PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition Linux smartphone is up for pre-order for $399

PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone

Pine64’s PinePhone Pro “Explorer Edition”, the successor of the PinePhone Linux smartphone with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3399S processor, is now available for pre-order for $399 on Pine64 store, but mostly for Linux developers since there’s still a lot of work to do before the phone becomes usable. Based on Allwinner A64 processor, the original PinePhone was the cheapest Linux smartphone you could get, but as a user, I can also say it’s sluggish and suspect only a few people have made it their main mobile device. The story should be a different story with PinePhone Pro with much better specs include on hexa-core Cortex-A72/A55 processor tweaked to consume less power than RK3399, 4GB RAM, 128 GB eMMC flash, and a 6-inch display that makes it more like a typical entry-level/mid-range smartphone. PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399S hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex A53, 2x […]

Pine64 launches PinePhone Keyboard case, back covers with LoRa radio, fingerprint scanner, wireless charging

Pine64’s PinePhone Linux smartphone and its successor, the upcoming PinePhone Pro, are designed to be modular and extensible with a PinePhone Keyboard case prototype showcased here in April 2021 and aimed to transform the phone into what looks like a PDA. The design has now been refined, and Pine64 has just launched the PinePhone (Pro) keyboard case for $49.99, together with three back covers with either a LoRa module, a fingerprint scanner, or Qi wireless charging for $9.99 to $24.99 depending on the model. All are now available on Pine64 store. PinePhone (Pro) Keyboard Case Key features and specifications: ISO QWERTY layout with 54 keys in 5 rows. Note the key caps can be rearranged, so you could easily make an AZERTY or QWERTZ keyboard for example 180° hinge for two-hand typing on surface or thumb-typing when held Pogo pin connector to connect to PinePhone (Pro) smartphone USB – USB […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Rockchip RK3588 datasheet available, SBC’s coming soon

We had most Rockchip RK3588 specifications so far for the long-awaited Cortex-A76/Cortex-A55 processor, but at today’s Rockchip Developer Conference 2021, more information surfaces with impressive CPU and GPU benchmarks, and the Rockchip RK3588 datasheet has just dropped from the sky directly into my laptop, as such document usually does. At least two single board computers are expected to soon follow from Radxa and Pine64. Rockchip RK3588 datasheet Since we have the datasheet, we can confirm some of the specifications of RK3588, and get additional details: CPU – 4x Cortex-A76 @ up to 2.4/2.6 GHz and 4x Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8 GHz in dynamIQ configuration GPU Arm Mali-G610 MP4 “Odin” GPU with support for OpenGLES 1.1, 2.0, and 3.2, OpenCL up to 2.2 and Vulkan1.2 2D graphics engine up to 8192×8192 source, 4096×4096 destination AI Accelerator – 6 TOPS NPU 3.0 (Neural Processing Unit) VPU Video decoding 8Kp60 H.265, VP9, AVS2, […]

Seaberry Mini-ITX carrier board for Raspberry Pi CM4 exposes 11 PCIe slots and sockets

The Raspberry Pi CM4 may only have a one PCIe x1 Gen 2 interface, but this has not stopped ALFTEL from designing Seaberry, a mini-ITX carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with eleven slots and sockets making use of the single 5 Gbps PCIe Gen 2 interface. The board also offers two SATA ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, one RJ45 console port, two HDMI ports, a micro SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, as well as the usual 40-pin GPIO expansion header, besides the PCIe x16 slot, a PCIe x1 side slot, and M.2 and mPCIe sockets. Seaberry carrier board specifications: Compatible systems-on-module Raspberry Pi CM4 module (Regular or Lite) Radxa CM3 Pine64 SoQuartz Storage – 1x MicroSD card for Raspberry Pi CM4 Lite, 1x M.2 socket for NVMe SSD (See PCIe expansion section) Video Output – 2x HDMI output ports, 1x MIPI DSI connector Camera […]

Pine64 hostboards for SOQuartz System-on-Module

While the Rockchip RK3566 powered SOQuartz system-on-module is designed to be compatible with most Raspberry Pi CM4 baseboards, Pine64 is working on three baseboards, which it calls hostboards, for SOQuartz, with the latest introduced in the Pine64’s November update designed to fit in a server rack. That means we now have the “small form factor” hostboard that’s about the size of a business card, the Model-A hostboard with more features and the same dimensions as Pine A64 SBC, and the new Blade hostboard compatible with server racks. Let’s have a look at the three baseboards. Small form factor hostboard Key features: Compatible with SOQuartz SoM with quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with 2GB to 8GB RAM, optional eMMC flash up to 128GB, and optional WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 module Display Interfaces HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60 1x MIPI DSI connector Camera interfaces – 2x MIPI CSI connectors Networking – Gigabit Ethernet […]

SOQuartz – Raspberry Pi CM4 compatible Rockchip RK3566 SoM launched for $35 and up

Radxa CM3 Raspberry Pi 4 alternative was just introduced yesterday, but today, Pine64 SOQuartz Compute Module has just become available for $34.99 and up. Pine64 announced the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 compatible Rockchip RK3566 system-on-module (SoM) last June, and today the company/community launched three SOQuartz models with a wireless module and equipped with either 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB RAM. SOQuartz system-on-module preliminary specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3566 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor up to 1.8 GHz with  32-bir RISC-V MCU, 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 Optional 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 5.0 wireless module plus an u.FL antenna connector. 2x 100-pin high-density board-to-board connectors with: […]

Raspberry Pi 4, Rockchip RK3399 SBC’s get Arm SystemReady IR certification

The first hardware platforms getting Arm SystemReady IR certification for IoT Edge applications were announced a few months ago with namely NXP i.MX 8 Mini evaluation kit and Compulab IOT-GATE-IMX8 gateway being able to run off-the-shelf operating system images such as Fedora IoT, OpenSuSE Leap 15.3, and Debian 11 thanks to UEFI firmware. But following PinePhone Pro Linux smartphone announcement, and Pine64 October update, we also learned that Rockchip RK3399 based RockPro64 was also Arm SystemReady IR certified, and check Arm’s website directly revealed it was joined by Lenovo Leez P710 “Gateway” SBC, as well as Raspberry Pi 4 and Pi 400 platforms. Let’s check the details and see what off-the-shelf images each board has been tested with. Pine64 RockPro64 RK3399 SBC achieved SystemReady IR v1.0 Level 1 certification meaning it complies with some waivers and workarounds found in the errata document. The board has been successfully tested with Fedora […]