Rock960 Model C board – A Cheaper Version of its Predecessor at only $69

Rock960 Model C board – A Cheaper Version of its Predecessor at only $69

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VAMRS has designed a new version of their board with the launch of the Rock960 model C, that is much cheaper than the early Rockchip RK3399 Rock960 board and still compliant to 96Board’s specifications without losing out in performance.

In comparison with last year prices, 96Boards compliant Rock960 board was sold for $99 and up. It had these main features: Rockchip RK3399 processor, up to 4GB RAM, up to 32GB eMMC flash. But now the prices have drastically been cut down to about $69 after much intimidation from the cheaper FriendlyElec NanoPi NEO4 board.

Rock960 Model C
Rock960 Model C

Rock960 model C is equipped with 1, 2 or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, and the OS can boot from a micro SD card or an optional eMMC flash module. A good temptation might be to compare to the cheaper FriendlyElec NanoPi NEO4 board, although they offer similar specifications, the NanoPi NEO4 board is only available in a 1GB RAM alone. Also, it doesn’t have its own inbuilt storage, so microSD card is a must for running the OS.

Rock960 model C specifications:

  • Dimensions: 85 x 54mm
  • Weight: 120grams
  • SoC – Rochchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores up to 1.8/2.0 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ 1.4 GHz, and an Arm Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1 to 3.2, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL 1.2 and DX 11 support
  • RAM / System Memory: Available in 1, 2 or 4GB LPDDR4
  • Storage memory: micro SD card and eMMC flash socket.
  • Video Output: 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4K@60 Hz with CEC and HDCP
  • 6 LEDS
  • Power Supply: 12 V input
  • Connectivity:
    • WiFi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO up to 867 Mbps up to 200 Mbps,
    • Bluetooth 4.2 LE with two onboard antennas, two u.FL antenna connectors
    • USB: 1x USB 2.0 type-C port, that is host only & 2x USB 3.0 ports, these are one OTG and one host only
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin low-speed expansion: UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO, I2S
    • 60-pin high-speed expansion: MIPI DSI, USB, MIPI CSI, HSIC, SDIO
    • 2 key M PCIe connector (max bandwidth: 2.0 GB)

Other changes, which have been made into new models are related to connectivity, memory, storage, USB ports. In connectivity, 2×2 MIMO has been downgraded. Type C USB ports are also replaced with USB 2.0. While USB 2.0 type-A port is upgraded to a USB 3.0 port. Thermal adaptations are also much better; a heatsink covers the bottom of the board. That provides a better cooling solution.

Rock960 Model C
Model Comparison

Packaging list:

  1. ROCK960 model C board
  2. 12V/2A Power adapter
  3. Acrylic case Heatsink with glue screws

The boards are available for purchase online from SeedStudio and directly from VARMS store. 1 GB model is now available for $69, while the subsequent models for 2 GB RAM have a price tag of $79, while the 4 GB of $99.

The new board can run AOSP, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, LibreELEC, Lakka or FlintOS, and all documentation for Rock960 model C can be found on 96boards website, where they also refer to the board as Rock960c.

Hi, I'm software, a hardware guy, and a technical writer. Have had a stint with the EdTech industries, but mostly interested in the space of deploying AI for edge computing. Otherwise, I am writing or coding about some technology pieces covering IoT, GPU computing, LoraWAN, PCB, Machine Learning, Precision Agriculture, Open Electronics, and related fields. Got a tip, freebies, launch, gig or leak? Contact me on Twitter, or via email: charlesayibiowuAThotmail.com. I don't bite.

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