We’ve previously written about Pine64’s Quartz64 model A and model B SBC‘s, but the community has now announced another Rockchip RK3566 hardware platform with SOQuartz Compute Module compatible with Raspberry Pi CM4.
We learned about the module in Pine64’s June update, where they also announced Quartz64 was now available to developers and enthusiasts with 4GB or 8GB RAM for respectively $59.99 and $79.99. But let’s have a look at the upcoming SOQuartz SoM in more detail.
SOQuartz system-on-module preliminary specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3566 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor up to 1.8 GHz with Arm Mali-G52 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1, 0.8 TOPS NPU for AI acceleration
- System Memory – 2GB to 8GB LPDDR4
- 128 Mbit SPI Flash
- Optional eMMC module from 16GB up to 128GB capacity or soldered-on eMMC module (see bottom of board)
- Wireless module – Azurewave AW-CM256SM WiFi 5 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.2 wireless module plus an u.FL antenna connector.
- 2x 100-pin high-density board-to-board connectors with:
- Video Output (TBC)
- 1x HDMI 2.0 port
- 1x 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
- 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI display port
- Camera I/F (TBC) – 2x 2-lane MIPI CSI camera ports or 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI camera port
- Ethernet – Gigabit Ethernet
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host
- SATA III or PCIe (multiplexed)
- 28x user GPIO (3.3v or 1.8v) also configurable as 6x UART, 6x I2C, 5x SPI, SDIO, 1x DPI (Parallel RGB Display), 1x PCM, 2x PWM, 3x GPCLK outputs
- Video Output (TBC)
- Supply Voltage – 5V
- Dimensions – 55 x 40 x 4.7mm with 4x M2.5 mounting holes
The specifications are preliminary because I derived them from the photos, the announcement on Pine64’s blog, RK3566 datasheet, and Raspberry Pi CM4 specs. I can’t identify the chip on the bottom right yet, but it should be an Ethernet transceiver.
The advantages of SOQuartz over RPi CM4 Compute Module are the presence of an AI accelerator, 128MB SPI flash onboard (TBC), flexibility for the eMMC flash (module or soldered on), and support for SATA that should be multiplex with the PCIe 2.1 interface assuming they used the Multi-PHY2 interface from the processor. However, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 has two HDMI interfaces, and the RK3566 module should only have one with the pin unused
, or connected to some other interfaces. [Update: There will be another model with an extra 100-pin connector for the extra interfaces provided by RK3566]
Pine64 says SOQuartz will be software compatible with Quartz64 single board computers meaning support for Linux distributions and Android. It’s still early and a lot of work needs to be done. In theory, the module should be a drop-in replacement into Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier boards, but practise may get in the way for some of the boards, and incompatibilities are not impossible.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.