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Introducing The Mini Custom Jetson Carrier Board

KyleeBurgess
Electrical Engineer

NVIDIA® Jetson™ boards have been widely considered to be the leading platform in embedded AI/ML computing since they first hit the market in 2014. With the rapid growth of machine learning for numerous applications, 219 Design knew it was only a matter of time until we found ourselves using one of these small, power-efficient computer-on-modules for a client project. As a result, we decided to dive in and get to know the Jetson ecosystem in advance.

What better way than to design a mini custom Jetson carrier board that could be used for future prototypes?

What are carrier boards?

Jetson boards (as well as other computer-on-modules from vendors such as Raspberry Pi, Toradex, and Phytec) require a carrier board to provide power and all the I/O functionality that’s not included on the modules themselves. The computer-on-module connects to the carrier board, typically using board-to-board connectors.

Design Decisions

219 Design’s electrical engineering team is skilled at board design and can tackle most any high-density, space-constrained project. When we set out to design a mini custom carrier board for the Jetson TX2 module, we wondered: could we design a board that matched the small footprint of the module itself (87mm x 50mm) while providing maximum functionality? Spoiler: Yes!

Choosing The Module

We chose the Jetson TX2 because it is one of the most powerful modules in the Jetson ecosystem, boasting 1.33 TFLOPs in a compact 87mm x 50mm form factor. It includes onboard Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Jetson TX2 Module

Photo Credit: developer.nvidia.com

Determining Functionality

We wanted to include broad functionality on our mini custom Jetson carrier board so we could use it for a variety of projects. Our final feature list included:

  • SD card
  • Invensense 9DOF IMU
  • Microphone array: 4 mics interfaced via I2S  (could do double duty as ADC)
  • 4 audio outputs (could do double duty as DACs)
  • Camera (2 x 2-channel, 15-pin MIPI connector)
  • Video out – eDP
  • USB (OTG) and 3.0
  • Serial ports
  • Battery charger
  • DC power input

 

The Result

We were able to fit all of our desired functionality while matching the board size to that of the Jetson TX2 module itself. We avoided more costly HDI technologies such as blind/buried vias, via-in-pad, etc.

A few technical details:

  • 87mm x 50mm
  • 6 layers
  • Minimum trace/space: 4 mil
  • Minimum hole size: 8 mil
  • Total components on board: 357

Nvidia Jetson Dev Board vs. 219 Carrier Board

 

Need Help?

Stay tuned as we will be showcasing what the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 module can do with the help of our mini custom carrier board on future projects on our Selected Work page.

Are you looking to save time and money on your project? Our mini custom carrier board could be a great starting point. Just let us know where we can plug into your development plan. 

You can reach us by clicking “contact us” below or at [email protected].

Date published: 06/20/2022

Categories: Uncategorized