Switching to Jetson Nano

A project log for DLT one - A Damn Linux Tablet!

Modular Open Source Hardware Tablet that is easy to hack and can run a standard Desktop Linux Distribution (or Android)

Prof. FartsparkleProf. Fartsparkle 05/18/2019 at 16:271 Comment

After being rather frustrated with the state of documentation of the i.MX8M SoM and sparse design guide I'm now switching my efforts over the Jetson Nano from Nvidia.

Among my main reasons why I will pause my efforts with the i.MX8M is the availability of a polished end-user Linux in the form of L4T (slightly modified Ubuntu), with the i.MX8M you get a lot of options but none are really meant as a finished piece of software for end use but as a base for your own build. This is great for someone designing a tightly integrated product but not so great if you want an easy to use general purpose system.

Another reason is community support. There is simply no big community behind the i.MX8M yet. The Jetson ecosystem exists longer and existing work for it is largely compatible with the Nano. Also in the few weeks the Jetson Nano has been available there is big community gathering around it. Given that it also comes in the form factor of an affordable SBC would really help adoption of the plattform and in turn also help my Tablet get nicer software and guides from the community.

Another reason is performance, especially for multimedia the Jetson Nano blows the i.MX8M out of the water and this is something I think most users would be interested in.

I designed a first test board with a similar goal as I had with my previous breakout for the i.MX8M. Get to know the hardware and its issues. When I'm comfortable with it I will continue with the next iteration, a first prototype that would actually be usable in my tablet form factor.

This first prototype will again just be a quick and dirty SBC. I also gave a bit more shit about HDMI and eDP, learning more about High Speed design and trying to do it "proper". I ended up rerouting the high speed stuff 4 or 5 times as I found more and more error the more I read into the topic :)

The PCB should hopefully arrive end of next week. 4 Layer impedance controlled PCB this time.


Daren Schwenke wrote 05/26/2019 at 02:51 point

This alone is kind of impressive and useful.  Definitely following...

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