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Sandwich-style hacker board debuts new quad -A7 Rockchip SoC

Jun 7, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,276 views

Firefly’s Core-PX3-SEJ COM runs Ubuntu or Android on a new quad -A7 Rockchip PX3-SE SoC. The module is available as part of a $120 Firefly-PX3-SE dev board with -20 to 80℃ support.

Firefly’s SODIMM-style, 67.6 x 40mm Core-PX3-SEJ module runs Android 5.1 or Ubuntu 15.04 on a Rockchip PX3-SE (translated), a new 1.3GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 SoC. The $40 module is available in a 1GB RAM/8GB eMMC configuration on a $120, 117 x 85mm Firefly-PX3-SE development board. Other memory configurations may also be available (see spec list below).

Core-PX3-SEJ module, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The PX3-SE SoC gives the module and sandwich-style dev board their -20 to 80℃ temperature ranges. The Core-PX3-SEJ module is touted for its anti-corrosion gold finger expansion connector, and the dev board for its “double stud fixed” design.

Rockchip PX3-SE SoC block diagram (left) and Core-PX3-SEJ module mounted on Firefly-PX3-SE development board with acrylic case and unexplained HDD add-on
(click images to enlarge)

The multimedia oriented COM/baseboard combo just missed our survey of 116 open-spec SBCs, for which it would likely qualify. Both the module and Firefly-PX3-SE “industrial open source main board” offer Firefly’s usual community support with open source Linux SDK, tutorials, development tools, and “technical documents.” The latter have yet to be posted, but like Firefly’s Coreboard based AIO branded boards, they are likely to eventually include schematics for the carrier board. These include the RK3399 Coreboard COM version of the Firefly-RK3399, which is available on a sandwich-style AIO-3399J and the Firefly-RK3288 Reload CoreBoard, which can be found on the 189 x 107mm AIO-3288J board.

Core-PX3-SEJ detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Rockchip’s PX3-SE SoC was announced in May 2017 and targets Linux- and Android driven “mobile vehicle interconnect solutions.” The quad -A7 SoC provides a Mali-400 GPU and supports HD video.

The Firefly-PX3-SE board’s 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 are supplied separately from the compact Core-PX3-SEJ COM. Despite the lack of 4K support, there are a numerous media interfaces, including a variety of audio features. You get HDMI, CVBS, MIPI-DSI or LVDS, and a DVP camera interface. Analog, SPDIF, and I2S audio connections are available along with an onboard mic and a “phone” I/O port.

Firefly-PX3-SE, front and back
(click images to enlarge)


The Firefly-PX3-SE board is further equipped with a GbE port, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and an 84-pin expansion header. RTC, debug, and IR are also onboard. The image farther above shows a hard disk mounted on the bottom, but we saw no evidence of SATA support.

Firefly-PX3-SE front and back detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Firefly-PX3-SE development board with Core-PX3-SEJ module include:

  • Processor (via Core-PX3-SEJ module) — Rockchip PX3-SE (4x Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.3GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU with OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 3G plus 2D accelerator, H.265 1080p decoding and encoding, and H.264 support
  • Memory:
    • 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB DDR3 RAM (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
    • 4GB to 64GB eMMC flash (via Core-PX3-SEJ) with 4GB and 8GB default SKUs
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n with antenna
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211E)
  • Display/media:
    • HDMI port with audio
    • MIPI-DSI or LVDS LCD interface
    • CVBS with video and audio
    • DVP camera interface for up to 5MP
    • 3.5mm analog audio input jack
    • SPDIF optical output
    • Mic input
    • I2S audio I/O
    • Phone I/O interface
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 with OTG
    • Serial console debug
    • 84-pin expansion header (MIPI, LVDS, PWM, SPI, UART, ADC, I2C, I2S, GPIO)
  • Other features — RTC with battery; IR receiver; power, reset, recover buttons; acrylic rack kit
  • Power — 5V, 2A (via DC jack); PMU (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
  • Dimensions — 117 x 85mm (with 67.6 x 40mm integrated COM)
  • Operating system — Android 5.1; Ubuntu 15.04; includes Linux Buildroot/Qt

Further information

The Core-PX3-SEJ module and Firefly-PX3-SE development board are available for $80 and $140 (including module), respectively, plus shipping. Volume shipping discounts are available. More information may be found at Firefly’s
Core-PX3-SEJ and Firefly-PX3-SE shopping pages, and more schematics and other documents should eventually become available on Firefly’s Resources page.

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