NVIDIA Jetson Nano Vs. Raspberry Pi 3 A+ (and Pi 3 B+)

Published By

Since its debut in 2012, the Raspberry Pi has provided a single-board computing platform that's small, easy, and affordable. The device is priced low enough to introduce novices to the world of computing but versatile enough that it's starting to find its way into more serious pursuits. While the Pi has evolved from its first release into the powerful 3B+ and 3A+ boards, their computing power is still no match for more expensive, and physically larger modules — such as the NVIDIA Jetson line.

Jetson Nano vs. Raspberry Pi 3

While these two devices have existed peacefully for years in their respective niches, NVIDIA is taking their product line one step closer to the size and price of the Raspberry Pi and its ilk with its Jetson Nano. The Nano is still larger and more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 3A+, the Raspberry Pi Foundation's latest offering, but the $99 price tag for the Nano development kit makes the two devices much more comparable.

This chart illustrates how the Jetson Nano stacks up to Raspberry Pi's latest, the 3A+, along with the older 3B+, which provides better competition with its additional RAM and ports.

 

Jetson Nano Dev Board

Raspberry Pi 3A+

Raspberry Pi 3B+

AI Performance

472 GFLOPs

21.5 GFLOPs (est*)

21.4 GFLOPs (est*)

GPU

128-core NVIDIA Maxwell

Broadcom VideoCore IV

Broadcom VideoCore IV

CPU

1.4 GHz 64-bit Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A57 MPCore

1.4 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53

1.4 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53

RAM

4GB LPDDR4

512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM

1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM

Board dimensions

100 x 79mm

65 x 56mm

85 x 56mm

GPIO header

40-pin

40-pin

40-pin

Ports

4x USB 3.0, Wired Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps

1 USB 2.0

4 USB 2.0, Wired Ethernet up to 330 Mbps

Wireless

None

Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE

Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2

M.2 Key E Slot

Yes

No

No

 Multimedia

 2160p30 (H.264)

 1080p30 (H.264)

 1080p30 (H.264)

Video Output:

HDMI, DisplayPort (4K)

HDMI, Display Serial Interface (DSI)

HDMI, Display Serial Interface (DSI)

Camera Serial Interface (CSI)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cost

$99

~$25

~$35

Note that the board dimensions listed do not include component overhangs (USB, Ethernet, etc.).

The Verdict: Jetson Nano Developer Kit

Looking at these stats, there's not much comparison when it comes to AI performance. The Jetson Nano boasts a nearly 22x (estimated*) advantage over the A+, and roughly the same over the 3B+. If you're looking for edge-based AI in a small package, the Jetson Nano development kit is the SOC for you.

Jetson Nano Module

When you're ready to make your idea into a mass-market product, the Jetson Nano module will be available in June 2019 for the — strangely higher — price of $129. Instead of an SD card, the Nano will come with 16GB of eMMC 5.1 flash memory ― which could justify the pricing. Otherwise, these boards boast identical specs, excluding the carrier board's ports and accessories.

etson RPi Comparison_IMAGE 2

The Pi 3A+'s space savings are impressive, but you'll likely need to add a USB hub.

Overview of the Raspberry Pi 3A+

However, Raspberry Pi is still a solid option if you want a general computing device for your build. Considering the Pi 3A+ is roughly one-quarter of the price of the Nano, you can use the extra cash to buy accessories. For around $10 more than the 3A+, the Pi 3B+ comes with a port setup that's similar to what is on the Nano:

- 4 USB 2.0

- Wired Ethernet up to 330 Mbps

Additionally, both Raspberry Pi products feature built-in Wi-Fi, something the Nano does not have. While I found it effortless to install a dongle in my "getting started" post, it's something to consider if you prefer to have Wi-Fi included.

The Verdict: Jetson Nano and the Raspberry Pi

In the end, both the Jetson Nano and the Raspberry Pi 3A+ are excellent devices. While the gap between the two is much narrower than NVIDIA's other Jetson options the TX2 and AGX Xavier - these boards have a few key differences. Do your research and choose the best product for your project.

*Estimate based on scaling ResNet-50 test outlined here (1.4 FPS) to SysBench CPU test outlined here. Comparison is 36 FPS for the NVIDIA Jetson Nano versus 1.4 FPS for the RPI 3, giving a ~25.7x speed advantage. Speeds were scaled for the 3A+ and 3B+ based on relative SysBench Raspberry Pi 3 CPU scores.

Related news articles

Latest News

Sorry, your filter selection returned no results.

We've updated our privacy policy. Please take a moment to review these changes. By clicking I Agree to Arrow Electronics Terms Of Use  and have read and understand the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Our website places cookies on your device to improve your experience and to improve our site. Read more about the cookies we use and how to disable them here. Cookies and tracking technologies may be used for marketing purposes.
By clicking “Accept”, you are consenting to placement of cookies on your device and to our use of tracking technologies. Click “Read More” below for more information and instructions on how to disable cookies and tracking technologies. While acceptance of cookies and tracking technologies is voluntary, disabling them may result in the website not working properly, and certain advertisements may be less relevant to you.
We respect your privacy. Read our privacy policy here