Developing on NVIDIA® Jetson™ for AI on the Edge

NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit – The Perfect Solution for Makers and Developers: A Review

The NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit reveal at GTC 2023 introduces a new mid-range monster to the Jetson lineup. Looky here:


This new addition to the Jetson lineup complements and completes the product range.

At the entry level, we have the original Jetson Nano Dev Kit. At the top end, we have the Jetson AGX Orin Kit. In the middle, what is most likely the sweet spot, is the new Jetson Orin Nano Dev Kit. Even though it has the name Nano in the title, to me this feels much more like a Jetson Xavier NX Dev Kit replacement.

Some people make a comparison to the older Jetson Nano and claim an impressive 80-fold increase in performance. They’re right of course. Remember that the Jetson Nano (Tegra X1 processor) was first introduced in 2015. That’s forever and a day ago in computer time. Two more chip generations have come and gone since then. Jetson TX2 (2017) and Jetson Xavier (2019).

On the other hand, we expect that the Tegra Orin chip fabricated with a 7nm process would perform better than a 20nm process TX1. Or maybe that’s just me. For our purposes here, we’ll compare it against the Jetson Xavier NX.

The price for the Jetson Orin Devkit is $499 USD ( $399 with EDU discount through NVIDIA). One interesting point is that both the TX1 and TX2 were $599 at introduction. The Xavier NX was $399. The Orin Nano is certainly in the ballpark price wise in comparison.

Where to Buy

On Amazon: NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit

Also available through other NVIDIA Distributors:

  • Arrow
  • Sparkfun
  • Silicon Highway
  • Seeed Studios

You’ll also need a 64GB+ microSD card, for example: Samsung EVO 64GB


Looking at the Orin Nanos big brother, the AGX Orin Developer Kit, we see a good number of similarities. The Orin Nano Devkit is broken down into two major parts.

Jetson Orin Nano Module

The Jetson Module which has the compute components, and the reference carrier board. Let’s take a look at the major specs of the Jetson module:

MODULENVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano 8 GB Module
GPUNVIDIA Ampere architecture with 1024 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and
32 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
CPU6-core Arm Cortex-A78AE v8.2 64-bit CPU
1.5 MB L2 + 4 MB L3
Memory8 GB 128-bit LPDDR5
68 GB/s
StorageExternal through microSD slot
External NVMe through M.2 Key M
Power7 W to 15 W

Comparing the AGX Orin and Orin Nano charts, the Orin Nano appears to be 1/2 of an AGX Orin with some of the fancy bits removed. There are no Deep Learning Accelerators (NVDLA), or a vision accelerator. The memory is 128-bit on the Orin Nano, 256-bit on the AGX Orin with the resulting hit in bandwidth. Also, the hardware video encoder has been removed from the Orin Nano. More on that later.

Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit Carrier Board

The carrier board is a reference design. In addition to supporting the Jetson Orin Nano module, it will also work with the Jetson Orin NX. This reference design is freely available.

Here are some specs:

Camera2x MIPI CSI-2 22-pin Camera Connectors
M.2 Key Mx4 PCIe Gen3, 2280
M.2 Key Mx2 PCIe Gen3, 2242
M.2 Key EPCIe (x1), USB 2.0, UART, I2S, and I2C
USBType A: 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, Type C: 1x for Debug and Device Mode
Networking1x GbE Connector
DisplayDisplayPort 1.2 (+MST)
microSD slotUHS-1 cards up to SDR104 mode
Others40-pin Expansion Header (UART, SPI, I2S, I2C, GPIO), 12-pin button header, 4-pin fan header, DC power jack
Dimensions100 mm x 79 mm x 30 mm(Height includes feet, carrier board, module, and thermal solution)

Some additional notes:

  • This carrier board has two M.2 Key M slots. One is 2242, which means that it accepts 42mm cards. The other is 2280, which means that it accepts 80 mm cards. All of the M.2 slots are PCIe.
  • The USB-C port is upstream facing. The port does not handle power deliver over USB or have display capabilities.
  • The USB-C port is upstream facing. The port does not handle power deliver over USB or have display capabilities.
  • The 2 MIPI CSI-2 camera connectors are a change from previous generations of Jetsons. The older Jetsons use 15 pin connectors. You will need an adapter cable to connect a 15 pin camera to the 22 pin connector.
  • There is a power jack on the board. The board accepts 9-19V, 45 watts total. 2.5mm ID x 5.0mm OD, center positive please.

Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit Specs

The full development kit combines the Jetson Orin Nano module and the reference carrier board. The carrier board mounts to a plastic base. The plastic base holds two PCB antennas which attach to the wireless card which populates the M.2 Key E slot.


The size of the Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit is 103 x 90.5 x 35 mm. It weighs in at 176 grams. If you plan on mounting the Developer Kit on a project, you will most likely not use the plastic base. Just be careful with the wireless card and antennas. Those rascals are easy to detach and very difficult to reattach.

Here are some pics:


The software provided with the review unit is pre-release. I can tell you that the CPU performance makes the the Orin Nano feel quite a bit faster than the Xavier NX. With that said, there were a little niggles here and there related to the release. This is normal, these will be ironed out by the time the kits begin shipping in mid-April.

One thing I found surprising is how good the video encoding is for a software solution running on two cores of the CPU. The experts over at RidgeRun wrote a quite wonderful article: “Jetson Orin Nano: How to achieve real-time performance for video encoding” discussing the ins and outs of getting good performance.

From the video, here’s the results of benchmarking some models. In frames per second:

ModelJetson Orin Nano 8GB
PeopleNet (V2.5)118
Action Recognition 2D366
Action Recognition 3D26
LPR Net993
Dashcam Net405
BodyPose Net137

In the video was a quick demo of a transformer running on Peoplenet. On an AGX Orin, it runs ~ 30fps. On the Orin Nano it’s a little under 8.

Jetson Orin Modules

Here’s the Jetson Orin module lineup:

Jetson Orin Nano 8GB/4GB, Jetson Orin NX 16GB/8GB, Jetson AGX Orin 64GB/32GB

There are three different variations of the production modules. Orin Nano is the entry into the Orin line, the Orin NX is mid range. Both of these are in the 260 pin SODIMM form factor. The AGX Orin is the most powerful, top of the line.


My experience with it so far is that it will be a very capable replacement for the Xavier NX. It feels faster in most desktop type of applications. I plan on using it over the next few weeks to get a better feel for the good and bad. My initial impression is that it’s good, and there is consistency with the AGX Orin software. The emulation of the Jetson Orin Nano on the AGX Orin Devkit is surprisingly close to real world performance.

It should be interesting to see how the Jetson ecosystem starts to grow around this offering. I know it will be popular in the education space. The AGX Orin is a little steep on the entry price, and the entry level Jetson Nano doesn’t have the performance we now expect.

Certainly worth checking out.


13 Responses

    1. The NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kits will be available in April. You can pre-order now and get the first ones when they ship (recommended), or you can wait to buy them from stock next month. Thanks for reading!

  1. I hate that they’ve jacked the price another $100, to $500, now BEFORE THE UNIT EVEN HITS THE STREETS!

    1. Wait! This is not the $400 rectangular block that the Orin Developer has been shown as (for over a year.)
      Seems the Orin Nano is a different, more expensive animal than the Orin Developer Kit is? Why would anyone get the Nano over the Orin, for $100 more? Or am I confused? Again?

      I’m awaiting the $400 or $600 version of the Orin Developer kit (4 GB versus 8 GB?) They were announced months ago but have they started to ship yet?

    2. I’m not sure what you are comparing here. Since this is the introduction price ($499, $399 EDU), its hard to say that they’ve “jacked up the price”. I’ve added the Orin production modules and their pricing to the article. The Orin Nano is pretty much what was predicted as far as price. The 8GB production model of the Jetson Orin module is $299. Once you add a thermal solution (heat sink fan), carrier board, wireless card and power brick, you figure that’s around $499. I think I originally thought this type of solution would be between $400-600, the price lands in the middle.

      Previously NVIDIA subsidized the Devkits and offered them at cost. In other words, the devkits were just about the same price as a production module alone. As an example, the Xavier NX devkits were $399 at introduction, the same price as the production module. That is no longer the case, which probably makes their 3rd party partners happier.

      The rectangular version is the AGX Orin. Now that 64GB eMMC is readily available, they’ve added that to the Jetson AGX Orin Developer Kit. It’s a lot different type of machine, much more capable. It’s at the same price as it was at introduction, $1999.

      This follows the previous product lineup strategy, with the Orins replacing the Xaviers. The one difference is that there are three flavors of Orins in comparison to the Xaviers 2. Thanks for reading.

      By the way, once you understand this product offering it’s easier to beat on NVIDIA for pricing and claim that they are ripping you off. We always enjoy hearing about how you think the products should be priced.

  2. You mention a 100$ EDU discount, I can’t find any information on this anywhere including NVIDIAs website, care to elaborate?

      1. Just following up here with a link to the relevant topic on the official NVIDIA developer forums, in case someone else with the same question stumbles across this article:

        the TL;DR of the matter is:
        The “Apply for discount” link on the EDU pricing page on NVIDIAs website is broken, the response from dusty_nv from NVIDIA is:

        “we are in the process of setting up the application forms and everything for the EDU discount with the Jetson distributors – please stay tuned, thanks.”

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