WANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN KILLER ROBOT? Then you might want to snap up Nvidia's new dinky Jetson Nano computer.
For $99, Team Green is offering an entry-level AI computer that's being targeted at developers and folks who want to try their hand at making smart machines without needing to plough thousands into powerful hardware or expensive cloud platforms.
Looking a bit like a Raspberry Pi dressed in the silicon equivalent of evening wear, the Jetson Nano comes equipped with a quad-core ARM A57 processor and an Nvidia 128-core GPU based on the Maxwell architecture. Alongside the CPU and GPU sits 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage.
All that adds up to 472 gigaflops of compute grunt that should allow the small computer to crunch through the calculations needed to power neural network, sensors tech, and autonomous features when plonked into a self-contained device or a gadget on the edge of an internet of things (IoT) device network.
It can also handle 4K video encoding at 30 frames per second and decoding at 4K at 60fps. OK, it might not be able to process kill-on-command instructions, but it has some decent chops.
The computer board itself uses micro-USB connectivity for power and comes equipped with a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort, as well as Gigabit Ethernet.
Out of the box, the Jetson Nano comes running Linux and Nivida provides its Developers Kit with a suite of software tools for AI training and deployment.
All in all, it looks like a pretty decent package for people who want to roll up their sleeves and get messing with AI, be it to make a custom smart speaker or a small robot designed to scare postmen and peeping toms.
A $129 kit will be available for people who want to buy 1,000 or more Jetson Nanos, with the idea that the small computer is ready to be fitted into would-be smart devices that are just waiting to get their computer brains.
The whole thing is pretty cool in our humble opinion, as not only is it a good gadget for tech tinkerers, it could also help a new generation of would-be developers get au fait with a technology that's not looking like it's going away anytime soon, even if it threatens to make us its pets. µ
They're kind of cute though
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