[cfarm-users] Upcoming board: Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier

Andy Polyakov appro at openssl.org
Fri Mar 5 11:22:58 CET 2021


> We have an opportunity to host a developer kit of the Nvidia Jetson AGX
> Xavier board in the farm.
> See:
> https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/autonomous-machines/embedded-systems/jetson-agx-xavier/
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tegra#Xavier
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_Jetson
> It has a recent 8-cores ARM CPU,

"Non-Cortex" might be a more accurate description. I mean most ARM
processors you encounter are Cortex cores, and there are many variants,
some are naturally more recent than others. This Tegra processor on the
other hand is not based on Cortex and in a sense is first of a kind. By
"first" I mean that even though it's described as part of the Denver
family, one has to recognize that previous family members used binary
translation to proprietary instruction set. This one doesn't, it's
actual ARM ISA implementation.

> 32 GB RAM, and a big GPU.

Don't get me wrong, 512 CUDA cores *is* impressive in the context of a
single-board computer, but one can't really refer to it as "big."
Thousands of cores is big, 512 is really entry level:-) In essence one
can divide the amount of CUDA cores by 32 in order to get a more
down-to-earth number. By 32, because that's how many lanes are processed
with single instruction. In other words one can also view it as a
processor with 32*32=1024-bit registers.

> It's part of
> the Tegra family.
> If you are interested by this board, which OS would you prefer?
> Tegra boards usually have good upstream support, so it should be possible
> to run plain Debian or Ubuntu on it.  Nvidia also has a "Linux 4 Tegra"
> distribution based on Ubuntu with specific software.
> Regarding the GPU specifically: does anybody have a planned usage for it?
> Will it be fine with the nouveau driver?

Most common way to use Nvidia GPUs for general-purpose computing is
CUDA, with OpenCL being another option. Does nouveau support any of
that? Not that I know of. My understanding is that nouveau is about
rendering and acceleration, not about general-purpose computing. Of
course you can say that cfarm wants to foster nouveau development toward
OpenCL, but then it would probably be unsuitable as a shared farm
computer. Because developers are likely to need privileged access to
reload kernel drivers, not to mention a tendency for often reboots:-)


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