Recently I’ve seen headlines in the news that the GPU chip shortage is over. However… I’ve also seen a question about when the Jetson Xavier NX developer kit will be available and the response was that there was nothing that could be said about this. That’s not very motivating.
I’m an open source project developer that spent months developing a project specifically for easy installation on the Jetson Nano, NX and Xavier AGX. But as soon as it was released no one could buy these platforms anymore. It’s been a year now and that hasn’t changed and it appears as if there’s no interest in providing any indication of availability either. Likely I’ll have to wait a year only maybe only find that they won’t be making these anymore.
It seems outwardly clear that all of the focus is only on the modules and third party motherboards. But I can’t release open source platform intended for a platform unless I can test on that platform. I already have a nano, an NX, a temp loan of a Xavier AGX and an AGX Orin developer kit but I can’t buy every platform that is out there. The one’s I have no one can buy anyway. And the only one available now is the Orin at 2400 euros. I know of no open source developer that would buy one of these.
To develop a thriving open source developer community you need to provide a degree of priority to the boards that this community will and can buy. By providing no priority to the developer boards NVidia is banking on a future that only exists for hardware developers and companies large enough to pay for a lot of development themselves. I can’t help but think that this is a mistake. I’ve seen platforms come and go because there was no strong developer community on them. I see can a great future for the modules it’s a nice concept but I can only see slow growth for a “platform” that does not try to develop a thriving open source community and you need to be able to buy the developer boards for this to happen. I think that even companies that develop products for using the modules also need to have a strong developer community to help them succeed.
I’m looking for conferences to talk at to introduce the open source project I developed for the jetson series developer boards but imagine if I generate a lot of interest? I’d have to also say “Oh by the way you won’t be able to buy any of the supported platforms sorry, maybe in another years time. Maybe not”.