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NPU-equipped Rockchip RV1109 debuts on dev boards and cameras

Jan 26, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,718 views

JWIPC unveiled three “R19x” SBCs that run Linux on Rockchip’s dual -A7, 1.2-TOPS NPU equipped RV1109 camera SoC. Meanwhile, Firefly released two “CAM-C11x” cameras based on the RV1109 and similar quad-core, 2.0-TOPS RV1126.

Shenzhen-based JWIPC, which we last covered back in 2014 with its Intel Bay Trail based S015 Dual System signage player, has posted product pages for three development boards built around Rockchip’s new RV1109 camera SoC (translated). The R19x boards are aimed at security access point face recognition applications. The R19S and mini-PCIe and SIM-equipped R19F are 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX SBCs while the R19N has a smaller 100 x 60mm footprint.

R19S (left) and R19N
(click images to enlarge)

The R19x boards run Linux on the RV1109, which offers 2x Cortex-A7 cores clocked to 1.5GHz coupled with a 1.2-TOPS NPU with INT8/INT16 support. The RV1109 also supplies a a RISC-V architecture MCU, a 2D GPU, a 5-megapixel, 3F-HDR (High Dynamic Range) ISP, and support for up to 3x simultaneous sensor inputs. The SoC offers 2K H.264/H.265 encoding and decoding at 5-megapixels.

Firefly CAM-C11x (left) and Sipeed MAIX-III module
(click images to enlarge)

We found out about the R19x SBCs on CNXSoft, which also recently ran a recent story about a pair of Linux-driven, dual-lens Firefly CAM-C11x embedded cameras. Firefly’s CAM-C1109S2U offers the RV1109 while the CAM-C1126S2U features its quad -A7 big brother, Rockchip’s RV1126, which has a 2.0-TOPS NPU (see farther below). The same story points to a Sipeed tweet about an upcoming MAIX-III module that features the RV1126. The module will follow Sipeed’s Allwinner V831 based MAIX-II module and MAIX-II Dock dev kit.

JWIPC R19S, R19F, and R19N


The R19x boards provide 1GB to 2GB DDR4, 4GB to 16GB eMMC, and options for unpopulated sockets on either. The boards lack real-world ports, relying instead on coastline terminal connectors and various onboard headers.

R19F (left) and R19N detail view
(click images to enlarge)
(Source: image on right via CNXSoft)

The R19S and R19F appear to offer the same features and layout except that the R19F adds a mini-PCIe slot and SIM socket for a 3G or 4G LTE module. The narrower R19N has a different layout with the MIPI interfaces on the two narrow sides of the boards instead of side by side.

The R19N appears to be the same as the R19S except that it lacks a coin cell battery holder that supports the watchdog on the other two models. Precise comparisons are difficult since the product page specs appear to be identical and the links to documentation where CNXSoft found the detail view of the R19N (above) have since been deactivated.

All the R19x boards provide 40-pin MIPI-DSI and 31-pin MIPI-CSI FPC connectors plus a 10/100 Ethernet port and a 2.4GHz WiFi radio via a Realtek RTL8189FTV chip. There are 4x USB 2.0 ports, including one OTG connection, plus RS232 and RS485 COM ports.

The R19x SBCs are further equipped with headers including audio I/O, TTL, CTP, ALS, and IR. There is a 12VDC input, -20 to 70°C support, and 10-95% non-condensing humidity tolerance. A recovery button is also available.

Firefly CAM-C1109S2U and CAM-C1126S2U

T-Firefly (or Firefly), which makes a variety of Rockchip-based Linux maker boards, has launched a pair of Linux-driven AI camera modules. As noted, the $89 CAM-C1109S2U ships with the dual-core, 1.2-TOPS Rockchip RV1109 while the $95 CAM-C1126S2U, features the quad-core Rockchip RV1126, which similarly uses Cortex-A7 cores clocked to 1.5GHz and has a higher-end 2.0-TOPS NPU.

Firefly CAM-C11x

The camera modules are supported by the Rockchip RKNN toolkit and target facial recognition and detection. There is support for Tensorflow, PyTorch, Caffe, MxNet, DarkNet, and ONNX. The devices support up to 100,000 face databases, although 10,000 is recommended, with facial recognition accuracy claims of 99 percent or 95 percent with mask.

CAM-C11x and CAM-C11x camera specs
(click images to enlarge)

The 84 x 22.45 x 19.35mm devices provide dual-lens 2M (RGB+IR) WDR cameras with GC2503 (IR) and GC2093 (RGB) sensors (see chart above for specs). Aside from greater CPU and NPU performance, the chief difference between the devices is that the quad-core CAM-C1126S2U advances to 4K encoding and decoding up from 2K.

The CAM-C1109S2U and CAM-C1126S2U provide 1GB or 2GB DDR3 (CAM-C1109S2U) or DDR4 (CAM-C1126S2U), as well as 8GB or 16GB eMMC. Other features include a MIPI-DSI interface and a USB Type-C port. The 5V devices have -10 to 60℃ operating ranges with 10-90% humidity tolerance.

It is possible there is also a LAN port: Firefly says the cameras can be used as USB devices for output or as IPCAM monitoring and identification frontends to connect to an NVR “through the network port.” The devices can also be connected to a 1080P screen via MIPI “to make a face recognition or an AI vision terminal,” says Firefly.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the JWIPC R19S, R19F, and R19N. More information may be found in JWIPC’s R19S, R19F, and R19N product pages.

T-Firefly’s CAM-C1109S2U is available for $89 and the CAM-C1126S2U sells for $95, but is currently out of stock. More information may be found on the joint CAM-C11x product page and the CAM-C1109S2U and CAM-C1126S2U shopping pages.

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