TB-RK1808M0 features Rockchip RK1808K SoC equipped with 3.0 TOPS AI Accelerator

TB-RK1808M0 features Rockchip RK1808K SoC equipped with 3.0 TOPS AI Accelerator

Since the Rockchip RK1808 SoC series was released about three years ago, this is the first time we will see the chip being used in the mPCIe form factor, despite always finding its way into several single-board computers. Toybrick TB-RK1808M0 offers a more recent version of the Rockchip RK1808 SoC (RK1808K) with 1GB RAM, and 8 GB eMMC flash in a mini PCIe form factor.

Being the first from the company to be fully dedicated to artificial intelligence applications, the RK1808 SoC series features an NPU with an accelerator delivering up to 3.0 TOPS, a dual-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor which allows it to run Linux, 1GB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash.

The RK1808K happens to be almost similar to the RK1808, except that it is qualified to operate with a much wider temperature range. Check the road map here to get an insight into the Rockchip processor history

The mini PCIe module does not seem to follow a standard footprint pinout, so it may not be possible to use it in a mini PCIe socket from any board. Carrier boards with USB or PCIe x1 were made available instead.

Features and Specifications of the Toybrick TB-RK1808M0 Include:

  • CPU: Rockchip RK1808K Dual-core Cortex-A35 processor running at up to 1.4 GHz
  • AI Accelerator: 3.0 TOPS NPU for INT8 inference (300 GOPs for INT16, 100 GFLOPs for FP16), Support for TensorFlow, Caffe, ONNX and Darknet models.
  • VPU: 1080@60 H.264 decode, 1080@30 H.264 encode
  • 1GB of DDR system memory
  • 8GB eMMC flash
  • Mini PCIe edge connector with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, UART and GPIO
  • Heatsink for cooling
  • Power supply input: 3.3 V @ 1 A
  • Dimensions: 51 mm x 30 mm
  • PCB: 8-layer board design, gold deposition process
  • Temperature range: -20°C to 85°C
  • Software: Debian 10

Compared with similar boards like the Google Coral development board which sells for around the same price but comes equipped with a MediaTek MT8167S quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 SoC, double the size of the RAM, and with 4 TOPS Google Edge TPU, one would realize that the Toybrick TB-RK1808M0 is really not a tough match for them, but, it can serve as a really good alternative particularly now when the Google board seems not to be available checking through from all known vendors.

The mini PCIe module also comes preinstalled with optimized Debian 10 and other system software libraries required for AI development such as RKNN, MPP, and RGA.

Further details on the TB-RK1808M0 board can be found on AliExpress where it currently sells for $93 or for $128 if you are buying it with either a mini PCIe to USB 3.0 or mini PCIe to PCIe carrier board (shipping included). You would also find other useful resources like the hardware files and Linux images here.

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About Emmanuel Odunlade

Hardware Design Engineer | #IoT Consultant |All things #ML | Entrepreneur | Serial Writer | Passionate about Innovation and technology as tools for solving problems in developing countries. Spare time is spent around writing and advocacy for the growth of the Maker/DIY Culture in Africa.

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