Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

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, […]

Rockchip RK3588 benchmarks – Geekbench4, GFXBench, Antutu

We’ve been talking about the Rockchip RK3588 Cortex-A76/A55 processor since it showed up in a roadmap in the Spring of 2019, and the initial plan was for a release in Q1 2020. But as most regular readers know, there have been delays after delays, and some people have even started to associate RK3588 with vaporware. But there may be light out of the tunnel with Rockchip RK3588 platform being showcased at the Rockchip Developer Conference 2021, notably with CPU and GPU benchmarks for the device. The results for Geekbench 4 reveal around 2.7 times (single core) or 3.4 times (multi-core) higher CPU speed, but the most impressive part is the GPU as GFXBench shows Rockchip RK3588 being multiple times faster than RK3399, in some cases over 10 times faster. A few weeks ago, we noted some Geekbench 4 results with a system running Android 12 with 8GB of RAM, and […]

How to flash firmware to Rockchip devices in Windows and Linux (2021 Edition)

We’ve written several articles detailing methods to flash firmware to Rockchip devices in Windows or Linux over the years, with tools like RKAndroidTool, RkFlashKit, upgrade_tool, or the open-source rkdeveloptool utility. This is mostly useful to flash another OS or if the device does not boot, as most products will now support OTA firmware updates. But following my review of Zidoo M6 with Android 11, I’ve now got a Linux image for the Rockchip RK3566 mini PC, so let’s revisit the firmware flashing methods in 2021. Zidoo sent me instructions for Windows, but since I’m a Ubuntu user, I flashed the firmware with the Linux tools used by Firefly. The same methods should work for the older processors such as RK3066, RK3288, and RK3399, besides the more recent Rockchip RK3566 and RK3568 processors. How to flash Rockchip firmware in Linux [Important update: If your device comes with both eMMC flash and […]

LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS. LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support. Since LibreELEC 10.0 is based on Kodi 19.1, it benefits from the same features as Kodi 19 “Matrix” release including AV1 video decoding, a new skin, HDR support, and more. LibreELEC 10.1 support a wide range of single board […]

Rockchip RK835 & RK837 fast charger chips support USB PD 3.0, QC4+, and VOOC

Rockchip is better known for its application processors for TV boxes (RK3328), Chromebooks and other higher-end hardware (RK3399), AIoT applications (RK3566), and more, but the company has recently introduced the RK83x family with RK835 and RK837 chips designed for fast chargers compatible with USB PD 3.0 and/or Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ and BBK Electronics’ VOOC. RK835 Specifications MCU sub-system – Arm Cortex-M0 with 60KB flash, 1KB RAM USB PD 2.0/3.0 and PSS with TID number 4325 USB Type-C and Vconn power source Supports proprietary protocols 8-channel 10-bit, 500Hz converter speed ADC sensing voltage and 1-channel 10-bit current ADC All GPIOs can be configured as ADC input or edge triggering input DP/DM pins can be configured as UART, BC 1.2, or GPIO mode High-voltage endurance DP/DM and CC1/2 pins I2C interface with slave and master modes Low-power RC oscillator, 3 timers, one watchdog Discharge N-MOSFETs for VCC and VBUS Power – […]

RK3566 & RK3568 processors to get Linux mainline support soon

Rockchip RK3566 & RK3568 processors were just officially announced at the end of the year, and soon followed with announcements of related such as Core-3568J AI Core system-on-module, some Android 11 TV boxes, Station P2 mini PC, and RK3566/RK3568 development boards. But it did not take long, as RK3566/RK3568 are about the get support for mainline Linux, with engineers from Collabora and Rockchip having recently committed preliminary support for RK356x platforms, notably using Pine64 Quartz64 SBC for testing. The most recent commits target power management, networking, and the PCI host controller. It’s not clear when code will be merged to mainline, but Collabora said “Pine64 Quartz64 SBC out-of-the-box support is right around the corner” in a recent tweet. In any case, it’s good news there’s active development for mainline Linux on the new Rockchip processors, as that means it will be possible to run the latest version of Linux on […]

Rockchip RV1126 AI Camera SoC features 2.0 TOPS NPU, promises 250ms fast boot

The Rockchip Developer Conference that took place at the end of November 2020 allowed us to learn more about RK3588, RK3566, and RK3568 64-bit Arm processors for AIoT applications. But the company also presented additional details about camera SoC’s, namely the dual-core RV1109 and quad-core RV1126, equipped with a 1.2 TOPS and 2.0 TOPS respectively, and both capable of delivering a 250ms fast boot. Rockchip RV1109 and RV1126 share many of the same specifications: CPU RV1109 – Dual-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz + RISC-V MCU @ 400 MHz RV1126 – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz + RISC-V MCU @ 400 MHz GPU – 2D graphics engine NPU RV1109 – 1.2 TOPS with support for INT8/ INT16 RV1126 – 2.0 TOPS with support for INT8/ INT16 Memory – 32-bit DDR3/DDR3L/LPDDR2/LPDDR3/DDR4/LPDDR4 up to 4GB RAM Storage – eMMC 4.51, Serial SPI NOR Flash or NAND flash with fast booting support, […]