Tag Archives: RK3399

NanoPC-T4 – A High-Performance Low Cost Single Board Computer Powered By RK3399

FriendlyElec recently released a pretty exciting hacker board which is super cheap, considering the features of the board and the price it is being sold for. The Single Board Computer (SBC) is based on Rockchip RK3399; a low power, high-performance processor. The board which is called Nano PC – T4 can be regarded as the smallest rock chip based board as it measures 100mm by 64m as compared to other RK3399 SBCs. It is different from other Nano Pi, and Nano PC SBCs produced by FriendlyElec because previous boards run on Samsung of Allwinner System on Chips (SOCs).

NanoPC-T4

The board comes with a default 4GB RAM and a whopping 16G eMMC (embedded Multi Media Card). It also works with Android 7.1 which can be exchanged for the full fledged Lubuntu Desktop version of Ubuntu. Nano PC – T4 uses the same system-on-a-chip (SoC) as Samsung’s Chromebook Plus but at a lesser price. Other features are 16 GB storage onboard bundled with a heatsink, radio antennas, a power adapter, and an acrylic case. The RK3399 SoC supplies two Cortex-A72 cores that are clocked at up to 2.0GHz, and an additional four Cortex-A53 cores clocked to 1.5GHz. There’s also a high-end ARM Mali-T864 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) included into the device.

The board comes with an M.2 2280 connector, which allows high-speed PCIe SSDs to be used, the M.2 connector supports PCI Express 2.1, that has been wired for x4, making it possible to get I/O speeds at a very fast speed. On the other end, we have the Firefly-RK3399, which is being sold for $149 with a 2GB RAM or $209 with a 4GB RAM. Another board is the Orange Pi which goes for $109 and has a 2GB RAM. Unlike the expensive Orange Pi RK3399, the NanoPC-T4 gives a wider 0 to 80℃ temperature range, ADC interfaces, DDR4 instead of DDR3 RAM, and twice the amount of RAM for the oversight configuration.

Below are some of the device’s specifications:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM (dual-channel)
    • 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash
    • MicroSD slot
    • Optional NVME SSD via M.2 M-Key (see expansion section below)
  • Media:
    • HDMI 2.0a port (with audio and HDCP 1.4/2.2) for up to 4K at 60Hz
    • DisplayPort 1.2 (via USB Type-C)
    • MIPI-DSI (4-lane)
    • eDP 1.3
    • 2x, 4-lane MIPI-CSI (up to 13MP) with dual ISP support
    • 3.5mm analog audio I/O jack
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-band
    • Bluetooth 4.1 dual mode
    • Dual antennas
    • IR receiver
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 3.0 Type-C port (can be used for DP)
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Serial debug UART
    • 3x ADC (1.8V)
    • 12V cooling fan interface with PWM
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin RPi compatible expansion header
    • M.2 M-Key slot with PCIe 2.1, dual operation mode, and M3 PCB nut for mounting M.2 2280
  • Other features — RTC; power, reset, recovery, boot buttons; LEDs; heatsink; acrylic case
  • Power — 12V/2A DC input jack and adapter; PMIC
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 80℃
  • Weight — 63 gm
  • Dimensions — 100 x 64mm; 10-layer PCB
  • Operating system — Android 7.1.2; Lubuntu Desktop 16.04

One major taking point for the NanoPC-T4 is the availability of two MIPI-CSI x2 making it a dual camera interface platform. This simultaneous dual camera data support is going to make the device ideal for VR and AR applications. The NanoPC-T4 has four high-performance display interfaces (DP 1.2 @60fps, HDMI 2.0,  MIPI-DSI @60fps, and eDP 1.3) on a small board and supports dual display output.

Despite the fact that the board does not have an HDMI input port or even built-in sensors, the Nano PC – T4 has a wide range of applications, some of them are advertisement machines, game machines, video conferencing, clusters, surveillance and many more. It also supports certain advanced features such as native GbE and a dual purpose USB Type C port serves as the display port.

The NanoPC-T4 is available for purchase online at a discounted price of $129 and can be bought on the product page here. The board purchase comes in a complete package. Below are some of the items present in the item package:

  • NanoPC-T4
  • Customized Heat Sink (With Screws)
  • 2x Dual-Band antenna
  • 12V 2A Universal Power Adapter
  • Acrylic case For NanoPC-T3 Plus/T4 (with Screws)

OpenEmbed Releases em3399 Rockchip RK3399 SoM plus an Evaluation Kit

The RK3399 processor from Rockchip has seen adoption in some boards in recent times. The Rockchip RK3399 processor has been deployed on boards like the Odroid-N1 board, Firefly’s Firefly-RK3399, the Theobroma RK3399-Q7 SoM, and more recently the Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi RK3399.

The RK3399 is a low power, a high-performance processor for computing, personal mobile internet devices, and other smart device applications. Based on Big Little architecture, it integrates dual-core Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53 with a separate NEON coprocessor and also a Mali T860 MP4 GPU all in one single package. It is the processor to beat and due to its display capabilities has made it seen applications in TV Boxes especially in China.

em3399 SoM

If you are still on the lookout for a system-on-module based on Rockchip RK3399, then another SoM to put for consideration is the OpenEmbed em3399. OpenEmbed has launched their first system-on-module referred to as the em3399 SoM board and even comes with an optional “emPAC-RK3399-EVB” evaluation board.

The em3399 SoM supports 2GB to 4GB DDR3L RAM and 16GB to 128GB eMMC 5.1. It provides support for HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, MIPI-DSI (dual-channel) and eDP 1.3 display interfaces. It comes with a 2x MIPI-CSI camera interface, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, USB type C, USB 2.0, SPi, i2C, GPIO and several others.

The following are some of the specifications of the OpenEmbed em3399:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 cores, 4x Cortex-A53 cores, and an Arm Mali-T860MP4 GPU
  • System Memory –  2GB or 4GB DDR3L RAM
  • Storage – 16GB to 128GB eMMC 5.1 flash
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet transceiver (Atheros AR8033)
  • Power Management – Rockchip RK808D PMIC
  • 2x 120-pin board-to-board connectors (0.8mm pitch)
    • Camera – 2x MIPI-CSI (up to 13MP or dual 8MP); VOP (up to 5MP)
    • Audio – S/PDIF output, 8-channel I2S, HDMI and DP
    • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
    • USB – 2x USB 3.0 host ports or 2x USB type C, 2x USB 2.0 host
    • 1x PCI-e x1
    • 5x SPI, 8x I2C, 100+ GPIOs
  •  Display:
    • HDMI 2.0 port with audio for up to 4K @ 60Hz
    • DisplayPort 1.2 with audio for up to 4K @ 60Hz
    • MIPI-DSI (dual-channel) at up to 2560×1600 @ 60 Hz
    • eDP 1.3 (4-lane)
  • Dimensions – 84 x 55 mm
emPAC-RK3399-EVB development board

The emPAC-RK3399-EVB evaluation board has the same footprint as the em3399 SoM and stacks on top of the module via a dual 120-pin connector. The em3399 SoM is layered between the carrier board on top and also a heatsink on the bottom.

The emPAC-RK3399-EVB development board extends the em3399 with single a Gigabyte Ethernet port, USB 3.0, and USB Type-C ports, as well as dual USB 2.0 ports. It also extends out the HDMI 2.0 port, an audio jack, and MIPI-CSI and eDP connectors. A Wireless WiFi/Bluetooth module is available, and 20 GPIO pins have been extended out as well.

The following are the specification of the emPAC-RK3399-EVB:

  • 2x 120-pin board-to-board connectors for em3399 CPU module
  • Display – HDMI 2.0a port, eDP connector, DisplayPort via USB type C port (TBC)
  • Audio – Via HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack (mic + stereo audio)
  • Camera – 1x CSI connector
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi & Bluetooth module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB type C port
  • Expansion – 20-pin GPIO/Debug header with GPIOs, UART, 3.3V, 3.3V, 1.8V, GND
  • Misc – Power, Recovery and reset buttons; 5V power LED; 2-pin RTC battery header
  • Power Supply – 12V DC via power barrel jack
  • Dimensions – 84 x 55 mm

The company provides support for Android 7.1 and a Linux distribution with an Ubuntu Core still under development. You can purchase the SoM and the evaluation board on the OpenEmbed’s Taobao page for respectively 650 CNY ($102.50) or 899 CNY (~$142 US) for the 2GB/16GB configuration and 950 CNY ($151) or 1,199 CNY ($189) or for the 4GB/32GB models.