The Jetson Nano is a Linux SBC with AI hardware for DIY Artificial Intelligence projects

By: ( +David Herron; Date: May 14, 2019

Tags: Jetson Nano »»»» Linux Single Board Computers »»»» DIY AI Hardware

The Jetson NANO board is a Linux Single Board computer, packaged with GPIO pins and other things meant to be attractive to DIY hardware hackers. While the main CPU is a Quad-core ARM A57 @ 1.43 GHz, what makes this interesting is the 128-core Maxwell GPU by Nvidia. Nvidia is the manufacturer of this board, and the GPU is there to support experimenters developing GPU-based artificial intelligence software.

Let's start with the technical data:

Technical Specifications Data
GPU 128-core Maxwell
CPU Quad-core ARM A57 @ 1.43 GHz
Memory 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4 25.6 GB/s
Storage microSD (not included)
Video Encode 4K @ 30
Video Decode 4K @ 60
Camera 1x MIPI CSI-2 DPHY lanes
Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 Key E
Display HDMI 2.0 and eDP 1.4
USB 4x USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Micro-B
Others GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART
Mechanical 100 mm x 80 mm x 29 mm

For a Single Board Computer the CPU and memory are good, but not the highest. Having 4GB of memory means this board will be able to run some demanding software. It has a good selection of USB ports and Gigabit ethernet, but no on-board WiFi. The hardware I/O is very useful for integration into a device like a robot.

The primary focus of this is the GPU, which is decidedly high end.

What Nvidia says is:

NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit is a small, powerful computer that lets you run multiple neural networks in parallel for applications like image classification, object detection, segmentation, and speech processing. All in an easy-to-use platform that runs in as little as 5 watts.

While this can run many different operating systems, NVIDIA pushes a version of Ubuntu. With that OS you can access a large variety of AI software that can be easily configured to utilize the GPU.