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

Baptiste Jonglez baptiste at bitsofnetworks.org
Sat Mar 6 13:27:03 CET 2021

On 05-03-21, Andy Polyakov via cfarm-users wrote:
> > 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.

Interesting, I hadn't realized it was such a specific design.  It makes it
even more interesting for the farm.


> > 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.

Yes, you're right, but it's still rather impressive given the form factor
and price.

> 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:-)

Ok, I thought that nouveau could possibly support OpenCL, but I'm not
familiar with this.

Otherwise, we would need Nvidia proprietary drivers & CUDA, or just don't
use the GPU at all.

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