NVIDIA Jetson : Architecture, Working & Its Applications

The leading platform in the world like NVIDIA Jetson is a sequence of embedded computing boards that is mainly used in autonomous machines & other embedded applications. This board mainly contains Jetson modules, which are high-performance computers. Jetson is well-suited with similar AI software & a cloud-native workflow that is used across other NVIDIA platforms & provides power-efficient performance for customers to build software-based autonomous machines. NVIDIA Jetson is used for computer vision applications. So, this article discusses an overview of NVIDIA Jetson – working and its applications.

What is NVIDIA Jetson?

NVIDIA Jetson is an advanced embedding system board that is used to create innovative AI products across several industries. NVIDIA Jetson is one of the leading hardware platforms which is very useful for tech enthusiasts & also students to get hands-on experience through a range of innovative AI projects. This board is a very efficient board for AI which includes modular, small-form-factor, and high-performance edge computers. In addition, this board also contains JetPack SDK used for software acceleration as well as a complete ecosystem to assist in increasing the development procedure of custom AI projects.

NVIDIA Jetson Module
NVIDIA Jetson Module

NVIDIA Jetson Architecture

We know that the Nvidia Jetson module from Nvidia is a sequence of embedded computing boards. All the models of Jetson TX1, TX2 & TK1 carry an SoC or Tegra processor from Nvidia that incorporates an ARM architecture CPU. Here, Jetson is a low-power system mainly designed to accelerate machine learning applications.

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX architecture is shown below. It is the most advanced and small AI supercomputer used for edge computing devices as well as autonomous robotics. This module has the capacity to deploy server-class performance within a solid 70x45mm form factor and also provides up to 21 TOPS of compute below 15W of power, otherwise up to 14 TOPS of compute below 10W.

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX Architecture
NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX Architecture

The above diagram contains an incorporated 384-core NVIDIA Volta GPU including a 6-core NVIDIA Carmel ARMv8.2 64-bit CPU, 48 Tensor Cores, 8GB 128-bit LPDDR4x, 4K video encoders and decoders, dual NVDLA(NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator) engines, camera for up to six instantaneous high-resolution sensor streams, dual Display Port or HDMI 4K displays, PCIe Generation 3 expansion, USB 3.1 & GPIOs with I2C, SPI, I2S, UART & CAN bus.

The specifications of NVIDIA Jetson include the following.

  • Power is 10W or 15W modes and 5V input.
  • CPU is 6-core NVIDIA Carmel 64-bit ARMv 8.2 at 1400MHz.
  • GPU is 384-core NVIDIA Volta at 1100MHz through 48 Tensor Cores.
  • DL is Dual NVDLA engines.
  • Memory is 8GB 128-bit LPDDR4x at 1600MHz.
  • 16GB eMMC 5.1 storage.
  • Camera is 12x MIPI CSI-2 lanes | 3×4 or 6×2 cameras.
  • Up to 6 cameras (36 via virtual channels).
  • Thermals from -25°C to 90°C.
  • The display is DP 1.4 or eDP 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 a/b at 4Kp60.
  • Ethernet is 10 or 100 or 1000 BASE-T Ethernet.
  • USB 3.1 and USB 2.0.

This module is supported by the whole CUDA-X software stack of NVIDIA & also JetPack SDK for AI development. It runs very popular machine learning frameworks & difficult DNNs on several high-resolution sensor streams at once, in addition to real-time computer vision, graphics, and multimedia applications within a complete desktop Linux environment.

At present, developers were started designing AI applications for Jetson Xavier NX with the help of the Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit. Applying a device pattern patch near JetPack will make the device perform as a Jetson Xavier NX. This will modify the number of GPU & CPU cores obtainable through software and set the clock frequencies as well as voltages of cores across the system.

The patch is completely reversible which is utilized to approximate the Jetson Xavier NX performance. This module will classify default power modes of 10W & 15W attaining between 14 & 21 TOPS peak performance based on the active mode. The nvpmodel tool is used to handle power profiles to adjust the highest CLK frequencies for the GPU, CPU, miscellaneous SoC clocks, and memory controller along with the various CPU clusters.

Based on the workload, the DVFS (Dynamic Voltage & Frequency Scaling) governor balances the frequencies on runtime up to their highest limits as described by the active nvpmodel, thus power utilization is decreased at idle & based on processor operation. The nvpmodel tool helps in making & modifying new power modes based on TDP & application requirements.

NVIDIA Jetson module brings the performance of the supercomputer to the edge within a small form factor SOM (system-on-module). Equal to 21 TOPS of accelerated computing sends the horsepower to run current neural networks in parallel & process data from various high-resolution sensors. This module is ideal for high-performance-based AI systems such as medical instruments, commercial robots, AIoT embedded systems, smart cameras, automated optical inspection, high-resolution sensors, smart factories, etc.


NVIDIA Jetson module is simply supported through combined software architectures so that it will make software developers work much easier. This combined approach simply saves developer’s the hassle of repetitive coding while improving their formations on other Jetson modules.

The NVIDIA JetPack SDK is available with a Linux OS, CUDA-X accelerated libraries & APIs for different machine learning fields like computer vision, deep learning, etc. It also supports machine learning frameworks such as Caffe, TensorFlow, Keras, and OpenCV computer vision libraries.
NVIDIA Jetson offers different software tools for its modules which are discussed below.


Jetson platform software Bundles like TensorRT, CUDA Toolkit, cuDNN, GStreamer, OpenCV, and Visionworks are all assembled on top of L4T through the LTS Linux kernel.

NVIDIA Jetson Linux Driver Package

It provides the Linux kernel, NVIDIA drivers, bootloader, sample filesystem, flashing utilities, and many more for the platform Jetson.


It is a set of APIs & libraries to assist developers in designing & arranging strong IVA (intelligent video analytics) solutions on the Jetson platform. It is used to build complex applications like encoding, image capture, decoding, inference with TensorRT, etc.


It is a set of libraries, APIs, drivers & other tools which will add AI to next-generation robots for navigation, perception & manipulation. So it helps in creating & deploying AI-powered robotics.

NVIDIA Jetson Types

NVIDIA Jetson module comes with memory, GPU, CPU, high-speed interfaces, power management, etc. These modules are available in different performances, power efficiency & variations of form factors to make them utilized across various industries. There are different NVIDIA Jetson devices available which are discussed below.

NVIDIA Jetson Nano

NVIDIA Jetson Nano module is suitable for developers or students and also for beginners because it is mainly designed for hands-on learning & teaching. The size of this module is small however its power efficiency and performance are high to make it perfect to run present multiple parallel neural networks, AI workloads & data processing from high-resolution sensors all at one time. Thus, the Jetson Nano module is a very popular edge device that is used to make embedded AI products & solutions.

NVIDIA Jetson Nano
NVIDIA Jetson Nano

This module is perfect for AI-based computer vision applications and it performs AI vision tasks such as object detection, image segmentation, image classification, etc. This module is very compatible with open-source computer vision software & OpenCV machine learning libraries.

NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Series

The NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Series module is designed in a credit card size. The features of this module mainly include an NVIDIA Pascal GPU, up to 8 GB memory, 59.7 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and standard hardware interfaces. This module provides performance up to 2.5 times as compared to the NVIDIA Jetson Nano module.

This module very efficiently runs deep neural networks on edge devices to achieve higher accuracy. The modules which are available in the series mainly include the Jetson TX2 4GB, Jetson TX2i, Jetson TX2, and Jetson TX2 NX. The NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX module simply shares pin & form-factor compatibility through the Jetson Xavier NX and Jetson Nano.

NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Series
NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Series

The remaining three modules will share the original Jetson TX2 module’s form factor. The TX2 series usage simply ranges in various industries like agriculture, manufacturing, life sciences, retail, etc. The Jetson TX2i module from the remaining modules is most suitable for high-performance AI devices like medical equipment, machine vision cameras, and industrial robots because of its strong design.

This module is a very fast embedded AI computing appliance that offers high power efficiency like 7.5 W, supercomputer capabilities mainly for edge AI devices, and also various hardware interfaces to easily incorporate into different products & form factors.

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX module is very small as compared to a credit card with high performance & power efficiency. This is also known as the smallest AI supercomputer for edge & embedded systems in the world. This module especially helps in running complete AI systems.

Xavier NX
Xavier NX

The features of Jetson Xavier NX also support cloud-native technologies, so it is easy for developers in upgrading & managing AI products. This module supports all popular AI models & frameworks. So this module completely suits high-performance AI systems like smart cameras, AI-powered high-resolution vision systems, drones, commercial robots, or medical equipment.

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX module delivers 21 Tera Operations per Second or TOPS to run a current AI workload by consuming 10W of power. The form factor of this module is more compact as compared to a credit card. The Xavier NX module runs various neural networks at once and processes data from different high-resolution sensors. This type of module is used to design applications for embedded & edge computing devices that need high performance although with significant weight, size & power constraints.

NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Series

The NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Series module is mainly developed for next-generation autonomous intelligent machines. This module delivers up to 32 TOPS or Tera Operations per Second of AI performance when using as little as 10 watts. The software developer is simply allowed to rapidly arrange neural networks with a set of AI software tools of NVIDIA.

AGX Xavier Series
AGX Xavier Series

This module provides various specifications & functional security capabilities so that developers create safety or industrial certified products. This module’s high performance can make them appropriate for numerous autonomous machines like logistic & industrial robots, factory systems & large drones.

Jetson Xavier NX Developer Kit

The jetson xavier nx developer kit includes a solid power-efficient Xavier NX module used for AI-powered edge devices. This module has some features like cloud-native support & accelerates the stack of NVIDIA software in just 10W with above 10 times the performance of the Jetson TX2. This developer kit is used by manufacturers of intelligent machines, AI startups & application developers to design modern products with compact, highly accurate AI inference & power-efficient form factor.

NX Developer Kit
NX Developer Kit

Jetson AGX Xavier Industrial

The Jetson AGX Xavier Industrial module is a part of the AGX Xavier series. The design of this module is a pin-compatible form factor that controls the most current AI models in demanding applications. This module provides extended vibration, shock, temperature specifications, advanced security features, up to 4 times the memory & 20 times the performance of the TX2i module.

Xavier Industrial
Xavier Industrial

This module is very helpful for designers to design automation, robotics & other intelligent products. In addition, it also designs safety-certified & rugged products for delivering high performance for industrial, AI-embedded functional & security applications in a design of rugged as well as power-efficient form factor.


The advantages of NVIDIA Jetson include the following.

  • NVIDIA Jetson is appropriate for students, individual developers & different organizations.
  • The Jetson Platform is very popular because it comes with various benefits like modular flexibility, unified software, and support for cloud-native technologies.
  • This board provides a set of modules that are very helpful for everything from basic AI applications to very complex AI-powered devices.
  • This board is power-driven through a unified software architecture that helps the developers from the repetitive coding. Once they need AI/ML capacity, then they can include a related Jetson module to the device & it takes care of the heavy lifting.
  • The NVIDIA Jetson platform simply supports cloud-native technologies & workflows like orchestration & containerization, providing developers the ability to develop rapidly & expand AI products.
  • The NVIDIA JetPack SDK is available with a Linux OS, APIs & CUDA-X acceleration libraries for a variety of machine learning domains like computer vision & deep learning. It also provides support for machine learning frameworks like Caffe and Keras, TensorFlow & OpenCV libraries of computer vision.


It has very few disadvantages while taking the price into consideration

  • The NVIDIA Jetson nano module doesn’t available with wifi inside.
  • NVIDIA Jetson nano module includes only two PWM pins on the board.


The applications of NVIDIA Jetson include the following.

  • NVIDIA Jetson module offers superior embedding systems that are used to make AI products for a variety of scenarios. This is a power-efficient module used for AI that includes high-performance, modular, and small-form-factor edge computers.
  • Nvidia Jetson boards are mainly designed for use in embedded systems like drones, robots & other devices that need powerful processing within a small form factor. The common applications of Jetson boards mainly include medical devices, autonomous vehicles, digital signage, AR/VR headsets, smart city applications, etc.
  • This module supports unified software architectures to make the software developers’ work much simple.
    The NVIDIA Jetson modules & devices are optimized edge devices used to develop Edge AI systems.
  • NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit is a very powerful and small computer that runs several neural networks in parallel for various applications like object detection, image classification, speech processing & segmentation.
  • The NVIDIA Jetson Nano module is perfect for computer vision applications based on AI and they execute AI vision tasks such as image segmentation, image classification, object detection, etc.
  • The Nano modules of NVIDIA Jetson bring incredible new capabilities to thousands of power-efficient and small AI systems
  • The NVIDIA Jetson Nano module is compatible with OpenCV machine learning libraries and open-source computer vision software.

Q). What is the power consumption of Jetson modules ?

A). The power consumption of Jetson module varies depending on the model and the usage. The Jetson Xavier module , for eg, has a typical power consumption of around 15w to 30w, while the Jetson TX2 can consume between 7w to 15w.

Q). Can Jetson be used for real-time object detection and tracking ?

A).  Yes, Jetson Platforms can handle vision detection and tracking. Nano module is a high performance GPU- with edge computing platform can be mainly used for detection, counting & tracking.

Q). What types of sensors can Jetson interface with?

A).  Vision sensors are used for interfacing Jetson with various camera interfaces like USB, MIPI CSI & Ethernet. They can also interface with lidar, Ultrasonic sensor and other types as well using the different types of interface like the I2C ,SPI etc.

Q). What is the difference between Jetson and Raspberry Pi ?

A).  The main difference between these two boards is; NVIDIA Jetson was developed to handle high demanding AI and computer vision tasks  whereas the Raspberry Pi 4 board has low power-based multimedia GPU used for general purpose computing and education. Jetson can be used for more advanced features such as hardware -accelerated video decoding and encoding using its powerful GPU(Graphical Processing Unit) and CPU(Central processing Unit).

Q). Can Jetson be used for autonomous robotics applications?

A).  The autonomous robotics & industrial of tomorrow will be power-driven through NVIDIA Jetson for Intelligent Machines & Robotics.

Thus, this is an overview of NVIDIA Jetson – advantages and its applications. This module is the leading platform around the world that is used by developers to make advanced AI products in all industries. These modules are also used by students & also enthusiasts to get hands-on experience in AI learning to make amazing projects. The platform of Jetson mainly comprises power-efficient, small developer kits & production modules. Here is a question for you, what is NVIDIA?