Nvidia has announced the Jetson TX1, a 64-bit ARM board. According to Nvidia, the new mobile SoC matches up to Intel’s fastest consumer-market desktop CPU, the Core i7-6700K, in some aspects of its performance. That means that Nvidia isn’t claiming that the Jetson TX1 is a direct competitor for a Core i7. In terms of CPU processing power, the Core i7 wipes the floor with Nvidia’s SoC. That’s not true with all tasks, though. The TX1 is better suited to those that can utilize its 256-core Maxwell GPU, which offers over 1TFLOPs of performance.
It’s well-equipped to handle deep machine learning, for example. Nvidia let both processors take a crack at image classification, and the Jetson TX1 actually performed better, powering through roughly 350 images per second compared to the Core i7’s 250. That’s already pretty impressive, but when you look at what each chip is able to deliver per watt of power consumed the gap widens even more.
Nvidia is currently taking pre-orders for $600, with the Jetson TX1 and the full development kit expected to start shipping on November 16. The standalone TX1 module will go on sale in Q1 2016, and will be available for $300 (in quantities of 1,000).