Banana Pi presented its first engineering samples of a Rockchip RK3588 SoM (system on module) with up to 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash memory, as well as a development kit with dual Ethernet, three HDMI ports, SATA interfaces, PCIe interface, etc.
The Rockchip RK3588 octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor is the company’s most powerful, both in terms of CPU and GPU power, but also with a wide range of high-speed interfaces, and will be found in the next single Radxa ROCK5 board computer and a yet to be announced card from Pine64.
- SoC – Octa-core Rockchip RK3588 processor with four 2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 cores, four 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55 cores, Arm Mali G610MC4 GPU, 6 TOPS NPU, 8K 10-bit decoder, encoder 8K
- System memory – 2 GB, 4 GB or 8 GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB eMMC flash
- 313-pin SO-DIMM edge connector for I/O including PCI 3.0, SATA 3.0, USB 3.1, etc.
- Power Management – On-Module PMIC
- Dimensions – 82.8 x 63mm
Assuming all the components are on top of the module, that means it only includes the CPU, memory, storage, and power management circuitry, and all other functionality would be implemented on one board carrier via the edge connector.
An example of this is the RK3588_MB “motherboard” with two Ethernet ports, two SATA 3.0 ports plus a power connector, three HDMI ports as with two video outputs and one video input, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, 1x USB-C type, a MicroSD card slot, MIPI CSI/DSI interfaces and a horizontal PCIe slot placed on the side of the board. I can also see what the WiFi + Bluetooth module looks like plus three u.FL antenna connectors and a power connector for 12V/1A power.
Banana Pi will provide Android 12.0 and Linux BSPs for the RK3588 SoM and SDK, and the module should eventually be found in Arm-based mini PCs, high-end tablets, edge computing servers, reality headsets virtual reality, network video recorders (NVR), 8K TV boxes and digital signage, and more.
You’ll have to be patient as Banana Pi says while the hardware samples are ready, they’ve just started working on the BSP. From what I’ve been told (and can see with my own eyes), Rockchip RK3588 is an incredibly complex CPU, so it’ll be a while before the software is ready, and Q4 2022 is probably a reasonable goal to have the most important features implemented. Once everything is working, the Rockchip RK3588 rigs should be more than twice as fast as the Amlogic S922X/A311D boards, and the difference will be even more stark with graphics-intensive workloads.