Orin NX 20V capability (MODULE_ID)


I recently started investigating upgrading our robot from the TX2 to the Orin NX. During the investigation I realized that the Orin NX is the first NX socket SoM that can support 20V, which is a major advantage for us. Unfortunately it is stated in the datasheet v0.5 that only “new” models with a floating MODULE_ID pin are capable of the full voltage range.
Now the big question is: where is the cut between these 2 model types? Will all the production modules and those in the soon-to-be-released eval kits support 20V? We have to plan our hardware development course accordingly ;).

Kind regards,

Currently there will only be a single Orin NX VDD_IN type (wide range, has MODULE_ID floating). The carrier board must support 5V operation if the MODULE_ID pin is pulled low (or GND’d) on the module. The reason is to support both types of modules now and in the future. Customers should not create a carrier board that blindly supported only a voltage > 5V (such as the 12V ). If they do, it would work with the modules like the current Orin NX, but might not work (could damage) modules in the future that didn’t support the wide range, possibly for a lower cost version.

Thanks a lot for the swift info! Changing the compute module always leads to a ton of integration work for our product, both in HW as in SW. This is also why we are still using the TX2 in the old form factor. So when we decide to change to the Orin NX we will quite probably use it for a while, so full compatibility with newer modules is not a major issue for us. And as the Orin NX was already a compatibility break (fewer CSI lanes, no integrated eMMC) we expect adaption work for coming modules anyway. So do I understand it correctly that the so far announced Orin modules will keep their 20V capability, but there might be additional, low cost versions that then do not support it?

Hi! As it is stated in the design guide: “A pull-up is required on the carrier board on Pin 217 (GND or module ID) if it will support the wide range VDD_IN input voltage. This pull-up will cause the module ID level to be high if an advanced module is installed.” Should the pull-up be to 1V8?

A pull-up to 3.3V on carrier pin 217 is required.

I have another corresponding question: what are the voltage levels for a valid HIGH signal on POWER_EN and what is the maximum allowed voltage on this pin? A 5V level input as noted in the product design guide v0.99 would be very inconvenient when powering the module with a higher voltage than 5V.

Do you have any info on the POWER_EN levels? Unfortunately the datasheet v0.6 and product design guide v1.0 did not reveal any further info :/

The design guide specifies 5.0V (page 15).👇

Yea, I’ve seen it. But nowhere the high and low level thresholds for this type of pin are given (which is very common on datasheets). And it is pretty weird that SLEEP/WAKE* and POWER_EN are the only 2 pins with 5.0V levels on a module that is not necessarily powered by 5.0V any more so I suspected that the thresholds might actually be a lot wider.

For power_en, the VIH = 3.85V, VIL = 1.65V.

Thanks for the info! Then I will add an LDO specifically for this pin ;)

I don’t know your exact carrier board specs but if you’re efficiency constraint, it might make more sense to power the module with 5V instead of 20V given you need a 5V rail/LDO for the POWER_EN/SLEEP/WAKE* pins anyway. This greatly simplified our PCB. See this thread about the advantages of running Orin Nano/NX at 20V.

Well, it would not really improve the efficiency in our case. The system is powered by a 48V battery, so we would have a greater step down ratio on the converter feeding the Orin NX, losing all the efficiency there that we gained in the module. And it might even be hard to do 48V->5V in one step, so a fancy converter or a two step topology might be necessary. And then the converter should sit very close to the Orin as the currents are higher and voltage drop more problematic at 5V than at 12V. Another big topic is the quirk of the jetson modules do not like any other voltages before having booted up - so far we designed our power supply to have the 12V for the TX2 up first and then enable the rest. Restructuring this would have quite a massive impact.

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