NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB is $59 gateway into AI and robotics

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If you've been looking for a pandemic hobby, NVIDIA might have just the ticket, with the new Jetson Nano 2GB promising a one-box gateway into robotics and AI development. Announced today, the new starter kit costs less than sixty dollars but still gets access to the CUDA-X software and tools that pro-developers are using to create smarter robots and artificial intelligences.

That's because it taps the same Jetson AI at the Edge platform as the rest of NVIDIA's Jetson hardware. The $59 developer kit uses the JetPack SDK, so that anything created can be packaged up into a single Jetson application container.

CUDA-X is no hobby platform, either. Already being used by developers for things like IoT, smart cities, autonomous car projects, and more, it blends data center processing with local, at-the-edge processing to combine the power of the cloud with low latency. For that, NVIDIA has developed its own processors.

The Jetson Nano 2GB gets a 128-core NVIDIA Maxwell GPU and a 64-bit quad-core Arm A57 CPU running at 1.43 GHz. They're combined with 2GB of LPDDR4 memory and a carrier board, which has ports and interfaces like USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, a MIPI CSI-2 camera connector, a 40-pin header, HDMI output, and gigabit ethernet. NVIDIA also throws in a WiFi 802.11ac USB adapter.

Altogether it's enough to run the popular AI architectures, for things like image classification, segmentation, object detection, image processing, and pose estimation. For cameras, it'll work with commonly-available – and affordable – models such as the Raspberry Pi cameras, Intel Real-sense cameras, and the ZED 3D camera. For AI frameworks, it's compatible with TensorFlow, PyTorch, and MXNet, among others.

At the same time, NVIDIA is also offering the Jetson community complete with access to other developers, and tutorials and lessons to actually figure out how to use the developer kit. Today, the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute launched the Jetson AI Certification Program, which can result in two levels of certification: Jetson AI Specialist for makers, and Jetson AI Educator for those wanting to teach AI.

Preorders of the new kit open today, with it priced at $59. It'll ship from October 26, while JetPack 4.4.1 with support for the Jetson Nano 2GB Developer Kit will be available at the end of the month.