If you thought we didn’t have enough Rockchip RK3399 SBCs already, Pine64 is working on a smaller and cheaper version of the RockPro64 single board computer with HardROCK64 SBC powered by RK3399 processor and following Raspberry Pi form factor.
- SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 @ up to 1.8 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.4 GHz, a Mali-T864 GPU, and a VPU with 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 decoding
- System Memory – 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4
- Storage – SPI flash, eMMC flash socket, MicroSD card slot
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0, AV port, MIPI DSI connector
- Audio – Analog stereo audio via AV port, digital audio via HDMI
- Camera – MIPI CSI connector
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band WiFi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports
- Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
- Misc – Fan & RTC headers, heatsink mount, IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V via barrel jack
- Dimensions – ~85×56 mm
HardROCK64 lacks some of the features of ROCKPro64 such as PCIe or USB-C, but it will be a bargain once it launches in April (tentative date only) as the 1GB RAM version will sell for around $35, while the 2GB and 4GB will go for respectively around $45 and $55. Note we should take all planned dates we cautious at this time due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on manufacturing and the supply chain.
It’s actually pretty similar to Rock Pi 4 board, but slightly cheaper, and lacking an M.2 slot. Pine64 also decided to place the CPU on the top side of the board, while Rock Pi 4 processor is found on the bottom side. This mostly affects the cooling solution, and some people prefer the CPU on the bottom side since it allows for a larger heatsink, but I’m not sure it matters for most people.
HardROCK64 benefits from RockPro64 software compatibility, as Android & Linux OS images for the latter will work on the new board with little or no tweaks, and Pinebook Pro laptop OS should work by just changing the device tree.
Pine64 unveiled the board at FOSDEM 2020 together with an update about SoEdge-RK1808 AI Module which should become available in April-May for around $30, and the CUBE IP Camera was delayed due to the company focusing on PinePhone and Pinebook Pro, but they are still working on the open-source camera with a more detailed update to be published on February 15.