Home > Android, Hardware, Linux, Rockchip RK31xx, Ubuntu > Firefly-RK3288 Development Board To Support Android and Lubuntu

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board To Support Android and Lubuntu

We’ve already got a long list of upcoming Rockchip RK3288 based Android media players, but no low cost development boards have been announced to date. We can certainly expect a Radxa Rock 2 board with the Cortex A17 processor, but it might not be the only one, as Firefly-RK3288 development board powered by Rockchip RK3288 is currently being developed by another Chinese team.

Firefly-RK3288 (Click to Enlarge... a bit)

Firefly-RK3288 Development Board (Click to Enlarge… a bit)

Current specifications for Firefly-RK3288 board:

  • SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2G DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video I/O
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160@60p
    • VGA out (D-SUB connector)
    • VGA in is available via the expansion headers.
    • LCD, MIPI and LVDS
  • Audio Output / Input – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, microphone header, and built-in MIC
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 38-pin headers with access to SPI, UART, EDP, ADC, GPIO, I2C, VGA=IN, LVDS, MIPI, 3.3V, 5V, and GND signals.
  • Power Supply – TBC
  • Dimensions – 118 x 83 mm

Firefly-RK3288_connectorsThe developers told me it would be an open hardware project, but I’m not sure it will be 100% open source hardware, but at least they seem committed to release the hardware schematics, component’s placement file, and components’ datasheets. Hardware design and debugging have just been completed, and they have not reached the mass production stage just yet, which also means there’s no price information either. They will support Android 4.4 and Ubuntu for the board, and the SDKs, tutorial and hardware files will all be available from their website in August.

That website is not online yet (and I don’t even know the domain name), but the board can be found on oschina, and the development followed on TeeFirefly’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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  1. July 25th, 2014 at 15:54 | #1

    Apparently someone thinks the design of radxa rock is good. Our rock 2 will be based on a rk3288 som.

  2. July 25th, 2014 at 16:55 | #2

    how about the usb? 2.0 or 3.0?
    and still, no sata.

  3. July 25th, 2014 at 17:40 | #3

    @Riaqn
    For RK3288 it will be USB 2.0, and there’s no SATA.
    They could add SATA but it would just be via USB to SATA chip, so it’s the same as using an external USB hard drive.

  4. G
    July 25th, 2014 at 17:55 | #4

    That VGA connector is big, blue, and ruins the cool blackness of the whole board. :P

  5. July 25th, 2014 at 20:28 | #5

    Looks like Radxa Rock competition? What should the customer buy? Think they will get confused, and dislike the current one day fly policy.

  6. leandro
    July 25th, 2014 at 20:50 | #6

    if this is a real open hardware. This will be a great board, and better than raxda.

  7. Jibril
    July 26th, 2014 at 00:38 | #7

    Tom Cubie :
    Apparently someone thinks the design of radxa rock is good. Our rock 2 will be based on a rk3288 som.

    I hope that on this new board (Rock 2) it will be hole to fix a passive/active heatsink on SoC with plastic spring hook

  8. July 26th, 2014 at 12:32 | #8

    Good news!

    MIPI and LVDS there. If they share hardware design and give support can be a really good choice.

  9. Curmudgeon
    July 27th, 2014 at 00:39 | #9

    @Tom Cubie
    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Good to know that Rock 2 is in the works. I hope the use of SoM does not cause a substantial price hike.

  10. onebir
    July 27th, 2014 at 02:47 | #10

    @Curmudgeon The price of these components (& consumer devices using them) is dropping all the time… Is an upgrade at the same price too much to ask?

  11. mongrol
    July 27th, 2014 at 05:23 | #11

    @Curmudgeon

    Hopefully, they’ll provide better service than Tom Cubie. I RMA’d a CUbietruck back to r0ckstore in January and never saw a replacement or my $100 back. Just got the runaround in emails.

  12. Jessops
    July 27th, 2014 at 19:47 | #12

    @mongrol

    If these guys have just copied from Radxa, then they are more likely to be less inclined to provide quality support.

  13. July 27th, 2014 at 21:37 | #13

    @Jessops
    It’s not just a copy/paste, since it’s a new SoC, but they clearly strongly got inspired from Radxa Rock form factor, ports placements or so on. They seem completely new, so we’ll have to judge them over time. I doubt they will have very good support at the beginning, since they probably need the first orders to get some funds, then hire more people, etc… Many people claim their board to be “open source hardware”, but most boards in the market aren’t. But hey, it sounds good for marketing, so they claim it is anyway… Wait and see…

  14. Curmudgeon
    July 28th, 2014 at 03:59 | #14

    G :
    That VGA connector is big, blue, and ruins the cool blackness of the whole board.

    Apart from the cosmetic factors, the VGA connector is obstructive for those who might implement expansion boards. Compared with today’s high density connectors, the “D sub-miniature connector” is an anachronism that is not nearly miniature enough! Hopefully the Twittered layout adjustments will fix this.

  15. July 29th, 2014 at 11:56 | #15

    I have bought many boards from Chinese companies / Solution providers / Factories / Shops / OEMs, none of them provide good technical support.

    In most cases..

    * The sales girls speaks English and the Engineer speaks only Chinese, the non technical sales girl will have to translate the technical problem to Chinese and back and forth, by then you are tired.

    * There is less willingness to support, because there is no money in technical support, Where is the volume order ????

    * There is nothing like a open source in China, if you need to do some changes in the hardware, you need to have the schematics / PCB Layout / BOM / Vendor List / SDK / source code / Datasheets of components / English Manuals , In most cases none of the above listed details are complete. if you don’t have some thing it is as good as starting fresh.

    * The new products may have many defects / not tested fully / that’s understood but you will not find a document telling what functions are tested and what is not, and what is still under development.

    * Many claim it is open source and SDK is available, how about source codes /the SDK is not complete in most cases.

    * We will have to depend on the forum for technical support, but then it takes too long time,

    * Chip Manufactures –> Solutions Company –> Contract Manufacturer / factory –> Products Company –> retailer / online store . this is the China chain, The Chip manufacture knows the most, but willing to support only multimillion $ deals and hand full of Solutions companies, The Solution company may not have full access to all the source codes, they still have to depend the Chip manufacture. The CM / OEM / Retailer / online store do not have any control or access to technical information other than the rough specifications.

    * There is no guarantee that you will get the same product again , the factory would have switched to other products / lead time and price changes with time,

    This is just my experience

    Saravana

  16. July 29th, 2014 at 12:52 | #16

    @Saravana Qmaxsys
    I think your analysis of the situation is spot on.

  17. August 5th, 2014 at 15:39 | #17

    I have reason to believe that this board will be true open source hardware, with every single little detail downloadable. The engineers tell me they’ve got it this time, and of course, if they’ve got it, what a blockbuster this will be!

  18. Bud Ryan
    August 6th, 2014 at 19:07 | #18

    @Jibril
    The board is basically awesome, but it’s a shame that there’s no SATA with a small Storage – 8GB eMMC flash and I believe it will use the H.265 Codec, but I don’t see anything about any Audio Hardware Acceleration for use with Dolby which is so nice to have and from what I hear about ARM is to be energy efficient and from what I understand, when you use software to render either audio or video not only do you get less quality, but less energy efficient so I’m hoping this board has both Video and Audio energy efficient Hardware Acceleration? The use of USB 2.0 defeats the purpose of a fast SSD converted SATA! There’s a newer codec out there that brings a huge difference in audio called Opus so if you haven’t heard of this, please Google and check it out… When and where I can get one of these boards would be nice?

  19. August 31st, 2014 at 16:26 | #19

    Finally, most probably not fully open source hardware, but they’ve already released the schematics in PDF, and files showing component placements. Images for Android 4.4, Lubuntu 14.04, and Dual Boot are also available. They have placeholders for Android 4.4 SDK and Linux source code too.
    http://www.t-firefly.com/plus/list.php?tid=2

  20. Jibril
    August 31st, 2014 at 19:28 | #20

    @Bud Ryan
    I don’t know why you asked me your problems about missing Sata port, small storage and no support to DTS and AC3 audio.
    If you want these features, you can contact RockChip and explain them your requests on new chip or change to another platform (Samsung or other SOCs)…not me.

  21. Jibril
    August 31st, 2014 at 19:53 | #21

    @ Jean-Luc
    for you, which will be the street price of this board at launch ?

  22. September 1st, 2014 at 09:50 | #22

    @Jibril
    I can only guess, but TV boxes with similar specs sell for $90 to $110 (inc. shipping), so the board might end-up selling for $110 to $130 including shipping.

  23. Toto
    September 3rd, 2014 at 16:09 | #23

    @Tom Cubie
    When does it come ? What about the RAM (2GB, 4GB ?) etc… I searched around Radxa forums/wiki and found nothing.

  24. Nickson Yap
    September 26th, 2014 at 21:49 | #24

    Firefly-RK3288 beta version is up for sale!
    Officially sold for 800 chinese yuan in chinese website:
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=41212979166

    eBay:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/151423349215

  25. September 26th, 2014 at 22:14 | #25

    @Nickson Yap
    Taobao is OK, but eBay link is not working.

  26. unotemporal
    October 13th, 2014 at 23:46 | #27

    @Tom Cubie
    tom cubie has a very large face to come here to sell new boards ..
    First can explain:
    why the radxa rock board dont work ?.
    why he sells open philosophy when it is not?

    caradura = sassy = hardface

  27. November 14th, 2014 at 14:00 | #28

    They’ve now setup a developers’ forum for Firefly-RK3288 -> http://developer.t-firefly.com/en/

  1. July 26th, 2014 at 05:43 | #1
  2. September 2nd, 2014 at 16:45 | #2
  3. September 24th, 2014 at 15:05 | #3
  4. September 27th, 2014 at 16:55 | #4
  5. November 27th, 2014 at 15:05 | #5
  6. December 12th, 2014 at 11:50 | #6