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Rugged Tegra X1 module stack is loaded with I/O options

May 27, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 4755 views

CEI’s “TX1-SOM and Carrier” combines Nvidia’s Jetson TX1 COM with a rugged carrier board featuring GbE, USB 3.0, MIPI-CSI, and an M.2 socket with PCIe.

Like Connect Tech’s Astro carrier board, the “TX1-SOM and Carrier” from Colorado Engineering Inc. (CEI) expands upon Nvidia’s Ubuntu-ready Jetson TX1 computer-on-module, which launched last November to showcase the Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-chip. The TX1-SOM stack is a follow-on to CEI’s earlier TK1-SOM stack that supports Nvidia’s Tegra K1 SoC (see farther below).

The Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC combines four Cortex-A57 cores with four Cortex-A53 cores, plus 256 Maxwell GPU cores. In addition to providing top-notch graphics, the Maxwell enables parallel processing and deep computer learning via Nvidia’s CUDA 7.0 graphics libraries. The Jetson TX1 can generate 1 teraflop of performance, drive 4K 60Hz video decode and 4K 30Hz encode, and handle six camera inputs at up to 1400 megapixels per second, says Nvidia.

TX1-SOM and Carrier stack (left) and carrier board alone
(click images to enlarge)

The TX1-SOM module in CEI’s TX1 stack is actually Nvidia’s Jetson TX1 COM, shown below by itself and installed on Nvidia’s Tegra X1 development board.

Nvidia Jetson TX1 COM, and installed with its standard heatsink on Nvidia’s Tegra X1 dev board
(click images to enlarge)

TX1-SOM and Carrier details

For its TX1-SOM, CEI lists features that match the 87 x 50mm Jetson TX1 module, which ships with an Ubuntu Linux SDK. The module is equipped with 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC flash, and WiFi-ac and Bluetooth. There’s also a GbE controller and a 400-pin expansion connector that connects to the carrier.

CSI’s TX1 Carrier differs from Connect Tech’s Astro carrier board in several ways. Although no dimensions are currently listed, the CEI carrier is a bit larger than the Astro, which is close to the size of the TX1 COM. There’s only one GbE port instead of the Astro’s two, and there’s no HD audio output and one less USB port. The CEI product offers only extended (-20 to 55°C), rather than full industrial (-40 to 85°C temperature support.

TX1-SOM and Carrier front and back detail views (without COM)
(click images to enlarge)

On the other hand, the TX1-SOM stack’s carrier adds a SATA interface, and offers twice the MIPI-CSI camera connectors, although there are no separate U.FL video input connectors. There are also more onboard interfaces listed, such as SPI, I2C, and I2S, as well as an IMU and a claim for 10G shock resistance. PCIe expansion is provided, in this case via an M.2 socket that offers an x1 interface and a separate PCIe x4 slot, instead of mini-PCIe slots.

Like Connect Tech’s Astro, CEI’s TX1-SOM stack is available with optional wireless and I/O modules, said to be coming soon. These include camera, CANBus, Verizon 4G, RF, IR, and even radar modules.


Specifications listed for the TX1-SOM and Carrier stack include:

  • Processor (via Jetson TX1 COM) Nvidia Tegra X1:
    • 4x Cortex-A57 cores
    • 256x Nvidia Maxwell/CUDA cores
    • 4K 60Hz video decode, 4K 30Hz encode
  • Memory (via Jetson TX1 COM) — 4GB LPDDR4 RAM (25.6 GB/s); 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash
  • Storage expansion — MicroSD slot; SATA 2.0 interface
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth (via Jetson TX1 COM)
    • Optional Verizon 4G LTE module (coming soon)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Display/camera I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • 6x CSI-2 (camera) video inputs (12x lanes for 6x cameras)
    • Optional 5-megapixel camera (coming soon)
    • Optional Infineon BGT60 (RF) and BGT24 (radar) modules (coming soon)
    • Optional passive IR module (coming soon)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 port
    • Mini-USB 2.0 port
    • 2x UARTs
    • 2x SPI
    • 3x I2C
    • 3x I2S
    • Debug connector
    • GPIO
    • Optional CANBus module (coming soon)
  • Expansion — M2 Key E socket with PCIe 2.0 x1; PCIe x4 socket
  • Other features — IMU; “automotive grade”; 10-year life cycle
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 55°C
  • Shock resistance — 10G
  • Power — DC jack; auto power up feature
  • Operating system (via Jetson TX1 COM) — Nvidia’s Ubuntu-based Linux SDK

TK1-SOM and carrier

CEI’s earlier TK1-SOM and Carrier stack, introduced in Dec. 2015, uses a homegrown COM built around the older Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC.

Earlier TK1-SOM and Carrier stack with/without its cooling fan
(click images to enlarge)

The COM is stacked with a carrier board that matches its 3.3 x 2.0-inch footprint. The Linux-supported COM lacks onboard wireless, but offers up to 4GB DDR3L RAM and up to 64GB eMMC.

TK1-SOM and Carrier stack block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The TK1-SOM stack’s carrier provides features including HDMI, dual CSI-2, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet, and GPIO. It also offers PCIe x4 expansion. Like the TX1-SOM stack, the TK1-SOM stack is supported with various CEI add-on modules. An even longer list of expansion modules is listed, including WiFi, Bluetooth, mic array, MIL-STD-1553, and ADC with Altera Cyclone V, in addition to those available for use with the new TX1-SOM stack.

Further information

The TX1-SOM and Carrier stack is currently listed for pre-order, with shipments expected in June. More information may be found on CEI’s TX1-SOM and Carrier product page, and details on the earlier TK1-COM and Carrier stack are here.

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One response to “Rugged Tegra X1 module stack is loaded with I/O options”

  1. SilentPCuser says:

    Nvidia and Intel really love fans.

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