears to have been discontinued.)

Aetina’s carrier boards for the TX2i (l to r): ACE-N620, ACE-N510, and ACE-N622
(click image to enlarge)

The Jetson TX2 is already designed for embedded applications and has recently appeared in devices including Axiomtek’s eBOX560-900-FL box computer, which offers -10 to 50°C support, as well as an upcoming, FPGA-equipped AIR-T Mini-ITX board for AI-enabled SDR applications. To expand its use in industrial machine vision devices, Nvidia released the more rugged TX2i model.

Nvidia’s official portrait of the Jetson TX2i, showing front and back casing and 400-pin connector

The Jetson TX2i extends the temperature range to -40 to 85°C and adds vibration resistance listed as 5G RMS 10-500Hz (random and sinusoidal). Like the TX2, the module provides shock resistance of 140G, half sine 2ms duration. The TX2i also adds a broader 0-90% relative humidity range.

Nvidia’s comparison chart between the TX2 and TX2i (left) and block diagram for both
(click images to enlarge)

Other new Jetson TX2i features include support for ECC RAM, a 10-year operating lifetime and supply lifecycle, and a 3-year warranty. The new features boost the TDP from 15W to 20W. As before, there’s a wide-range, 9-19V DC input.

The Jetson TX2i is pin-compatible with the otherwise identical Jetson TX2 , which features 2x high-end “Denver 2” cores and 4x Cortex-A57 cores. The key selling point, however, is the 256-core Pascal GPU with CUDA libraries for running AI and machine learning algorithms.

The TX2 and TX2i also supply 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 32GB of eMMC 5.1, and 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth. The TX2 has recently been joined by a more powerful new Jetson Xavier module.

Aside from the optional carrier boards the only other value-add feature provided by Aetina’s NSO-MD-TX2 version of the TX2i is the availability of Aetina’s iNAVI Linux. This customized distribution adds customizable security, system recovery, and backup features. Of course, you can also use Nvidia’s Linux for Tegra driver package, including an Ubuntu-derived sample file system.

Jetson TX2i solutions from CTI and Arrow

CTI supports the Jetson TX2i with all six of its TX1/TX2 carrier options. These include the initial Astro board, as well as the Orbitty and Elroy. Also available are three boards that were announced with the launch of the TX2: a Cogswell board with GigE Vision, a Spacely carrier for cam-intensive Pixhawk drones, and a $99 Sprocket board that has the same dimensions as the TX2/TX2i.

Jetson TX2i sandwiched with CTI’s Sprocket carrier (left) and CTI’s six TX2i compatible carriers
(click images to enlarge)

All these boards are said to work interchangeably with any of the TXx modules. However, North Carolina based WDL Systems, which is listed by Nvidia as one of its many TX2i distributors worldwide, is selling a version of CTI’s Cogswell carrier that is said to work only with the TX2i, for prices starting at $1,133.

Arrow is listed as the official U.S. distributor of the TX2i. It sells the TX2i module for $836.51 in single units along with Nvidia’s official, $570 Jetson TX Developer Kit. Other distributors include Silicon Highway in the UK.

Further information

Aetina’s NSO-MD-TX2 version of the Jetson TX2i module is available for the same price listed by Nvidia: $749 in volumes of 100 units/month. More information may be found on Aetina’s NSO-MD-TX2 product page and TX1/TX2/TX2i carrier board page. More on the Jetson TX2i may be found on Nvidia’s Jetson TX2i product page and TX2i documentation page.


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