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Dev boards showcase Rockchip’s new RK3568 and RK3566

Feb 11, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 1516 views

Geniatech’s “RK3568 Development Board” runs Android or Linux on Rockchip’s new quad -A55 RK3568, featuring SATA III and M.2 with PCIe 3.0. There is also a similar board based on the slightly lower-spec RK3566.

Rockchip’s premiere system-on-chip launch for 2021 will be the octa-core -A76 and -A55, NPU-equipped Rockchip RK3588, due in Q3, which we covered at the end of the intro to our catalog of 150 Linux hacker boards. Yet, perhaps even more embedded Linux systems will tap two other new quad-core, Cortex-A55 Rockchip SoCs: the RK3568 and slightly stripped down RK3566. First to show its cards is Geniatech, which has posted product pages for a pair of SBCs that tap the new NPU-equipped SoCs.



RK3568 Development Board
(click image to enlarge)

No pricing or ship date was listed by Geniatech for the RK3568 Development Board and apparently identical RK3566 Development Board, but product pages and images have been posted. Highlights for the RK3568 model include SATA 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 interfaces. Android 11.0 and Linux (Buildroot/Debian/Yocto) will be available.

 
Rockchip RK3566 and RK3568

The Geniatech pages were brought to light by CNXSoft, which previously posted a comparison of the two SoCs. As noted in the story, last month Pine64 revealed it is working on a Quartz64 SBC based on the RK3566 due in a developers version in Q1 or Q2. Highlights will include 4GB to 8GB RAM, multiple USB 3.0 host and Type-C ports, and 4x PCIe (likely PCIe x4). The Quartz64 will also offer eDP, MIPI-DSI, 40-pin GPIO, and an E-ink panel for an optional 10-inch display. We also noticed that Vamrs’ 96Rocks community site has an informational page on the RK3568, suggesting that an SBC is in the making.

Unlike the 8nm, octa-core Rockchip RK3588, the RK3566 and RK3568 are 22nm fabricated SoCs. They join several Amlogic quad-core, Cortex-A55 SoCs: the Amlogic S905X3 on the Banana Pi BPI-M5 and Odroid-C4 and the Amlogic S905D3-N0N on the Khadas Vim3L. Like the Amlogic SoCs, the new Rockchips can clock up to 2.0GHz.



Rockchip RK3568 and RK3566 block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

The Rockchip RK3566 and RK3568 are further equipped with a Mali-G52 EE GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1 to 3.2, Vulkan 1.1, and OpenGL 2.0. The SoCs offer an 8MP ISP with HDR support. There is support for 4Kp60 decode and 1080p60 encode.

The SoCs integrate a modest, 0.8-TOPS NPU, compared to 6-TOPS on the RK3588. This up to 800MHz RK NN accelerator supports 512x INT8 MAC and 128x INT16/FP16/BFP16 MAC AI processing.

Aside from the inclusion of the NPU, the main advantages over the Amlogic SoCs is with the somewhat more advanced I/O. This is especially true of the RK3568, which offers support for triple independent displays, dual GbE native controllers, PCIe 3.0 x2 lane (or 2x 1-lane), and PCIe 2.1 x1. By comparison, the RK3566 is limited to dual displays, a single GbE port, and PCIe 2.1 x1. The difference in PCIe support is perhaps why the two very similar SoCs are not pin compatible.

Other RK3568 differences with the RK3566 include additional support for ECC RAM. The RK3568 also adds 3x CAN FD interfaces and 8x vs. 2x SAR ADC (SAR for “successive approximation register”) lanes. In addition, the USB OTG interface is 3.0 instead of 2.0.

Both models support SATA III, a feature that is still missing on many Arm SoCs. The SoCs use a SerDes Multi-PHY interface, which means that certain I/Os such as PCIe, USB 3.0, SATA, and QSGMII cannot be used at the same time.

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RK3568 and RK3566 Development Boards

The RK3568 and RK3566 Development Boards follow earlier Geniatech Rockchip based SBCs such as the RK3399-based DB3399. Like most Geniatech products, the latest entries are commercial boards with limited and sometimes confusing documentation. For example, there is no mention of the clearly visible USB Type-C port.



RK3566 Development Board, which looks the same as the RK3568 model
(click image to enlarge)

The images and specs for the two boards appear to be identical. Presumably, then, the RK3566 specs are incorrect in claiming PCIe 3.0 support when unlike the RK3568, the SoC is limited to PCIe 2.1. Other ambiguities include mention of “40-pin-XPI” in a promo blurb that does not appear on the spec sheet.

Geniatech makes no mention of multi-display capabilities on either product page, but the RK3568 probably supports triple simultaneous displays while the RK3566 supports dual. Like many boards from the set-top and NVR focused Geniatech, you get an HDMI input in addition to an output. There is also an RF tuner.

Although there is only a single GbE port, which offers optional PoE, Geniatech claims support for dual Gigabit transfer rates via a RGMII0/RGMII1 configuration, as well as support for “dual network segment Internet.” This probably only applies to the RK3568 model. In addition to the storage-focused M.2 slot, which provides PCIe 3.0 on the RK3568 board, there is a presumably PCIe-driven “GTIoT” (probably “Geniatech IoT”) expansion slot for various wireless technologies including LoRa and LTE.

Highlights include SATA III, a dual mic array, MIPI-CSI, and WiFi-ac/BT with optional 802.11ax. The 12V board also has an RTC and watchdog.

Specifications listed for the RK3568 and RK3566 Development Boards
include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3568 or RK3566 (4x Cortex-A55 @ up to 2.0GHz; Mali-G52 GPU; 0.8-TOPS NPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • Up to 4GB LPDDR4
    • Up to 128GB eMMC 5.1
    • MicroSD slot up to 512GB (possibly 2x slots)
    • SATA III interface
    • Storage available via M.2 (see expansion below)
  • Networking:
    • GbE port with optional PoE; supports double GbE rate (probably only on RK3568 model)
    • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (or optional 802.11ax) with Bluetooth 5.0
    • RF tuner input with ATSC (optional DVB-T/DVB-T2/ISDB-T/DMBT)
    • GTIoT interface for Z-Wave, ZigBee, LoRa, GPS, WiFi, BT 5.0, or LTE
    • Possible cellular/wireless available via M.2 (see expansion)
    • 2x antenna mounts
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.1 out port @ up to 4096 x [email protected]
    • HDMI in port @ up to 4096 x [email protected]
    • eDP 1.3
    • Dual-channel, 24-bit LVDS via MIPI-DSI
    • Probable triple (RK3568) or dual (RK3566) independent display support
    • Optional displays
    • 4-lane MIPI-CSI
    • Dual mic matrix with noise reduction
    • SPDIF audio
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • USB Type-C port
    • USB 2.0 4-pin header
    • 2x 2-wire UART
    • 2-wire UART debug
    • 40-pin-XPI
    • 12x GPIO, including 1x PWM
  • Expansion — M.2 slot with PCIe 3.0 and storage support (possibly wireless)
  • Other features — RTC with coin cell holder; watchdog
  • Power — 12V/2A input jack
  • Operating system — Android 11 or Linux (Buildroot/Debian/Yocto)

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the RK3568 Development Board and RK3566 Development Board. More information may be found in Geniatech’s RK3568 Development Board and RK3568 Development Board product pages.
 

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One response to “Dev boards showcase Rockchip’s new RK3568 and RK3566”

  1. bomechewer says:

    All these improvements but still only 4GB maximum RAM?! Sigh.
    ..

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