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Aaeon’s RK3288-powered Pico-ITX sells for $91

Feb 4, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 6925 views

Aaeon has launched a $91 “RICO-3288MINI” Pico-ITX SBC that runs Android or Debian on a Rockchip RK3288 with 2GB DDR3L, 16GB eMMC, 3x USB, GbE, and a 4K-ready HDMI port.

Commercial embedded vendors like Aaeon have long sold SBCs at a premium over similar maker-oriented hacker boards aimed at individual buyers with arguments such as better components or the stability of the vendor. Yet, in what may be a first, Aaeon has quietly introduced an under $100 Arm board that is at least marginally competitive in features with community backed entries.



RICO-3288MINI and detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Rockchip RK3288 based RICO-3288MINI is available in single units for only $91 with 2G DDR3L and 16GB eMMC compared to $80 (2GB/16GB) to $100 (4GB/32GB) for T-Firefly’s Firefly-RK3288 and $100 (2GB/16GB) for the Tinker Board S. These are the only two remaining RK3288 boards in our recently updated catalog of 150 Linux hacker boards.


Tinker Board S

It is perhaps only a coincidence that the Raspberry Pi-like Tinker Board S is made by Asus, an even larger commercial hardware vendor. Unlike that model, however, the RICO-3288MINI does not ship with open specifications and other community resources.

The RICO-3288MINI offers fewer features than its competitors, and let’s be honest: The quad-core, Cortex-A17 based RK3288 is no longer a hot ticket. There are far more competitors in our catalog that use the quad -A53 RK3328 and the hexa-core -A72 and -A53 RK3399.

The RICO-3288MINI is a budget, scaled-down alternative to Aaeon’s four year old RICO-3288 Pico-ITX board, which now sells for $142. Surprisingly, even Aaeon’s RK3399 powered RICO-3399 sells for a somewhat competitive $187 with 2GB LPDDR3 and 16GB eMMC, although like the new RICO-3288MINI, it is currently listed as out of stock.

Compared to the RICO-3288, the RICO-3288MINI lacks a microSD slot, mini-PCIe slot, and nano-SIM slot, and there are no options for WiFi/BT or GPS. Gone are the eDP and LVDS interfaces, and the HDMI port has been reduced to a still 4K ready HDMI 1.4. The RK3288 has been clocked down from 1.8GHz to 1.6GHz.

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Also missing is the serial port, optional CAN, and audio interfaces, and there is no extended temperature option. There are a few improvements, however. The stripped-down board weighs only 0.1 kg and you can now load Debian Linux with Linux Kernel 4.4 along with Android, which has been upgraded to version 9 (Pie).



RICO-3288MINI block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

By comparison, the Firefly-RK3288 and Tinker Board S both provide WiFi/BT and more expansion I/O, which is deployed via a Pi-like 40-pin connector on the Tinker Board S. Unlike either of the Aaeon models, you get MIPI-DSI and CSI, and the Tinker Board S provides two additional USB ports.

Specifications listed for the RICO-3288MINI include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 cores @ 1.6GHz); Mali-T764 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 2GB DDR3L RAM
    • 16GB eMMC flash
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • HDMI 1.4 port for up to 4Kx2K @ 60Hz
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • 8-bit GPIO
  • Other features – Watchdog; RTC with coincell battery
  • Power — 12V DC jack; RK808 PMIC; optional 60W adapter
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Weight — 0.1 k
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Operating system — Android 9.0 or Debian Linux (Kernel 4.4)

 
Further information

The RICO-3288MINI is newly listed at $91 but is currently out of stock. More information may be found on Aaeon’s product and shopping pages.
 

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One response to “Aaeon’s RK3288-powered Pico-ITX sells for $91”

  1. Fh says:

    Would be great to know if maybe the flash memory is better quality.

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