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Carrier board extends Linux-driven Jetson modules

Nov 8, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,362 views

Aetina’s “ACE-N261” Nano-ITX carrier for the Jetson TX1/TX2 COMs offers GbE, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 2x CAN, 2x mini-PCIe, and optional -20 to 70°C support.

In April, Aetina announced a Nano-ITX ACE-N620 carrier board for Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 COM, as well as its earlier, pin-compatible Jetson TX1. The company has now announced a more feature-rich ACE-N261 Nano-ITX (120 x 120mm) carrier aimed at machine vision.

ACE-N261, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

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.

ACE-N261 port-side view
(click image to enlarge)

Like the ACE-N260, the ACE-N261 provides single GbE, micro-USB 2.0, serial, and HDMI ports, as well as a microSD slot, eDP header, and fan connector. You get two USB 3.0 ports instead of one, although when using the Jetson TX2, one port is downgraded to USB 2.0.

ACE-N261 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The other major additions include a pair of CAN interfaces that only work with the TX2. Additional new features include a wide-range 12-19V DC input, a 12V output, 4x GPIO, and single I2S, I2C, and UART headers. The board supports 0 to 55°C functionality, and unlike the earlier model, it adds an option for -20 to 70°C.

Like the ACE-N260, you get two full-size mini-PCIe slots — one that supports USB 2.0 and PCIe, and the other that supports PCIe and mSATA. The ACE-N261 supports the same optional Innodisk mini-PCIe modules available for the ACE-N260. Aetina also suggests you can add a MIPI-CSI interface via mini-PCIe, but this does not appear to be among the Innodisk options.


Other options include Aetina’s iNAVI Linux, which adds security and backup features. (See our ACE-N620 post for more details on the Innodisk module, INAVI, and the Jetson TX2.)

Earlier ACE-N260 front and rear views

Other Jetson TX1/TX2 carriers on the market include three Connect Tech boards and Auvidea’s J140 carrier. We’ve also seen an E-con e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 camera system for the modules.

ACE-N510 stacked with a Tegra TX2

Aetina also tipped an even smaller ACE-N510 carrier for the TX2 and TX1, but with few details. The board offers -20 to 70°C support and a “quick deployable thermal solution,” and like the ACE-N260 provides coastline ports including a GbE port, 2x USB 3.0, micro-USB, and HDMI ports.

Further information

The ACE-N261 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on Aetina’s ACE-N261 product page.

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