Rockchip RK3588 8K TV Box Triples as 5G & WiFi 6 Router, Home Automation Gateway

Rockchip RK3588 octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor was only expected in the second half of 2020 for IoT and vision/AI applications, but at least one company is working on a 3-in-1 product based on Rockchip high-end processor with a “5G AIoT 8K TV box” that also works as a 5G and WiFi 6, and with features such as Zigbee can also act as a home automation gateway.

“5G AIoT Android TV Box” preliminary specifications:

  • Main SoC – Rockchip 3588 octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A76 and 4x Cortex-A55 cores in dynamIQ configuration, Arm “Natt” GPU (i.e. NOT Mali-G31 MP2), NPU 2.0, 8K H.265/AV1 video decoder, 4K video encoder
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR4
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot up to 64GB?!
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 8K resolutions
  • Audio – SPDIF audio output, HDMI audio
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 via Qualcomm QCA6391 WiSoC
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port, 1x Fast Ethernet port connected to RK3588 processor
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet port connected to QCA6391
    • Zigbee connectivity
    • Cellular
      • 5G up to 2.63 Gbps downlink, 287 Mbps uplink
      • 5G NR Bands – n78, n41, n77
      • FDD Bands – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13,18,19,20,25, 26,28, 66, 71
      • TDD Bands – 38, 41
      • WCDMA Bands –  1, 6, 8, 19
    • 6x external antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C port
  • Power Supply – Via DC jack…

The thing is supposed to run Android 9.0 operating system, but it’s a little odd that Rockchip does not work on an Android 10 for an upcoming processor.

When I asked the company (Shenzhen Tomato) about availability, they first said “soon”, and when I asked more photos, they did not have any, finally admitting that it will “take time to do but if have client wants to develop we can start”… So unsurprisingly, it’s not quite ready but under development. The specifications on the product page also list Mali-G31 MP2 as the GPU, but it would be madness to combine an entry-level GPU with high-end CPU cores, so I’ll leave the Arm “Natt” GPU entry for now.

5G forecast to 2024

I also wondered if that really made sense to offer a 5G “TV box” at this point in time, and looked back at 5G forecasts from 2019. So it looks like there should only be a few million subscriptions worldwide this year, and hundreds of millions by 2021, so this type of product may be a bit early, and most 5G subscribers will likely get a 5G router from their telco. So I’m not convinced many people would be interested, especially this kind of product would likely cost $300 to $400 right now, and to make full use of it you’d also need an expensive 8K television with very little content to play at this point in time. I think the first proper 8K content would have been the Olympics this summer, but obviously this won’t happen this year…

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