Tegra K1 based Propus Kit over Jetson

When to choose the Tegra K1 based Propus kit over Jetson?

Published on June 28, 2016

As you know, the Propus kit contains the eSOMTK1, the System on module based on NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor. There are customers that use the Jetson TK1 board and you might be wondering if the Propus board is so expensive, why would I go ahead and buy it ? Well, it depends on what you want. Here are some categories of customers which we have seen. You can select where you would be falling in to.
  1. I have an algorithm or a research idea and I need to validate it with the Tegra K1. I might be needing a maximum of 10-20 boards.
  2. I have a future product in mind but first would like to evaluate the power of TK1.
  3. I have a product to be designed now and I am looking at the TK1.
  4. I have evaluated the TK1 processor on the Jetson kit and now I want to customize it for my product.
  5. I have done a proof of concept to my customer with the Jetson TK1 and there is a need for customization with a much smaller form factor.
  6. I have to connect 2 MIPI CSI-2 4 lane cameras to the TK1 and do testing.
  7. I need to have two high speed cameras connected to the TK1 that can stream 1080p@60fps.
  8. I need to have a Synchronous Video capture with two cameras connected to the TK1.
  9. I need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability.
  10. I am trying some applications in Virtual reality. Having an accelerometer or IMU would be handy.
If you are falling in to one of these 10 categories, then our recommendation would be to go with the Jetson TK1 for options 1 and 2. In this case, it makes sense to have a low initial cost. Especially for case 2, we would recommend evaluation with Jetson and come back to Propus. The Propus kit for customers who want to go for custom product design. For options 3, 4 and 5 we recommend going with the Propus kit. For cases 6 7, 8 ,9 and 10 because of the unique feature that we support in Propus, we can do this. Lets see why.

Key Advantages of Propus

  • Ready to be Productized
  • Camera Add on boards and driver support
  • Peripheral customization
  • BSP customization and support
Embedded ARM SOM
Propus – NVIDIA® Tegra® K1 Development Board
eSOMTK1 Datasheet | Propus Documents

Ready to be productized

eSOMTK1 System on Module can be evaluated with the help of Propus Carrier board. Readily tested BSP is supported for eSOMTK1 which can be easily ported to custom carrier board design for the SOM. Extensive documentation, test applications are provided to evaluate and test the SOM.
eSOMTK1 comes in a compact form factor 70mm x 55 mm. This will suit all types of products such as Drones, Surveillance products, medical devices etc. Several major blocks like PMIC, DDR, eMMC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IMU are present in the SOM itself. So the carrier board can be easily designed with Propus as a reference.

Camera Add on boards and driver support

Tegra K1 with high resolution camera sensor and image processing in GPU – CUDA® framework, attracts most of the customers to choose Tegra K1 CPU for their products. Tegra K1 processor supports three camera interfaces (2 four lane mipi interface and 1 one lane mipi interface) and we can stream any two interfaces at a time. In eSOMTK1 all the three interfaces are taken out of TK1 CPU. Using Propus carrier board, one can easily test all the three interfaces. e-con systems supports 2 camera add on boards to demonstrate this.
Key advantage of eSOMTK1 is SOM, Camera Board, BSP and driver support are all available in one place. Also e-con Systems will extend the support to the camera with various sensors and Stereo camera in near future.

Peripheral customization

eSOMTK1 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. For a product that needs wireless networking support, this will suit the most. Also, it has Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for 3D gyroscope and 3D acceleration. This will give accurate acceleration and gyroscope reading for products like drones. SOM supports two USB 3.0 Host ports, USB 3.0 Camera can be connected and images/videos can be streamed. e-con Systems supports various USB Cameras.
The below table illustrates detailed peripheral wise difference between Propus and Jetson:
Propus (eSOMTK1 Board) Jetson
Processor running at 2.2GHz Processor running at 2.3GHz
DDR3 support upto 4GB 2GB DDR running
eMMC support upto 64 GB 16 GB eMMC
Wi-Fi support No Wi-Fi
Bluetooth support No Bluetooth
IMU is there which will provide 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope No IMU
Two 4-Lane MIPI and One 1-Lane MIPI are available One 4 Lane MIPI port is available
We provide 2 USB 3.0 Host ports There is 1 USB 3.0 Host port
RTC chip provided with back up battery support Used internal PMIC RTC no back up battery
Gigabit Ethernet is supported via mini PCI interface as separate board Gigabit Ethernet is there via PCI interface
Frame synchronous Dual 13MP Camera add on shall be supported Dual 13MP camera cannot be supported
Apart from this one can use the eSOMTK1 and easily customize the carrier board according to their product requirement. Unwanted peripherals can be removed and more GPIOs/UART/I2C/SPI lines can be added according to their need. eSOMTK1 will be available till 2026 (minimum) and support will be provided.

BSP customization and support

e-con systems provides excellent support for the SOM with regular BSP updates. e-con provides simple application/scripts to update BSP. All release packages and documents are maintained in gitlab account and shall be shared to customer. Customers can login and check for updates and can post issues for a particular release version. All the issues will be addressed quickly and updates shall be provided. e-con Systems also support BSP customization service according to the product requirement. Both hardware and software support will be provided.

Conclusion

If you want to make a product with Tegra K1 CPU, which consists of high resolution camera sensors, wireless module eSOMTK1 is the best choice. eSOMTK1 with Propus carrier board stands unique due to the various camera sensors support, inbuilt wireless modules and integrated IMU. For more information and documentations kindly visit eSOMTK1.
To know more download: eSOMTK1 Datasheet | Propus Documents
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