Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and …

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ROCK Pi SATA HAT Targets ROCK Pi 4 & Raspberry Pi 4 NAS

Raxda ROCK Pi 4 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. The company has now designed ROCK Pi SATA HAT expansion board to design 4-bay NAS based on Raspberry Pi 4 and ROCK Pi 4. There are 3 models with support for 2, 4 or 5 drives: Dual/Quad SATA HAT connected over two USB 3.0 ports and working with both boards Penta SATA HAT connected over PCIe and compatible with ROCK Pi 4 only ROCK Pi Dual/Quad SATA HAT Specifications: 2x or 4x SATA connectors supporting 2.5″ or/and 3.5″ HDD/SSD 2x USB 3.0 port to connect to RPi 4 via one or two JMS561  USB to SATA controllers Storage Features – HDD suspend mode, UASP, software RAID 0/1/5 Misc Fan and heatsink header for Raspberry Pi 4 CPU cooling Optional PWM control fan for HDD heat dispatching Optional OLED display for IP Address/Storage info Power Supply 1x …

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ROCK PI N10 RK3399Pro SBC Sells for $99 and up

Rock Pi N10 RK3399Pro SBC

Rockchip RK3399Pro processor is based on the popular Rockchip RK3399Pro hexa-core Arm Cortex-A72/A53 processor plus an embedded neural processing unit (NPU) delivering up to 3 TOPS for AI acceleration. So far you had to spend over $200 to get either Toybrick RK3399Pro board or 96Boards RK3399Pro development kit to get started with the processor. Some other companies announced their own RK3399Pro SBC such as Pine64  RockPro64-AI, or Khadas Edge board, but those are not available yet. But there’s now a more affordable Rockchip RK3399Pro SBC courtesy of Radxa’s  Rock Pi N10 available on Seeed Studio in three variants: $99 model A with 4GB RAM (3GB for CPU/GPU + 1GB for NPU), 16GB eMMC flash $129 model B with 6GB RAM (4GB for CPU/GPU + 2GB for NPU), 32GB eMMC flash $169 model C with 8GB RAM (4GB for CPU/GPU + 4GB for NPU), 64GB eMMC flash Rock Pi N10 specifications: SoC – Rochchip RK3399Pro hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 2x Cortex …

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Rock Pi S mini SBC Now Available for $15 with 512MB RAM, 512MB SD NAND Flash, WiFi & Bluetooth

Rock Pi S SBC

Rock Pi S is a tiny single board computer powered by Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor coupled with up to 512MB RAM, up to 1GB SD NAND flash, as well as a USB port, Fast Ethernet & optional WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity which was announced to sell for as low as $9.90 with 256MB RAM, 256MB flash and no wireless module. Seeed Studio has now started to take pre-orders for Rock Pi S with the board selling for $14.90 with 512 MB RAM, 512MB SD NAND flash, WiFi & Bluetooth. Shipping is scheduled to start on October 15th. [Update: Seeed Studio has also listed the 256MB RAM version of the board for $9.90] Rock Pi S specifications as currently sold on Seeed Studio: SoC – Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ up to 1.3 GHz with built-in VAD (Voice Activity Detector) System Memory – 512MB RAM Storage – MicroSD card for OS storage media, 4-Gbit onboard SD NAND storage …

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ecoPI STARTER is a Cute Mini PC Kit Based on Rock Pi 4 SBC with Optional M.2 NVMe SSD

ecoPI STARTER mini PC M.2 NVMe SSD

Rock Pi 4 is an affordable single board computer inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, but equipped with a more powerful Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, and selling for around $80 with 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac + Bluetotoh 5.0 wireless module. I’ve just come across ecoPI STARTER mini PC kit for the board with an aluminum case that can also fit an M.2 extension board to add an M.2 NVMe SSD card. The kit comes with an aluminum housing, an acrylic cover, some screws, bolts and silicon feet, and short ribbon cables for M.2 card. The acrylic cover is designed to let the WiFi & Bluetooth signal go through, but I’m not so confident the case won’t cause issue with WiFi. It’s currently sold for $16.50 on Aliexpress. You’ll also need to get Rock Pi 4A or 4B for $40 and up, M.2 Extension board ($8.39), heatsink ($8.39), and your own SSD and power supply. The video below …

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Rock Pi 4C SBC to Support Dual Display Setups via micro HDMI and mini DP Ports

rock pi 4 model C

Rockchip RK3399 powered Rock Pi 4 SBC was introduced at the end of 2018 and followed nearly exactly Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor just with a more powerful processor, GPU, as well as more memory depending on which model you purchase. But in June 2019, the Raspberry Pi foundation launched Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with a much faster processor and many of the same ports as its predecessor except for support for two HDMI displays via micro HDMI ports. Radxa has now followed suit with Rock Pi 4C which offers two modern video outputs, but with a twist as the upcoming SBC combines one micro HDMI port with one mini DP port. Rock Pi 4C was introduced at the XDC 2019 conference where open-source graphics developers meet, and Radxa was a “supporter”. The company explains Rock Pi 4B uses RK3399’s USB type-C controller for the two USB 3.0 ports, and as a result, they only have 2 remaining …

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Rock Pi X Intel Cherry Trail Board to Sell for as low as $39

Rock Pi X 1.0

Most low cost (sub $100) single board computers are based on Arm processors because Intel processors are normally more expensive, but there are some exceptions with AAEON Up Board and Atomic Pi both powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor and selling for $99 and $35 respectively. The former follows Raspberry Pi form factor and is easy to use, but the latter requires some more work to wire power supply unless you buy an extra baseboard. There should however soon be a third option for low-cost Intel SBCs with Radxa Rock Pi X board powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail processor and is expected to sell for as little as $39. Rock Pi X just showed up in Hackerboards database, and there will be two models, namely Rock Pi X model A and Rock Pi X model B with the following specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad-core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.84 GHz (Turbo) …

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Rock Pi 4 SBC Runs GNOME & KDE Plasma using Panfrost Open Source GPU Driver & Wayland

RK3399 Panfrost GNOME

One of the highlights of Linux 5.2 release was support for two new Arm Mali GPU open-source drivers, namely Lima for Mali-4xx GPU, and Panfrost for the Midgard Mali-T6xx/7xx/8xx series, and the more recent Bifrost Mali-Gxx GPUs. Collabora worked on the release and was donated a few Rock Pi 4 boards from Radxa directly to work on the project. For those who are not familiar, Rock Pi 4 board is powered by a Rockchip RK3399 processor with a Mali-T860MP4 GPU that is supported by Panfrost open source GPU driver. The company managed to have Debian 10 Buster running on Rock Pi 4 using 3D graphics acceleration thanks to Panfrost drivers on both GNOME and KDE Plasma desktop environment, as well as Weston Wayland compositer. The good news is that you can build Rock Pi 4 images by yourself using Debos with the following commands: Alternatively, you could directly download pre-built images directly with Weston and Panfrost. You can login with …

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