Home News&Events Knowledge Center A Guide to NVIDIA Jetson
    Knowledge Center

    A Guide to NVIDIA Jetson


    A Guide to NVIDIA Jetson

    Table of contents:


    What is NVIDIA Jetson?

    NVIDIA noticed the difficulties industries faced in implementing AI and edge computing, particularly with the use of GPUs outside traditional data centers. As AI applications began spreading to edge devices in various settings, there was a clear need for a platform that could easily bring AI to these environments without the usual challenges. This led NVIDIA to focus on making AI more user-friendly for a wider range of industrial uses. Their goal was to enable developers, researchers, and businesses of all sizes to easily use AI, sidestepping the complexities often involved with large computing setups. 

    The result was the NVIDIA Jetson platform, a series of embedded AI computing devices aimed at incorporating deep learning and computer vision directly into edge devices, even in the most challenging or remote locations. The Jetson series combines high-performance GPU capabilities, specialized AI hardware, and a full suite of software, making it easier to implement smart applications in practical situations. This innovation addressed the limitations of traditional computing systems, offering a solution that tackles the widespread issues faced by industries globally.


    What differentiates NVIDIA Jetson from other processors?

    Each NVIDIA Jetson module is a comprehensive System on Module (SoM) featuring an integrated GPU, CPU, memory, power management, and high-speed interfaces. These elements are fine-tuned to offer top-tier AI inference performance while ensuring power efficiency, allowing edge devices to execute complex AI algorithms effectively. NVIDIA Jetson’s integration of all essential components into a single module facilitates its use in compact, space-sensitive environments without compromising performance or efficiency.

    What distinguishes the Jetson platform further is NVIDIA's holistic approach to design. Beyond crafting specialized hardware, NVIDIA has developed a supportive ecosystem for AI development on Jetson devices. This includes compatibility with leading AI frameworks like TensorFlow, NVIDIA's TensorRT, and various libraries and APIs for computer vision and deep learning. NVIDIA's dedication to open-source software, extensive documentation, and the Jetpack SDK underlines its commitment to a collaborative development environment, enhancing the platform with a comprehensive toolkit for creating end-to-end AI solutions.


    NVIDIA Jetson Operating System

    NVIDIA Jetson devices, including the Jetson Orin series, run on NVIDIA's Linux for Tegra (L4T) operating system. L4T is a specialized version of Linux designed specifically to harness the full capabilities of the Jetson hardware, providing support for its powerful GPU and AI processing capabilities, alongside the vast ecosystem of Linux-based tools and applications.

    NVIDIA Jetson Orin Modules

    The newest addition to the NVIDIA Jetson series, the Jetson Orin series introduced in March 2023, presents three unique models designed to handle diverse Edge AI tasks. These devices are built for real-time processing, data telemetry, and extensive I/O versatility.


    Jetson AGX Orin

    The Jetson AGX Orin modules offer up to 275 TOPS of AI performance, with adjustable power usage from 15W to 60W. This flagship model in the Jetson Orin series is built for high-demand AI tasks in autonomous vehicles, robotics, industrial automation, and smart cities. It supports applications needing real-time AI inference, sensor fusion, and advanced computing. 

    Jetson Orin NX

    The Jetson Orin NX modules provide up to 100 TOPS of AI performance, adjustable between 10W and 25W, in the smallest Jetson size. As a mid-range choice, Orin NX balances performance, efficiency, and affordability, fitting various AI edge computing needs like smart cameras, drones, appliances, and embedded systems. It offers considerable power in a more compact, cost-effective package than the AGX module. 

    Jetson Orin Nano

    The Jetson Orin Nano series offers up to 40 TOPS of AI performance, with 7W to 15W power options, in the smallest Jetson form factor. As an entry-level option in the Jetson Orin lineup, the Orin Nano focuses on low power use and affordability but still supports AI tasks. It's ideal for edge AI, IoT devices, and embedded systems with strict space, power, and budget constraints. 

    Here's a comparison table of the NVIDIA Jetson Orin series specifications:

      Jetson AGX Orin Series Jetson Orin NX Series Jetson Orin Nano Series
      Jetson AGX Orin 64GB Jetson AGX Orin 32GB Jetson Orin NX 16GB Jetson Orin NX 8GB Jetson Orin Nano 8GB Jetson Orin Nano 4GB
    AI Performance 275 TOPS 200 TOPS 100 TOPS 70 TOPS 40 TOPS 20 TOPS
    GPU 2048-core NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU with 64 Tensor Cores 1792-core NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU with 56 Tensor Cores 1024-core NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU with 32 Tensor Cores 1024-core NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU with 32 Tensor Cores 512-core NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU with 16 Tensor Cores
    GPU Max Frequency 1.3 GHz 930 MHz 918 MHz 765 MHz 625 MHz
    CPU 12-core Arm® Cortex®-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU 8-core Arm® Cortex®-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU 8-core Arm® Cortex®-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU 6-core Arm® Cortex®-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU 6-core Arm® Cortex®-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU
      3MB L2 + 6MB L3  2MB L2 + 4MB L3  2MB L2 + 4MB L3  1.5MB L2 + 4MB L3  1.5MB L2 + 4MB L3
    CPU Max Frequency  2.2 GHz  2.2 GHz  2 GHz  1.5 GHz



    The Jetson platform's flexibility enables a wide range of uses across different sectors. Key areas of application include Autonomous Vehicles & Robotics (AGV & AMR), Smart Cities, Healthcare, Industrial IoT.


    Which is better for AI computing solutions?

    Using NVIDIA Jetson doesn't rule out GPUs for processing; it rather expands the options for system integrators and OEMs in tailoring AI computing solutions. It's crucial to weigh certain factors for your industrial needs, as GPUs may sometimes be the better choice over Jetson, depending on the situation.

    GPU: Ideal for training extensive neural networks or running complex AI algorithms needing high computational power. GPUs are best where high parallel processing and significant computational strength are required. Learn more about GPUs here.

    Jetson: Best for AI applications at the edge, where low latency, energy efficiency, and small size matter. Jetson is suited for real-time processing and fitting AI into limited space. 

    Other AI Accelerators (TPUs): For some scenarios, TPUs might be preferable over GPUs or Jetson, especially where low power consumption and high performance are needed without switching from x86 to ARM architecture.



    In the evolving world of AI computing, GPUs and the NVIDIA Jetson platform each serve crucial functions, meeting different needs and scenarios. By recognizing their capabilities, developers and engineers can use these technologies to advance innovation and fully utilize artificial intelligence in various fields. Whether it's utilizing GPUs' parallel processing power or implementing AI at the edge with Jetson, the future of AI computing offers numerous opportunities for societal improvement.


    C&T's newest collection of Jetson Orin AI Edge Computers leverages the Jetson Orin architecture to introduce a fresh range of durable, fanless industrial AI computers for the edge. The JCO Series marks C&T's initial foray into ARM-based architecture, providing three scalable versions: the entry-level JCO-1000-ORN, the mid-range JCO-3000-ORN, and the high-performance JCO-6000-ORN, each designed for real-time AI computing in tough environments.


    • JCO-6000-ORN Series

      Powered with NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin modules, JCO-6000-ORN delivers an impressive 275 TOPS of AI performance. It features up to 4x EDGEBoost I/O Modules that support USB3, PoE, and GigE Vision Cameras, alongside 8 Mini-Fakra connectors for GMSL Camera connectivity, making it an ideal choice for advanced AI computing and vision processing tasks.

    • JCO-3000-ORN Series

      The JCO-3000-ORN, offering Jetson Orin Nano or NX versions, delivers 40-100 TOPS of AI performance. It supports up to 4x RJ45 LAN ports and features Out-of-Band (OOB) management, making it ideal for a wide range of AI tasks with its efficient performance and enhanced connectivity.

    • JCO-1000-ORN Series

      The JCO-1000-ORN, an ultra-compact Edge AI computer powered with the Jetson Orin Nano, delivers 20-40 TOPS of AI performance. Featuring rich I/O ports, it’s ideal for efficient, cost-effective solutions in a small form factor.


    Find Product
    Product Finder