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Module and dev kit showcase RK3568 multiplexing skills

Mar 17, 2022 — by Eric Brown 528 views

Forlinx has launched a “FET3568-C” module that runs Linux on a quad -A55 RK3568 with up to 8GB DDR4 and 16GB eMMC. The module powers an “OK3568-C” SBC with triple displays, 2x GbE, 4x USB, M.2 B-key, PCIe Gen2/SATA, and PCIe Gen3 x4.

Although Rockchip’s octa-core RK3588 has held center stage in recent weeks in product announcements such as Pine64’s QuartzPro64 SBC, the quad-core, Cortex-A55 RK3566 and more I/O rich RK3568 are the Rockchip SoCs that will dominate mainstream embedded Arm devices over the next few years. Forlinx has just released a FET3568-C compute module and sandwich-style OK3568-C dev kit built on the RK3568.

(click image to enlarge)

The RK3568 has been announced on a variety of embedded boards including the Radxa E25 SBC. The SoC has 4x up to 2.0GHz Cortex -A55 cores, an Arm Mali-G52, and an 0.8-TOPS NPU, which Forlinx rounds up to 1-TOPS.

Forlinx, which typically focuses on NXP i.MX family processors, tried out a Rockchip chip on last December’s RK3399K-based FET3399K-C SOM and OK3399K-C SBC. The company offers Linux 4.19, and soon, Android 11, BSPs for the FET3568-C. Applications include medical, industrial, transportation, cloud terminal, streaming media, security, AI application, energy management, and other IoT tasks.


The FET3568-C is equipped with 2GB to 8GB DDR4 plus 16GB eMMC. The 70 x 45mm, 5V module has 4x 80-pin B2B connectors and a 0 to 70℃ operating range.

FET3568-C block diagram (left) and specs, with both showing multiplexing possibilities
(click images to enlarge)

As you can see from the FET3568-C block diagram and spec list above, the module exploits the RK3568’s ability to multiplex SERDES lanes, thereby offering greater flexibility to developers (and greater confusion to tech journalists.) For example, you can use the PCIe 2.1 x1 interface for SATA and enable SATA support over the USB 3.0 port.

OK3568-C and detail views for multiplexed interfaces
(click images to enlarge)

The OK3568-C board showcases most of the FET3568-C’s capabilities. The carrier board is equipped with 32MB QSPI flash, a microSD slot, 2x GbE ports, and 802.11ac WiFi with BT 5.0. Other features include USB 3.0 OTG, USB 3.0 Type-C OTG (with debug support), and 2x USB 2.0 ports.

The OK3568-C supplies DVP and MIPI-CSI camera links, as well as audio I/O and a 1.3W amp. There are also terminal plug interfaces for 2x isolated CAN-FD links.

OK3568-C and closeup views
(click images to enlarge)

Triple simultaneous displays are available from a choice of an HDMI 2.0 port at up to 4096 x 2304 @ 60Hz, eDP 1.3 at 2560 x 1600 @ 60Hz, MIPI-DSI at 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz, and LCD/RGB888 and single-channel LVDS at 1280 x 800. The RGB interface can be multiplexed with 4x UART and 2x SPI per the spec list and 3x UART, 2x SPI, I2C, and 13x GPIO per the detail view shown farther above. These would appear to include the separately listed 3x UART, 2x SPI, and single I2C interfaces.

Expansion features include the PCIe Gen2/SATA link plus a PCIe Gen3 x4 interface that can be reconfigured as 2x PCIe x1. There is also an M.2 B-key slot (USB 3.0/2.0) for an up to 5G module. The OK3568-C has a 12VDC input jack, RTC with coin-ericscell battery, and 8x buttons.

Further information

The FET3568-C module and the OK3568-C SBC appear to be available now with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found in the Forlinx announcement and the FET3568-C and OK3568-C product pages.

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