Jetson Orin NX Bad Design Decision (no SD and no eMMC)

Hello everyone,
I don’t know who had this brilliant idea of removing the SD interface and internal eMMC from Orin NX, making it incompatible with (at least some) Nano/TX2/Xavier boards and forcing people to use NVMe.
I cannot stress this enough but I think this is a clearly very bad choice (incredibly so).

I decided to check the AGX module and fortunately, for people using those, they decided to keep the SD interface as well as the internal eMMC.

I would be actually (pleasantly) surprised if this was changed before the Orin NX modules get released.

Best Regards,
Juan Pablo Tettamanti

Hello Juan,

I am currently developing a carrier board for the Orin NX module. There is a possibility to add an SD card. I think that having access to the NVMe speeds are better then the eMMC speeds which are not that great.

Please let me know what you think.

Best regards,
Briac W.G.

Hello Briac,
I understand it’s possible to work around these issues by designing a new board, I just prefer to avoid having those issues in the first place by keeping module interfaces backwards compatible.
I still think it’s a bad idea and I’ll try to explain why (at least for my case) it is so.

I do have at the moment a board, it was designed about three years ago and it has been compatible with 3 different boards (Nano, TX2 and Xavier).
I’ve had to work on projects with different requirements and compatibility across modules has allowed me the freedom to choose the best suited module while keeping the same carrier board.
Keeping the same carrier board means I don’t have to go through the expensive design steps involving a new carrier board each time a new module comes out.

I prefer my main source of flash memory soldered next to the SoC and RAM.
That way I don’t have to worry about mechanical issues or people trying to steal the SD card / NVMe drive.

I also don’t think having NVMe is that great of an advantage the same way I don’t think having Ubuntu is that great when you want repeatable OTA update.
You might get some advantage if you have a lot of cameras constantly writing video to your drive and maybe that’s the only case where I would consider this.
However, you already had PCIE interfaces on Jetson Nano/TX2/Xavier that could be used for faster storage, no need to change that.

As my last observation, you’ll see that they did keep eMMC on the more expensive AGX model, which implies that Nvidia understands this eMMC is quite useful and saves a lot of trouble.

Best Regards,
Juan Pablo.