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Radxa Unveils Cost-Efficient ROCK 5C and ROCK 5C Lite SBC

Mar 31, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 593 views

Radxa has recently enhanced its lineup with the pre-launch of two single board computers: the ROCK 5C and ROCK 5C Lite. These devices, featuring PCIe 2.1 interfaces and PoE support, are built on the Arm Cortex-A76 architecture and are competitively priced, targeting developers, educators, and hobbyists.

The ROCK 5C is equipped with the Rockchip RK3588S2 SoC, which integrates a combination of Quad Cortex-A76 and Quad Cortex-A55 cores. This configuration is designed to provide a balanced mix of high-speed and energy-efficient processing.


Additionally, the SoC encompasses a 6TOPs@INT8 Neural Processing Unit for advanced AI tasks and an Arm Mali-G610MC4 GPU for enhanced graphics performance.

RK3588S2 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The ROCK 5C’s other notable features include an 8K HDMI port, enabling ultra-high-definition video output. It also includes GbE with Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, which provides enhanced network connectivity and installation ease. For imaging and display, it offers MIPI CSI and DSI interfaces, accommodating high-resolution cameras and screen output.

The device’s connectivity options are further expanded with multiple USB ports and a headphone jack with microphone support. Storage solutions on the ROCK 5C consist of an eMMC connector and an SD card slot. Lastly, the board features a 40-pin GPIO header and maintains a compact form factor, suitable for various applications.

RK3588S block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

On the other hand, the ROCK 5C Lite, positioned at a more accessible price, maintains core functionalities of the ROCK 5C. It is powered by the Rockchip RK3582 SoC, featuring dual Cortex-A76 and quad Cortex-A55 cores, catering to tasks that demand performance and efficiency.

While it is more streamlined than its counterpart, the ROCK 5C Lite maintains the 8K HDMI output and retains essential connectivity features, including GbE with PoE, USB ports, and interfaces for cameras and displays.

ROCK 5C & ROCK 5C Lite differences
(click image to enlarge)

According to Radxa, the ROCK 5C series introduces advanced features to the budget-friendly SBC market, typically reserved for higher-priced models. These boards are versatile, capable of edge AI processing with their onboard NPU, and suited for 8K video in multimedia projects.

They also fit IoT and smart home applications, offering reliable Ethernet connectivity with PoE, and serve as accessible platforms for high-performance computing in educational settings.

Radxa ROCK 5C main features
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Radxa ROCK 5C/ROCK 5C Lite:

  • NPU:
    • 6TOPs@INT8 (ROCK 5C)
    • 5TOPs@INT8 (ROCK 5C Lite)
  • Memory:
    • 2GB/4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB LPDDR4x (ROCK 5C)
    • 1GB/2GB/4GB/8GB/16GB LPDDR4x (ROCK 5C Lite)
  • Storage:
    • 1x eMMC connector
    • 1x microSD card slot
  • Audio:
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack w/ mic input
  • Display:
    • 1x HDMI 2.1 (up to 8K)
    • 1x MIPI DSI (up to 2K)
  • Camera:
    • 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI or 2x 2-lane MIPI CSI
  • Connectivity:
    • 1x GbE w/ PoE support (PoE HAT required)
    • 1x Wi-Fi6 & BT 5.4 w/ external antenna connector
  • Expansion:
    • 1x FPC connector w/ PCIe 2.1 1-lane
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 40-pin GPIO expansion header
      • 3x SPI, 6x I2C, 5x UART, 1x PCM/I2S
      • 2x SPDIF, 7x PWM, 1x CAN
      • 1x ADC, 27x GPIOs
      • 2x 5V in/out, 2x 3.3V out
  • USB:
    • 2x USB 2.0 Type-A HOST ports
    • 1x USB 3.0 Type-A HOST port
    • 1x USB 3.0 Type-A OTG/HOST port
  • Other Features:
    • 1x Power button
    • 1x 2-pin fan header
  • Mechanical:
      • 86 x 56mm

Further Information

The Arace Tech online store currently offers pre-order options for various configurations of the Radxa ROCK 5C and ROCK 5C Lite, each differing in memory capacity and price:

  • ROCK 5C Lite variants:
    • 1GB model at $29.90
    • 2GB model at $34.90
    • 4GB model at $44.90
    • 8GB model at $64.90
    • 16GB model at $104.90
  • ROCK 5C variants:
    • 2GB model at $49.90
    • 4GB model at $59.90
    • 8GB model at $79.90
    • 16GB model at $119.90
    • 32GB model at $199.90

The same distributor also sells the compatible Heatsink 6540B for $4.99 and the Radxa 25W PoE HAT for $18.99. Refer to the Radxa announcement for more information.

(advertise here)

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