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Radxa ROCK 3B: Fusion of Pico-ITX and Raspberry Pi Form Factors

Radxa has released the ROCK 3B, a “PI-CO ITX” single-board computer (SBC) that combines the benefits of Pico-ITX and Raspberry Pi form factors. The board, measuring 100x72mm, features all main ports on the rear side and supports expansion through a 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO header and several M.2 sockets for storage and wireless modules. The ROCK 3B is the larger brother of the ROCK 3A, a business card-sized SBC introduced in 2021. Both boards are powered by the Rockchip RK3568 SoC and support up to 8GB LPDDR4. The ROCK 3B features two gigabit Ethernet ports, an M.2 B Key socket for 4G LTE/5G cellular modules, an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x1 socket for an M.2 2280 SSD, and an M.2 Key-E socket for WiFi 6.

The specifications of the ROCK 3B include:

  • SoC: Rockchip RK3568 (J)
    • CPU: Quad-core Cortex A55 processor at up to 2.0 GHz
    • GPU: Mali G52 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1
    • VPU: 4Kp60 H.264/H.265/VP9 video decoder, 1080p60 H.264/H.265 video encoder
    • AI accelerator: 1 TOPS NPU; INT8/INT16/FP16/BFP16 MAC hybrid operation; support for TensorFlow, TF-lite, Pytorch, Caffe, ONNX, MXNet, Keras, Darknet
  • System Memory: 2GB, 4GB, 8GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: Pluggable eMMC module, MicroSD card slot, M.2 M key socket for NVMe with PCIe 3.0 x2
  • Video Output: HDMI 2.0 port up to 4Kp60, 2x MIPI DSI connectors (4-lane and 2-lane), eDP connector, Touch Panel connector
  • Camera: 1x MIPI CSI connector
  • Audio: 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI
  • Connectivity: 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi 6 via M.2 E key socket with PCIe 2.0 x1/SDIO/UART, 4G LTE/5G cellular via M.2 B key 3042 socket with PCIe, SATA, USB interfaces, and a SIM card socket
  • USB: 2x USB 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports (1x OTG+1x HOST)
  • Expansion: Color-coded 40-pin GPIO header mostly compatible with ROCK Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 3/4, exposing 5x UART, 1x SPI, 2x I2C, 1x PCM/I2S, 1x CAN bus, 6x PWM, 1x ADC, 6x GPIO, 1x USB 2.0, and 5V, 3.3V, and GND power signals
  • Misc: RTC with connector for backup battery, IR receiver, RGB LED, Fan header, Power and recovery buttons
  • Power Supply: 6V to 20V DC via USB-C port with USB PD 2.0, QC 3.0, or fixed voltage support, 5V via GPIO pin 2 or 4
  • Dimensions: 100 x 75 mm (Pico-ITX and PI-CO ITX form factors)
  • Certifications: CE/FCC

The Rock 3B was first unveiled in 2021 with a slightly different design, which was modified based on user feedback. The board is now available for purchase, with prices starting at $45 for the 2GB RAM version, $55 for the 4GB RAM version, and $75 for the 8GB RAM version on Arace Tech. However, it may be challenging to find compatible accessories as the website’s accessories section is not clear, and some accessories are missing.

Source: CNX Software – Embedded Systems News.