Tom's Hardware

2022-09-10 13:46:01 By : Mr. Vincent Xu

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16GB of RAM on offer

The powerful eight-core Rockchip RK3588S processor is usually found at the larger end of the single-board computer spectrum, but Radxa has today announced, as first reported by CNX Software, that it will be incorporating the chip in a board that’s the size of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. And it comes with as much as 16GB of RAM, too.

Dubbed the Radxa CM5, the tiny board crams in a lot of functionality, and has a third high-density connector underneath. Along with the mighty CPU, which pairs four Arm Cortex A76 cores with four Cortex A55s, a 6 TOPS NPU, and a Mali G610 Odin GPU, you get a choice of 4GB, 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM. There's up to 128GB of eMMC flash on board too.

Most interesting is the presence of two PCIe interfaces, both single lane and hitting the Gen 2.1 spec, which sees data transferred at 5Gbps. This is complemented by gigabit Ethernet (without a PHY), USB 2, USB 3 and some SATA interfaces which share bandwidth with the USB and PCIe systems. Being a compute module, all these ports are dependent on being broken out by a larger carrier board of some type. Its form factor and pinout are said to be compatible with the Compute Module 4, meaning it could be used as a drop-in replacement.

Video support comes in the form of an HDMI 2.1 that’s capable of pushing 8K at 60 frames per second and there's an eDP that shares its bandwidth. Other screens can be connected via MIPI, as can cameras, with both a two-lane and four-lane camera interface available. If your thirst for peripherals is still not quenched, there are GPIO pins, UART, I2C, PCM and up to eight PWM channels. What it seems to lack, however, is any sort of wireless connections, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, limiting its usefulness.

Software support comes in the form of Ubuntu, Debian, Android, Yocto and Buildroot. We don’t have any pricing or sales information yet, but Radxa says the board will be available for ten years. A SODIMM form factor is also expected, for compatibility with NVIDIA Jetson, TX2 and Xavier boards.

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

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