Rockchip RK1808 Datasheet, TRM, Schematics and Linux SDK Released

Rockchip RK1808 is the first chip from the company fully dedicated to artificial intelligence applications. The Neural Processing Unit (NPU) features an accelerator delivering up to 3.0 TOPS and is coupled with two low power Arm Cortex-A35 cores allowing it to run Linux.

We’ve had the specifications for RK1808 for a while, but the company has recently posted hardware and software resources on their open source website.

Rockchip RK1808 Block DiagramOn the hardware side we’ve got:

  • RK1808 Technical Reference Manual (TRM)
  • RK1808 datasheet
  • PDF Schematics for the company’s official RK1808-EVB

On the software side we can get the Linux SDK from Github as explained in the Wiki:


Finally configure the build and start the build process:


After a while, or more accurately close to two hours on a Laptop with Ryzen 7 2700U processor, 8GB RAM, and hard drive, we’ll get U-boot, Linux, buildroot based rootfs, and firmware files and in IMAGE/RK1808-EVB-V10_20190430.1810_RELEASE_TEST/ directory:


Now the only available development board is the RK1808-EVB from Rockchip which won’t be for sale to the general maker community, so we may have to patiently wait until one of the SBC’s companies decides to design one.

Thanks to Jon for the tip.

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crashoverride
crashoverride
1 year ago

The block diagram implies, and the RK1808 Datasheet confirms (page 31), that PCIe and USB3 are muxed on the same pins.

TLS
TLS
1 year ago

And a stupid thing to do imho.

willy
willy
1 year ago

While I do agree from a technical perspective (and a user’s perspective), these devices have a limited memory bandwidth and vendors probably don’t find it relevant to enable all high speed interfaces at once, and they consider that PCIe is almost never used on lwo-end devices. They probably figure that their device will either be a tablet or an STB, and that for the remaining 1% use cases needing both USB3 and PCIe (NAS) it is still possible to connect a USB3 controller to a PCIe bridge. This approach is definitely flawed and they’d rather not include PCIe at all… Read more »

Jon Smirl
1 year ago

Isn’t the purpose of these shared interfaces to build USB3 connectors that implement ALT pin assignments for Apple Lightning?

TLS
TLS
1 year ago

Lightning isn’t even USB 3.0, it’s only 2.0. And no, it’s not for Thunderbolt either.
The muxed interfaces allow for lower pin-count parts, which lowers cost. However, if you want to say add proper WiFi over PCIe, then you lose out on USB 3.0. So it’s indeed a stupid implementation, especially moving forward, as 802.11ax seems to rely on PCIe rather than SDIO or USB as the preferred interface.

Jon Smirl
1 year ago

USB 3.1 supports PCI Express as an Alt-mode
https://www.anandtech.com/show/9331/intel-announces-thunderbolt-3

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 year ago

Anandtech is talking about Thunderboilt 3 being implemented as an USB-C alternate mode. And I wonder whether Synopsys or someone else provides a combined PCIe/USB3 IP block we see in more than one SoC appearing now…

TLS
TLS
1 year ago

No, it can not, Thunderbolt is the only interface for that, but the two more use the same connectors, but not the same cables.

Jon Smirl
1 year ago

Maybe the internal link between the RK3399 and the RK1808 inside the RK3399PRO uses this PCI connection?

Steven Lin
1 year ago

It’s a combo phy (USB3/ PCIE) which can only operate in either USB3 or PCIE.

Jon Smirl
1 year ago

If you have a burning need for the RK1808-EVB it is for sale on taobao for $538. Two places have it listed. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.1.57062d17A4C4UB&id=590286443304&ns=1&abbucket=12#detail I suspect these two companies bought the kit to make their own PCBs and now are reselling the used kit. I’m going to wait for a more reasonably priced board that includes a camera option. I know of five companies considering making a dev board for the RK1808 but so far no one has shipped one. This is chip is for making embedded devices, it is not a good chip for running desktop Linux or building a… Read more »

Nobody Of Import
1 year ago

I’m actually very interested in Cams where you leverage the NN as a cam that does networked camera function but does image recog at the camera, so you don’t need something beefy like NVidia’s offering.

nitro
nitro
1 year ago

In case anyone was wondering the NPU is Vivante VIP8000 not Ceva NeuPro as previously reported…

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