Rockchip RK3566 and RK3568 datasheets and features comparison

We first covered Rockchip RK3566 processor in February, but we’ve been informed the specifications have changed since then, and earlier this month, we also wrote about RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with the same base features but some extra I/Os.

But due to NDAs, people familiar with the chips could not release too many details, so we did not get the full picture. This has just changed as the datasheets for both processors have just dropped from somewhere here and there, and we can get a much closer look.

RK3566 vs RK3568I’ve highlighted the obvious differences above, with the big ones being the PCIe interface and RK3568 having dual Gigabit Ethernet. The other features comparison can be found in the table below.

 
Rockchip RK3566
Rockchip RK3568
CPU
Quad-core Cortex-A55
GPU
Mali-G52 EE
AI accelerator
0.8 TOPS NPU
Memory DDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 LPDDR3/LPDDR4/LPDDR4XDDR3/DDR3L/DDR4 with ECC, LPDDR3/LPDDR4/LPDDR4X
Storage NOR flash, SPI NAND, eMMC 5.1 , SATA 3.0, 8K OTPNOR flash, SPI NAND, eMMC 5.1 , 3x SATA 3.0, 8K OTP
Display I/F RGB, LVDS or MIPI DSI, HDMI 2.0a, eDP 1.3, e-Ink; dual-display supportRGB, LVDS or MIPI DSI, HDMI 2.0a, eDP 1.3, e-Ink; triple display support
VPU

Video decode – 4Kp60 H.264/H.265/VP9
Video encode – 1080p60 H.264/H.265
Camera I/F

8M ISP with HDR

4-lane / 2x 2-lane MIPI CSI2 @ 2.5 Gbps per lane
16-bit DVP camera support with BT.656/601/1120
Audio
8-channel I2S/TDM, 2x 2-channel I2S
8-channel PDM
S/PDIF out
Networking1x Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC)2x Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC)
Quad serial gigabit media-independent interface (QSGMII)*
USB 2x USB 2.0 host, 1x USB 2.0 OTG, USB 3.0 host2x USB 2.0 host, USB 3.0/2.0 OTG, USB 3.0 host
PCIePCIe 2.1 1x1 lanePCIe 2.1 1×1 lane
PCIe 3.0 1×2 lane or 2x 1-lane @ 8 Gbps
Other I/OsSDIO 3.0
10x UART, 4x SPI, 16x PWM, 6x I2C, 2x SARADC
SDIO 3.0
10x UART, 4x SPI, 16x PWM, 6x I2C, 3x CAN FD, 8x SARADC
PackageFCCSP565L (body: 15.5mm x 14.4mm; ball size: 0.3mm; ball pitch: 0.65 & 0.4mm)FCBGA636L (body: 19mm x 19mm; ball size: 0.3mm; ball pitch: 0.65mm)

Important note. Rockchip RK3566 and RK3568 are using Multi-PHY Interfaces, and while the table above lists all possible interfaces, they can not all be used at the same time. PCIe, SATA, USB 3.0 are multiplexed in most cases as shown in the diagram below for RK3568.

RK3568 multiplexed sata usb 3.0, pcie
RK3568 multi-PHY interfaces

There a fair amount of differences, and notably both processors are not pin-to-pin compatible, so the upcoming Pine64 RK3566 SBC can not be easily upgraded to RK3568. People interested in ECC memory support will have to go with the latter, and so the ones wanting multiple SATA interfaces, PCIe 3.0 support, CAN bus, and/or dual Gigabit Ethernet.

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24 Comments
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NicoD
9 months ago

Is there no news about clock frequency? Or on what process node it’ll be made?
I hope they can keep the RK3566 passively cooled. Otherwise it would be no match for the S905x3/S905x4.
Mali-G52 is good. There’ll soon be good support for Bifrost. Could be a gaming champ.
I can’t wait to see new boards come out with this. It’s been too calm this year.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
9 months ago

Will all the IP on the SoC mean a very high price chip?

Willy
Willy
9 months ago

Actually it will occupy the room that was long reserved to Marvell. But since Marvell hasn’t done anything since their acquisition of Cavium, they’re leaving room for cheap competition, and that’s probably a good thing for consumers.

Salvador
Salvador
9 months ago

this one’s have much more I/O than amlogics SoCs.

NicoD
9 months ago

The RK3568 does have much more I/O than S905x4. The RK3566 isn’t that different in I/O vs S905x4.
I think RK3568 is way more interesting for SBCs. Having PCIe 3.0 is a major advantage these days. I wonder how many makers will bother with the RK3566.
The PCIe 2.1 is probably for a wifi chip.
If the H6 would have had well implemented PCIe it would have made a big difference. Now it’s just another quad-core that overheats. I’m not waiting on another SoC like that. Cheers.

Willy
Willy
9 months ago

I think that the RK3566 will be attractive to those having done the porting work for the RK3568, and willing to offer scaled down versions of their products. It’s always easier to use the same set of development tools across several products than using for example S905x4 for the low-end and RK3568 for the middle end. But I agree that it’s unlikely that vendors will start with RK3566 given the current availability and performance of S905x4.

tkaiser
tkaiser
9 months ago

> it’s unlikely that vendors will start with RK3566 given the current availability and performance of S905x4

S905X4 has one PCIe lane muxed with USB3. You get either / or.

According to most recent block diagram above RK3566 has two high-speed buses that can be used in parallel: USB3 muxed with SATA and PCIe Gen2 muxed with another SATA. Probably the most interesting question with I/O in mind is whether RK356x’s SATA ports are PM capable and support FIS based switching.

nobe
nobe
9 months ago

RK3366 does have much more I/O than S905X4 since it can offer both usb3 & pcie 2.1 at the same time while these should be muxed inside the amlogic soc.

But in my opinion, these chips do not target the same market : i think of s905x4 as a very good tvbox soc (hardware av1 decoder + afbc) while the rk3566 is more versatile (8gb ram, npu, usb3 and pcie)

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
9 months ago

All the options of RK356* do indicate IMO that they are aimed outside TV box use, just comes down to how affordable is the SoC.

Stuart Naylor
2 months ago

The RK3568 is a high bandwidth IoT router and the RK3566 is a lower priced IoT device. Both with a focus to network NVR but also could make NAS. The NPU & GPU as co-processors gives some interesting applications for both VisionAI & VoiceAI. Its not a ‘gaming’ SoC at all with maybe the S905xx having pref for that. I have been having a look at the Radxa offerings and with such a great combination of Muxes the 2 serdes buses provide its confusing to why they have made another Rockpi4 and again in PicoItx + 1Gbe as wow we… Read more »

Salvador
Salvador
9 months ago

AV1??

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 months ago

Probably only in the RK3588. Which is one reason why I’m waiting for that.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
9 months ago

Sounds very interesting

setsunakawa
setsunakawa
9 months ago

Please, a 64b ddr controller for the next one

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
9 months ago
sbc_gadget
sbc_gadget
9 months ago

The computing power seems to be ~15% lower than S905X3(12nm) on the Odroid-C4.
https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/15949977

sbc_gadget
sbc_gadget
8 months ago

But LZMA, JPEG and some other stuff are still slightly slower than S905x3 even with a 1.99Ghz clocked RK3566.
Anyway, let’t compare the performance again once the AES feature is enabled and they finalize the clock frequency.

tkaiser
tkaiser
8 months ago

> slightly slower than S905x3 even with a 1.99Ghz clocked RK3566

You try to compare SoCs while Geekbench lists single limited benchmark runs of individual devices (that differ not only by SoC but also by DRAM access which involves both hardware and software –> bus width, clocks and DRAM initialisation/training).

Also Geekbench does not check whether the CPU cores really clock at the frequencies it reports, it simply parses some sysfs nodes.

tkaiser
tkaiser
9 months ago

No it’s not. It’s just moronic to stare at combined Geekbench scores especially when an outdated benchmark version is used and preliminary/pre-production settings on the devices in question are in use.

https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/12/01/rockchip-rk3568-processor-to-power-edge-computing-and-nvr-applications/#comment-578846

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