SOQuartz is a Raspberry Pi CM4 compatible SoM powered by Rockchip RK3566 SoC

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 Compute Module

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
  • Storage
    • 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
  • Supply Voltage – 5V
  • Dimensions – 55 x 40 x 4.7mm with 4x M2.5 mounting holes

Raspberry Pi CM4 compatible RK3566 SoM

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]

SOQuartz vs Raspberry Pi Compute Module
SOQuartz (top) vs Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (bottom)

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.

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12 Comments
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m][sko
4 months ago

What is the point for this ?
it is slower and more expensive
So why?
NPUs looks really slow 🙁
why SATA ? whey you can have NVM over pcie

I am still looking for latest rocking beast 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 months ago

Yes, we all want the Rocking 3588888

TLS
TLS
4 months ago

For one, RK has support for encryption, which the Pi doesn’t.
Not everyone needs the computational power of the Pi.
SATA = lower power than NVMe and NVMe isn’t likely to be bootable on either board, whereas SATA would be.
Just because you’re a Pi fanboi doesn’t make this product bad or irrelevant, it all comes down to what the end product is supposed to be.

minardi
minardi
4 months ago

the biggest point is it has more process efficiency under passive cooling solution/no cooling than pi4, while pi4 NEEDS a dedicate active cooling solution in order to utilize all of its performance of 4*A72 while this can utilize most of the power with a proper-designed passive heat sink block

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 months ago

I run Pi4 at 2 GHz with a passive heat sink case…

Stephen Neal
Stephen Neal
4 months ago

“NVMe isn’t likely to be bootable on either board, whereas SATA would be.” isn’t correct.

The Pi CM4 already has Beta support for boot from NVMe SSD over PCI-e :

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/bootmodes/nvme.md

Cameron
Cameron
4 months ago

Pine has not announced a price for the module. The listed price is for the full SBC. I would not be surprised if the module were cheaper.

Whiterat
Whiterat
4 months ago

This is a great move, excited to see some more info as they progress.

setsunakawa
setsunakawa
4 months ago

do you have any idea when raspberry pi cm4s will be back in stock ? 🙁

Willy
Willy
4 months ago

Not very important but I can’t spot the SPI flash on this board. But as others said, it can provide a low-power option for use cases not requiring the performance of A72, and possibly not having the room for a heat sink.

lifelion
lifelion
4 months ago

I wonder how it will interact with the cluster board.

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