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Rugged Jetson TX1 carrier boards start at $175

May 2, 2016 — by Eric Brown 6,291 views

Connect Tech released two more carrier boards for Nvidia’s Linux-driven Jetson TX1 COM: the basic Orbitty and more feature-rich, mini-PCIe enabled Elroy.

A month ago, Connect Tech launched its Astro carrier board built around Nvidia’s Jetson TX1 computer-on-module, as well as a rugged “Rosie” embedded computer based on the Astro. Shortly afterward, the Ontario-based company released a stripped down version called the “Elroy,” and it has now followed up with an even more basic “Orbitty” board.

Orbitty Carrier with Jetson TX1
(click image to enlarge)

Nvidia launched the Jetson TX1 last November to showcase its Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-chip. The Tegra X1 combines four Cortex-A57 cores with four Cortex-A53 cores, and 256 powerful Maxwell GPU cores. 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.

Nvidia Jetson TX1 and its companion heatsink
(click images to enlarge)

While the earlier Astro measures 87 x 57mm, the Elroy and Orbitty both match the TX1 dimensions exactly, at 87 x 50mm. Like the Astro, both boards support industrial -40 to 85°C temperatures. Neither board appears to have the Astro’s 90-pin QSH Samtec expansion connector for Connect Tech breakout boards. No pricing was available for he Elroy, but the Orbitty costs $175.

The Jetson TX1 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, which normally goes to the carrier board that ships with the $599 Jetson TX1 Development Kit, but in this case is joined to one of the Connect Tech carrier boards.


Connect Tech notes that Nvidia has gone out of its way to comprehensively document the module. Indeed, times have changed considerably from the bad old days when Nvidia tech was as closely guarded as Fort Knox. In addition to providing an Ubuntu Linux-based SDK, Nvidia offers development tools, a developer portal, community, support, training, and product design packages, says Connect Tech. In addition, Connect Tech provides 3D models of its carrier boards.

Elroy Carrier

Like the Astro, the Elroy Carrier offers an HDMI port, USB 3.0 port, and dual RS-232/422/485 ports. It also similarly provides a mini-PCIe half- or full-size slot with USB signaling and a mini-PCIe half-size that can be used for mSATA storage. Other interfaces include SPI, I2C, and GPIO.

Elroy Carrier with Jetson TX1
(click image to enlarge)

There’s only one GbE port instead of the Astro’s two, however, and only one USB 2.0 port instead of two. The Elroy Carrier provides two MIPI-CSI ports instead of three, and it lacks the Astro’s HD audio output and U.FL video input connectors. On the other hand, you get a microSD slot. A 12V power supply is available, and the board is touted for its locking pin-header connectors and solder in standoffs.

Orbitty Carrier

The newly announced Orbitty Carrier offers fewer features than the Elroy. It’s designed for applications including robotics and unmanned devices, or any small form factor rugged environment.

Orbitty Carrier on its own
(click image to enlarge)

The Orbitty features HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 OTG, and GbE ports, as well as a microSD slot. It also includes 4x GPIO, I2C, and dual UARTs. The most notable feature aside from the modest price and industrial temperature support is the 9 to 19V wide-range power supply

Further information

The unpriced Elroy Carrier and $175 Orbitty Carrier are now available. More information may be found at Connect Tech’s Elroy and Orbitty product pages.

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