As you should be well aware the RK3399 SBC market is quite crowded these days, and FriendlyELEC had already released two Rockchip RK3399 boards with NanoPC-T4, and NanoPi M4 boards. But the company has now announced another board – as expected – with NanoPi NEO4, the smallest and cheapest RK3399 board on the market at this point.
- SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz, a Mali-T864 GPU with support OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, DX11, and AFBC, and a VPU with 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 decoding
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3-1866
- Storage – eMMC module socket, micro SD card slot
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDCP 1.4/2.2 support
- Camera – 1x 4-lane MIPI-CSI connector for camera up to 13MP
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 2.4 GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with 1x u.FL antenna connector
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB 2.0 type-C port with OTG mode and power input, 1x USB 2.0 type A port, 1x USB 2.0 interface via 2.54mm header
- 40-pin GPIO1 header with 2x 3V I2C, 1x 3V UART/SPI, 1x SPDIF_TX, up to 8x 3V GPIOs, PCIe x2, 1x PWM, PowerKey
- GPIO2 header with 1x 1.8V 8ch I2S
- GPIO3 header with debug UART, 1x USB 2.0
- Misc – Power LED, user LED, 2-pin header for RTC battery
- Power Supply – 5V/3A via USB-C port; RK808-D PMIC
- Dimensions – 60 x 45 mm (8-layer PCB)
- Temperature Range – -20℃ to 70℃
The company provides Ubuntu Desktop 18.04(64-bit), Lubuntu 16.04(32-bit), Ubuntu Core 18.04(64-bit) and Lubuntu Desktop with GPU and VPU acceleration for the board, as well as the usual detailed documentation in their Wiki. Note there appears to be only a 1GB RAM version available, so the board may not be suitable for all applications, but if you are after something inexpensive, packing plenty of processing power in a small package, and with a target application that can do with 1GB RAM, NanoPi NEO4 should perfectly match your requirements. If your plan is to use the board as a low cost Linux mini PC, I’d really recommend a board with 2GB or 4GB RAM instead such as FriendlyELEC’s own NanoPi M4, or Pine64 RockPro64 board.
FriendlyELEC currently offers the board for $45.00 plus shipping, but that’s without the highly recommended – some would say necessary – heatsink that adds $5.99. If you don’t include the provided heatsink or add your own, the performance will drop significantly pretty quickly under most loads. You may also consider a 16GB eMMC module for $12.99 for better performance compared to most micro SD cards, as well as other accessories. If you have long term plans for the board, note that FriendlyELEC always launches their board with a promotional price, and in a few months the price should increase to $49.99.