NVIDIA Just Announced A New ARM Board I Really Love
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 25 March 2014 at 03:01 PM EDT. 31 Comments
Besides announcing the next-gen Pascal GPU family, NVIDIA just announced the Jetson TK1 DevKit... Already I have put in an order for this ARM development board with likely more on the way in being super-excited about the performance potential of this sub-$200 ARM Linux platform.

The Jetson TK1 is NVIDIA's first development board built around the wonderfully fast Tegra K1 SoC. The System-on-a-Chip packaged within the the TK1 DevKit features four ARM Cortex-A15 cores plus NVIDIA's companion core, but what makes the Tegra K1 so special is its Kepler-based graphics core that is super-powerful and a huge upgrade over earlier Tegra graphics -- or any other ARM SoC graphics for that matter. I tried out the Tegra K1 last week in some reference tablets and found the K1 to be a wonderful experience and making things even better is NVIDIA contributing to Nouveau the Tegra K1 support. The Kepler graphics core has 192 GPU shader cores and the performance potential out of this sub-$200 ARM board is reportedly around 326 GFLOPS.

Aside from having the brand new Tegra K1, the Jetson TK1 also features 2GB of system memory, 16GB of eMMC memory, a half mini-PCIE slot, HDMI output, SD/MMC connectivity, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and one Serial ATA data port. In going through early material on the development board, it will run Linux For Tegra and there's the Linux 3.10 kernel and a sample file-system derived from Ubuntu Linux. The mainline NVIDIA binary Linux driver should work in this environment and having the full Ubuntu ARM Linux archive to work with means I can be doing a lot of Linux benchmarking from this mighty interesting and powerful yet low-cost ARM development board.

Those too excited about the Jetson TK1, shipping is expected already in April and pricing is at $192 USD. More details can be found via the NVIDIA.com news announcement. As soon as my board arrives I will be delivering a ton of Linux benchmarks from the Jetson TK1. Fortunately, I know the Phoronix Test Suite will run great in that environment since NVIDIA has already been doing so. Update: There's also now the NVIDIA UK/Europe sales link.

It was also revealed today that "Erista" is the 2015 codename successor to the Tegra K1 and this upgrade will feature a beautiful Maxwell-based graphics processor.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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