One of the two most common type of Arm boards are single board computers with everything from processor to memory/storage to ports is placed on a single PCB, and system-on-modules with processor, memory and storage, and sometimes some extra chips with for network connectivity, audio and power management that are supposed to be inserted into a baseboard exposing connectors and headers.
The upcoming Khadas Edge board is a little different since it combines both categories into one board with USB receptacles and HDMI output as well as 314-pin MXM3 edge connector to connect to Khadas Captain baseboard, or any other custom compatible baseboard.
Khadas Edge will come in three variants (Basic/Pro/Max) with the following specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 up to 1.8GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz, Arm Mali T864 GPU with support for OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, DX11, VPU with4K VP9 and 4K 10bits H265/H264 video decoders up to 60fps, and 1080P H.264 and VP8 video encoders
- MCU – STMicro STM8S003 8-bit MCU with Programmable EEPROM for power management, and boot media (SPI Flash or EMMC) setup
- System Memory / Storage
- Basic – 2GB LPDDR4, 16 GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 16 MB SPI Flash
- Pro – 4GB LPDDR4, 32 GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 16 MB SPI Flash
- Max – 4GB LPDDR4, 64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 16 MB SPI Flash
- Video and Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 port up to 4K @ 60 Hz, with HDCP 2.2 and HDMI CEC support
- All versions – Realtek RTL8211FD Gigabit Ethernet PHY with WOL (Wake-on-LAN) features
- Basic – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2X2 MIMO WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 via Ampak AP6356S module
- Pro / Max – 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2X2 MIMO with RSDB (Real Simulataneous Dual Band) + Bluetooth V5.0 via Ampak AP6398S module
- USB – 1x USB3.0 type A port, 1x USB2.0 type A port, 2x USB type C port: one for power only, one with DP 1.2 Alternate Mode support
- Expansion Connector
- FPC Connector A – 10-pin 0.5mm pitch with UART, I2C, SPI, SDMMC, ADC, PWM, I/Os
- FPC Connector B – 10-pin 0.5mm pitch with USB, I2S (8-ch), I2C, MCU I/Os
- Edge Connector – 314 Pin MXM3 connector with PCIe, USB, USIC, SDMMC, I2S, I2C, ADC, SPI, UART, Gbit Ethernet, DVP, MIPI-CSI, MIPI-DSI, eDP, power delivery: VSYS, VSYS_5V, VSYS_3V3, 3.3V & 1.8V
- Cooling fan header controlled by PWM, with a 0.8mm pitch header
- 3x buttons – Power (P), function (F) and reset (R)
- 2x LEDs
- Power Supply
- 5 to 20V via USB type C port, MXM3 connector, or Pogo pads
- Battery Connector for 2-Cell Battery Module
- 82.0 x 57.5 x 5.7 mm
- 4x M2 mounting holes
- Weight – 25 grams
The board should ship with two Wi-Fi antennas and a heatsink. Shenzhen Wesion, the company behind Khadas boards, will provide Android Oreo, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian 9.0, and other operating systems for the board. They also mention mainline U-boot and Linux support, as well as AI features such as TensorFlow, Android NN(Neural Networks API).
Khadas Edge will fit into a full featured Khadas Captain carrier board, but I do not have the full details for either boards yet. Edge IO module will insert into the FPC connector to provide easier access to some I/Os without having Khadas Captain board.
Other accessories are also planned include an LCD module and a camera module.
Now you may think “hmm, I saw something similar a few years ago…”, and you’d be right as Shenzhen Wesion was the company behind GeekBox TV box that featured GeekBox RK3368 octa-core system-on-module with an edge connector and various ports like HDMI, Ethernet, and USB. While you could use the device as a simple Android TV box, it was also possible to take out the board, and connect it to the larger LandingShip base board.
Back to Khadas Edge. As you would have guess it’s not quite available yet, and the company plans to launch it next month together with accessories and Khadas Captain carrier board via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Prices have not been announced yet, but they will be competitive.
There should eventually be more details on Khadas Edge’s product page.