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Dual LAN SBC with RK3328 starts at $24

Jul 17, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 3778 views

Radxa’s open-spec, $24-and-up “Rock Pi E” SBC runs Linux on a quad -A53 RK3328 with up to 2GB RAM, microSD, eMMC, USB 3.0, 40-pin GPIO, optional WiFi/BT, and 10/100 and GbE LAN ports with optional PoE.

Last October while researching Radxa’s Rock Pi 4C, we noticed a preliminary page for a Rock Pi E SBC with dual LAN ports that runs Linux on a quad-core, Cortex-A53 Rockchip RK3328. Radxa has finally released the compact, 65 x 56mm networking board, a big sister to Radxa’s even smaller, quad -A35 RK3308-based Rock Pi S. The Rock Pi E provides both 10/100Mbps and PoE-ready GbE ports instead of 10/100 only. It swaps out a 26-pin GPIO for 40-pin and boosts the USB port to USB 3.0.



Rock Pi E D8W2P (left) and D4W1P
(click images to enlarge)

Seeed has launched three Rock Pi E SKUs with the following added features. (Note that the PoE models require a $21 Raspberry Pi PoE HAT):

  • Rock Pi E D4W1P — $24 — 512MB DDR3, 2.4GHz 802.11n/BT, PoE
  • Rock Pi E D8W2 — $26 — 1GB DDR3, 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac/BT
  • Rock Pi E D8W2P — $28 — 1GB DDR3, 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac/BT, PoE

AllNetChina has a shopping page with numerous options starting at $19 with 512MB and no extras, but none are currently available. The page lists four RAM allotments — 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB — each of which mix and match three different add-ons: 802.11n/BT 4.2, 802.11ac/BT4.2, and PoE. Some are sold out and others are listed as unavailable.

A chart on the Radxa wiki suggests that some of these configurations will never become available. For example, the chart indicates that 802.11ac is available only with the 1GB and 2GB SKUs. Yet, PoE is listed only with the 2GB model, despite Seeed selling 512MB and 1GB models with PoE, so the chart may need an update. Elsewhere in the wiki, Radxa mentions 4GB support, but it’s not listed in any of the specs.



Rock Pi E (D8W2P) detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Debian 10 Buster, Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic, and OpenWrt are available to run on the 1.3GHz RK3328, which appeared recently on the headless and even smaller, single GbE NanoPi Neo3. The RK3328, which includes a Mali-450 MP2 GPU, has appeared on several other community-backed boards: Pine64’s $25-and-up Rock64 and Firefly’s $35-and-up ROC-RK3328-CC, which originally launched on Indiegogo as Libre Computer’s Renegade.

As noted by the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the launch, the Rock Pi E resembles the $22, RK3328-based NanoPi R2S. The 60 x 60mm R2S has dual GbE ports, a design decision that required FriendlyElec to limit the SBC to a USB 2.0 port instead of 3.0.

The Rock Pi E is not entirely headless as the 3.5mm jack is listed as AV out. Like other Rock Pi boards, there are schematics and other community resources.

Specifications listed for the Rock Pi E include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB and 1GB DDR3 RAM available now; 256MB and 2GB on the way
    • MicroSD slot for 16GB to 128GB
    • Empty EMMC socket for up to 128GB
  • Networking:
    • GbE port with optional PoE (requires third-party HAT)
    • Fast Ethernet port
    • Optional 2.4GHz 802.11n (RTL8723DU) or 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac (RTL8821CU), both with Bluetooth 4.2
    • Antenna socket
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB Type-C port (5V power input only)
    • 3.5mm AV out jack
    • 40-pin GPIO with USB 2.0, I2C. SPI, I2S, 2x UART, 2x 5V-in, 2x 3.3V-in
  • Other features — Power, user, and 2x LAN LEDs; reset and maskrom keys; optional cables
  • Power — 5V DC input via Type-C or GPIO
  • Operating systems — Debian 10 Buster, Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic, and OpenWrt

 
Further information

The Rock Pi E is available for pre-order at Seeed (with July 24 shipment) in the following SKUs: D4W1P ($24), D8W2 ($26), and D8W2P ($28). AllNetChina’s shopping page, which currently lists only sold out or unavailable options starting at $19 with 512MB RAM and no WiFi or PoE, is here. More information may be found on Radxa’s wiki.

 

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