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Tinker Board 2 SBC advances to RK3399

Nov 20, 2020 — by Eric Brown 6,698 views

Asus is prepping a “Tinker Board 2” SBC that runs Linux on a Rockchip RK3399 with up to 4GB LPDDR4, GbE, WiFi/BT, optional 16GB eMMC, 3x USB, Type-C with DP, HDMI, MIPI-DSI/CSI, and 40-pin GPIO.

In 2017, Asus launched its first maker-friendly SBC with an open-spec, community backed Tinker Board SBC. Now, French site Clubic (translated) has posted images and specs from an Asus press release about a Tinker Board 2 follow-up that advances from a quad-core, Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3288 to a hexa-core -A72 and -A53 Rockchip RK3399. Liliputing picked up the news here.

Tinker Board 2
Source: Asus via Clubic
(click images to enlarge)

The Tinker Board 2 competes with scores of other Linux hacker boards featuring the RK3399, including 20 of the 136 SBCs listed in our community-backed SBC catalog earlier this year. The current price leader is the Rock Pi 4, starting at $39. No pricing was listed by Clubic, but the original Tinker Board is now selling for $70.

Like the Tinker Board and many of the RK3399 SBCs, the Tinker Board 2 has an 85 x 56mm Raspberry Pi footprint, layout, and 40-pin GPIO. The SBC uses the RK3399K model, which bumps up the dual -A72 cores to 2.0GHz and the four -A53 cores to 1.5GHz. There is also an above-average Arm Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. According to Clubic, the Asus PR claims the Tinker Board 2 offers 1.5x better performance than the original.


Tinker Board S

The Tinker Board 2 will also be available in a Tinker Board 2S model that adds 16GB eMMC, but is otherwise identical. This follows the naming scheme of the Tinker Board S SBC that followed the Tinker Board in 2018, adding 16GB eMMC, HDMI-CEC support, a smart audio jack, and improved power management.

The Tinker Board 2 runs Debian 9, presumably via Asus’ Tinker OS, with Android 10 support promised by Q1 2021. The board offers 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 compared to 2GB LPDDR3 on the original. It supplies a microSD slot in addition to the optional eMMC. The SBC similarly offers a native GbE port, and the wireless module has advanced to 802.11ac with Bluetooth 5.0, supported by a 2T2R (MIMO) swappable antenna.

As before, there is an HDMI port with 4K support, but this time it is an HDMI 2.0 port with 4K@60Hz and CEC. The SBC replaces the micro-USB port with a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C OTG port with DisplayPort 1.2 support.

The MIPI-DSI interface has advanced to a 4-lane interface and there is once again a 2-lane MIPI-CSI camera connection. The 3.5mm audio jack appears to have been removed.

The Tinker Board 2 is further equipped with 3x USB 3.2 Gen1 host ports (compared to 4x USB 2.0). Instead of using 5V USB power, the device has a 12-19V DC barrel jack. Asus also added an RTC, a DC fan header, and power-on and recovery headers.

Asus offers a Tinker Edge R SBC based on the RK3399Pro, an AI-enabled version of the RK3399. This larger Pico-ITX board, which has a different layout than the Tinker Board 2, is now available for $217 at Amazon. There is also a Tinker Edge T SBC that runs Linux on the same Coral SOM module found on Google’s Coral Dev Board, equipped with an i.MX8M and an Edge TPU.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Tinker Board 2, which will presumably ship by Q1 2021 when the Android support is promised. More information should eventually be found at the Asus pressroom.


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