There are many Android TV boxes on the market based on Rockchip RK3368 processor, while I’m not aware of any development board based on the latest Rockchip octa-core processor, and Linux support is basically inexistent. One device may fill both gaps: GeekBox. This TV box can run both Android and Ubuntu Linux, while it’s easily disassembled to access expansion headers.
The hardware specifications are a little higher-end than most Rockchip RK3368 TV boxes we’ve seen so far:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3368 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with PowerVR G6110 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB [email protected]
- Storage – 16GB Samsung eMMC v5.0 flash + micro SD slot
- Video Output / Display I/F
- HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz with CEC support
- Display + touchscreen headers
- Audio Output – HDMI
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n + 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO @ 867 Mbps (AP6354 module), Bluetooth 4.1
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Debugging – 3-pin header for serial console
- Security – HW security system, support popular DRM (no details though), and HDCP 1.4/2.x
- Misc – Power, reboot and update buttons, IR receiver, fan header, RTC battery header, 2x LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V/2A
- Dimensions – N/A
Once you open the case, you’ll find GeekBox is also a Rockchip RK3368 system-on-module (SoM) with a 314-pin MXM3 edge connector. The system will be pre-installed with Android & Ubuntu Dual boot firmware, and you’ll also be able to switch to Android–based Light Biz OS. The kit will including GeekBox SoM, the enclosure, an IR Remote control, an HDMI cable, two external antennas, a charging cable, an heatsink, a power adapter and a user’s manual.If you want to do some real work, you could also get Landigship baseboard (sold separately) to insert the Rockchip RK3368 module into the MXM3 socket and get some extra features and ports including:
- Storage – 2.5″ SATA drive support on the back of the board
- Display – MIPI DSI header
- Expansion Headers – 60-pin GPIO header (2.54mm pitch)
- Camera – MIPI CSI connector
- Audio – optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm headphone jack, two microphones
- USB – One extra USB port
- Misc – RTC battery slot (CR1220), 2×2 user buttons, buzzer
- Power Supply – 5V
- Baseboard dimensions – 116x86x13 mm
The company can also provide various accessories such as a 7.9″ “retina” display, a cooling fan, an RTC battery to connect directly to the SoM, high gain WiFi antennas (5dB), and so on.
A development platform without source code, documentation and community would rather be useless, so GeekBox.tv community has been launched for the board, where you can get support via the forums, and while firmware and source code are “comming soon”, you can already download the schematics (PDF) for GeekBox SoM and LandingShip carrier board.
GeekBox is available for pre-order for $109.99 on GeekBuying, with a $20 discount if you leave a comment on their promotion page. You also find accessories on such as the $29.90 Landingship baseboard, and others, and you could also get a complete kit for about $249. Shipping is planned for November 30.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.