Banana Pi has showcased its first engineering samples of a Rockchip RK3588 SoM (system-on-module) with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB flash, as well as a development kit with dual Ethernet, three HDMI ports, SATA interfaces, PCIe interface, and more.
Rockchip RK3588 octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor is the most powerful from the company, both in terms of CPU and GPU power, but also with a wide range of high-speed interfaces, and will be found in the upcoming Radxa ROCK5 single board computer, and a yet-to-be-announced board from Pine64.
- SoC- Rockchip RK3588 octa-core processor with four Cortex-A76 cores @ 2.4 GHz, four Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8 GHz, an Arm Mali G610MC4 GPU, a 6 TOPS NPU, 8K 10-bit decoder, 8K encoder
- System Memory – 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB eMMC flash
- 313-pin edge connector for I/Os including PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0, USB 3.1, etc…
- Power management – On-module PMIC
- Dimensions – 82.8 x 63mm
Assuming all components are on the top of the module, it means it only includes the processor, memory, storage, and power management circuitry, and all other features would be implemented on a carrier board via the edge connector.
RK3588_MB “motherboard” is an example of that with two Ethernet ports, two SATA 3.0 ports plus power connector, three HDMI ports mostly like with two video output, and one video input, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, 1x USB Type-C port, a MicroSD card slot, MIPI CSI/DSI interfaces, and a horizontal PCIe slot placed on the side of the board. I can also see what looks like WiFi + Bluetooth module plus three u.FL antenna connectors, and a power connector for a 12V/1A power supply.
Banana Pi will provide Android 12.0 and Linux BSPs for the BPI-RK3588 SoM and development kit, and the module should eventually be found in Arm-based mini PC, high-end tablets, edge computing servers, virtual reality headsets, network video recorders (NVR), 8K TV boxes and digital signage, and more.
You’ll have to be patient as Banana Pi says while the hardware samples are ready, they’ve only just started to work on the BSP. From what I’ve been told (and can see with my own eyes), Rockchip RK3588 is an incredibly complex processor, so it will take a while before the software is ready, and Q4 2022 is probably a reasonable target to have the most important features implemented. Once everything works, Rockchip RK3588 platforms should be over twice as fast as Amlogic S922X/A311D boards, and the difference will be even more striking with graphics-intensive workloads.
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.