Nvidia’s new minicomputer delivers 80 times the performance

Nvidia announced the upcoming release of the Jetson Orin Nano, a system-on-module (SOM) that will power the next generation of entry-level AI and robotics, at today’s GTC 2022 keynote.

Nvidia says this new version delivers 80x better performance than the $99 Jetson Nano. The original version was released in 2019 and has been used as a bare-bones entry into the world of AI and robotics, especially for hobbyists and STEM students. This new version seems to seriously increase the power.

A system-on-module (also called computer-on-module) has a single board with a microprocessor. It also has memory and input/outputs (IOs) and usually has a carrier card. It’s not the same as a system-on-a-chip (SOC), mind you – a SOM is board-based and may have the space to include additional components; it may even contain a SOC. In short, a SOM is a turnkey computer solution, but it is not a complete computer.

With the technical details out of the way, let’s talk about Nvidia’s latest development, the Jetson Orin, which arrives with six Orin-based production modules built to handle AI and robotics applications at an affordable price. Among them is the Nvidia Jetson Orin Nano.

Despite being the smallest form factor Jetson SOM, the Jetson Orin Nano can handle up to 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of AI-related tasks. Performance reaches new heights with the AGX Orin, which operates 275 TOPS to handle advanced autonomous machines.

Nvidia’s Jetson Orin comes with an Ampere-based GPU, an ARM-based CPU, and multimodal sensor support. It is also fully compatible with Nvidia’s Orin NX modules, including full emulation support that allows Nvidia customers to design around multiple Jetson modules. Other benefits include support for multiple concurrent AI application pipelines, complete with fast input and output.

The Jetson Orin Nano modules will be available in two variants, one with 8GB memory and up to 40 TOPS, and one with 4GB memory and up to 20 TOPS. In terms of power consumption, the SOM requires almost nothing: the former needs between 7 watts and 15 watts, while the latter only needs 5 watts to 10 watts.

Nvidia

Nvidia anticipates that the modules will be used by a wide range of customers, from engineers working on edge AI applications to developers of robotics operating systems. The low price, starting at just $199, makes this technology more accessible to a wider range of users. Nvidia lists Canon, John Deere, Microsoft Azure and more as early adopters of Jetson Orin Nano.

“With a massive increase in performance for millions of edge AI and ROS developers today, Jetson Orin is the ideal platform for virtually every kind of robotics deployment imaginable,” said Deepu Talla, vice president of Nvidia’s embedded and edge computing. division .

Nvidia claims that the Jetson Orin will offer 80x higher performance over the previous generation of Jetson SOMs. That’s a huge step up for a reasonable price. The modules will be available from January 2023.

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