Nvidia Jetson Orin NX Modular Vision System

The Institute of Embedded Systems (InES) at ZHAW, with great experience in hardware and software development for NVIDIA Jetson computing modules, is presenting the successor of the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier modular vision system based on the new high-performance NVIDIA Jetson Orin NX.

As the Jetson AGX Xavier system, this new prototyping platform consists of a greatly reduced baseboard which can be extended with different types of M2-footprint modules to add functions like HDMI in, FPD-Link III, USB-C, etc. Due to the modular architecture, a personalized system can be configured. The low complexity and flexibility of the provided interfaces allow the development of more custom-made, application-specific extension boards.

Figure 1: Anyvision Orin NX Carrier Board

The system consists of a minimal motherboard which includes the necessary circuitry to start the Orin NX and program it to an external NVMe SSD.

The baseboard is powered with a common 12V DC power supply. To keep size and costs low, the available peripheral interfaces on the mainboard are limited to 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x Micro-USB for flashing, 1x HDMI out, and 1x Gigabit Ethernet.

Figure 2: Interfaces and Features of Orin NX Motherboard (example configuration with a Dual HDMI module and a CAN module)

All additional interfaces are exposed by M2-footprint sockets. The Networking interface, SSD interface, and PCIe x4 slot meet industry standards. The Video Input and General-Purpose interfaces on the other hand implement a custom pinout defined by ZHAW InES and share dedicated Orin NX interfaces like MIPI CSI-2 (2x 4-lane), USB, I2C, SPI, and UART, as well as GPIO functionalities.

In comparison to the original Jetson AGX Xavier Anyvision baseboard, only one Video Input Interface (instead of two) is available. Furthermore, the Ethernet interface (on the new module, ethernet is accessible directly through the baseboard ethernet port) as well as the Video Output interface were omitted.

An overview of possible configurations and currently available extension modules is given in the table below (for more information about the extension modules see Nvidia Xavier-AGX Modular Vision System).

Interface NameOrin Dedicated LinesAvailable Modules
Video Input Interface (M.2 M)2x 4-lane (or 4x 2-lane) CSI-2 1x I2C 1x I2S 6x GPIODual HDMI (4k30) Module FPD-Link III Module Dual RPI Camera Module
General Purpose Interface (M.2 E)2x USB 3.2 Gen2 1x I2C 1x CAN 1x SPI 1x UART 6x GPIODual USB-C Module CAN Module (3x CAN)
Table 1: Interfaces for custom Anyvision modules
SlotPCIeAvailable Modules
M.2 M (WWAN, SSD)2x PCIeoccupied by NVMe SSD
M.2 E (WiFi, BT, NFC)1x PCIegeneric WiFi or BT modules
PCIe Slot4x PCIegeneric PCIe cards
Table 2: Available industry-compliant PCIe interfaces

In the future, the plan is to expand the selection of available extension modules, for example with an FPD-Link IV or an HDMI 4k60 module.

For more information about the baseboard or the extension modules, feel free to contact us!

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