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Hybrid RK3399 COM/SBC hacker board can plug into feature-rich carrier

May 31, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,252 views

FriendlyElec’s $75, RK3399-based “SOM-RK3399” COM/SBC hybrid can stand alone or expand with a $120 “SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit” with -20 to 70℃ support and M.2 and mini-PCIe expansion.

Last year, FriendlyElec released two open-spec SBCs that ran Linux and Android on the hexa-core Rockchip RK3399: the $65 and up NanoPi M4 and the smaller, $50 NanoPi Neo4. Now, FriendlyElec has launched an RK3399-based SOM-RK3399 compute module for $75 that is available with a sandwich-style, $120 SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit. The module also qualifies as an SBC by dint of its dual USB Type-C ports.

SOM-RK3399 (left) and SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The SOM-RK3399, which we saw on CNXSoft, is FriendlyElec’s second compute module after the Samsung S5P6818-based Smart6818 module found on its Octa-Core 64-bit AiO Android System touch-panel computer. Like Shenzhen Wesion’s RK3399-based Khadas Edge, it can operate standalone or be deployed as part of a sandwich-style SBC via an edge connector. The SOM-RK3399 is more COM-like than the Khadas Edge, which offers more real-world ports.

Like other FriendlyElec boards, this is an open-spec, community-backed offering. OS options include Android 8.1 and various Ubuntu-derived applications with Linux 4.4-LTS (see spec list below). Although the RK3399 lacks the AI smarts of the newer RK3399Pro, FriendlyElec supplies its Android 8.1 build with Rockchip’s Android NN SDK, which supports the modest neural processing capabilities of the Mali-T860’s VPU.

SOM-RK3399 as a standalone SBC (left) and SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit with antennas
(click images to enlarge)

The SOM-RK3399 module connects to the dev kit carrier board via a 260-pin edge connector or it can stand alone, with one of its Type-C ports supporting power input and the other supporting USB or DP 1.2. The 69.6 x 50mm COM/SBC integrates 2GB of RAM (DDR3 instead of the LPDDR4 you typically find on RK3399 boards) and 16GB to 64GB eMMC 5.1.


You also get an onboard WiFi-ac and BT 4.1 module and a few power buttons and LEDs. Both the module and carrier offer -20 to 70℃ support.

SOM-RK3399 and SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The large (235.1 x 156.4mm) and feature-rich Dev Kit reminds us of the early RK3399 boards aimed at professional developers, such as the Firefly RK3399 or Firefly RK3399 Coreboard carrier. Features include GbE, 4x USB 3.0, HDMI in and out, and eDP, MIPI-DSI, and MIPI-CSI with optional touchscreens and cameras.

The SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit provides both a mini-PCIe slot with micro-SIM and an M.2 slot that supports NVMe storage. Other features include dual 12V inputs with a PMIC, IR and accelerometer, and loads of power buttons, user keys, and LEDs.

SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit coastline view
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the new SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit include:

  • Processor (via SOM-RK3399) — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53) with Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB DDR3 RAM (via SOM-RK3399)
    • 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB eMMC 5.1 (via SOM-RK3399)
    • MicroSD slot
    • Optional NVMe SSD via M.2 M-key (see below)
  • Networking:
    • GbE port (native)
    • 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2 MIMO) with Bluetooth 4.1 (Ampak AP6356S, via SOM-RK3399)
    • 3x antenna interfaces with optional antennas
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0a port for up to 4K@60Hz, HDCP 2.2
    • HDMI input
    • DisplayPort 1.2 available via USB Type-C
    • eDP 1.3 (4-lane)
    • MIPI-DSI (1x or 2x 4-lane)
    • MIPI-CSI (1x or 2x 4-lane) for up to 13MP cameras
    • Optional 7-inch, 1280 x 800 or 11.6-inch, 1920 x 1280 cap touchscreen
    • Optional cameras
    • Dual display support
    • 2x audio jacks
    • SPDIF and I2S interfaces
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports, 1x for power, 1x for USB or DP 1.2 (via SOM-RK3399)
    • 4x USB 3.0 host ports
    • 3x USB 2.0 interfaces
    • 2x I2C
    • 2x UART
    • Debug UART, ADC, fan header, SPI, PWM, GPIO, etc.
  • Expansion:
    • Mini-PCIe slot with 4G/LTE support
    • Micro-SIM slot
    • M.2 M-key with PCIe x4 and NVMe SSD support
  • Other features:
    • Recovery, reset, power keys and 2x LEDs (via SOM-RK3399)
    • 3x LEDs
    • Power key, switch, mode select, key jumper, reset key, recovery key
    • 3x user keys
    • IR receiver
    • 3x axis accelerometer
    • Multiple LEDs
    • Cooling fan (possibly optional)
  • Power — 2x 12V DC inputs (jack and connector); USB Type-C; RK808-D PMIC; DC 12V/1A connector on SOM-RK3399 module
  • Weight — 17.95 gm
  • Dimensions — 235.1 x 156.4 x 1.2mm, 8-layer (69.6 x 50mm for SOM-RK3399 module)
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70℃
  • Operating system — Linux 4.4-LTS with U-boot, Android 7.1 with RKMC (Kodi), Android 8.1 with NN SDK, Lubuntu 16.04, FriendlyCore 18.04 with Qt 5.1 and OpenCV4, FriendlyDesktop 18.04 with Qt 5.1 and OpenCV4, Buildroot

Further information

The SOM-RK3399 and SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit are available now for $75 and $120 (including module), respectively. More information may be found on FriendlyElec’s SOM-RK3399 and SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit product/shopping pages and the combined wiki

(advertise here)

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One response to “Hybrid RK3399 COM/SBC hacker board can plug into feature-rich carrier”

  1. Red Brick says:

    Is 4GB (RAM) option planned?

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