The multinational corporation known for its production of graphics cards and computer processors unveils the Jetson TX1, Nvidia’s new swing at a mini-computer. This little machine is expected to outperform the Intel Core i7 6700K Skylake CPU, even though it is the size of a regular credit card.
The Jetson TX1 system-on-chip is similar to the Android Shield TV that was released to the public at the end of May in 2015. It sports a 1 teraflop of power, given by its 256-core GPU. The speed of this tiny super-computer is given by its 8 core processor, half of it being 2MB L2 cache cores while the other half being 512KB L2 cache cores. This 64-bit ARM A57 processor is paired with 4GB of RAM given by the LPDDR4 memory card stacked on board the Jetson TX1. These pieces come together in order to form the relative “brain” of the machine, making it capable of faster machine learning and sustaining a higher workload, thus easing the process of supercomputing and creating new solutions to the problems it faces, reaching almost 10W while fully working.
This machine comes in two pieces. The main part (the small credit card one) can be bought by those who just want to simply plug into their respective machines. But those who want to improve its drivers and its peripheral capabilities can opt to buy the full Dev-Kit. This extra piece of machinery comes with additional GPIO pins, Gigabyte Ethernet, 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, HDMI and USB ports. It also is equipped with a 5MP camera connected through a camera serial interface. All of this is powered by a 3.3v power source.
Nvidia hopes to attract more machine developing people, either large companies or just hobbyists with their new Jetson TX1, giving this small computer a Linux 4 Tegra SoC (system-on-chip), the same SoC that powers their Shield series of machines, having full OpenGL and OpenGL ES support. Even though the full Dev-Kit (both the small supercomputer and its modular counterpart) comes at the pretty hefty price of 599$ (299$ for educational institutions) and is scheduled to be released on November 16, with preorders starting on November 12, the stand-alone module that can easily fit in your wallet will be available coming early next year for the price of 299$.
This new piece of tech that will boost the machine learning capabilities of anything it is connected to, will surely spark a new wave of innovations in the technological department, making the Jetson TX1, Nvidia’s new swing at a mini-computer, an almost sure-buy for both large or small companies and hobbyists alike.