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Tiny mini-PC shows off Rockchip RK3566

Jul 13, 2021 — by Eric Brown 2,998 views

Firefly has launched a $79-and-up “Station M2” mini-PC that runs Linux or Android on the NPU-equipped Rockchip RK3566 with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB eMMC plus M.2 storage, WiFi/BT, 3x USB, GbE, and HDMI.

When T-Chip Technology’s Firefly community project launched its ROC-RK3566-PC SBC based on the quad-core, Cortex-A55 Rockchip RK3566, it teased an upcoming Station M2 mini-PC based on the SBC. The ultra-compact Station M2 has arrived with promotional pricing of $79 (2GB LPDDR4 RAM) and $104 (4GB), both with 32GB eMMC 5.1.

The Station M2 is the follow-on to last year’s Station M1 and has the same 93.8 x 65 x 15.8mm dimensions. The M1, which now sells for $75 with 2GB/16GB, runs on a slower quad-core, Cortex-A53 Rockchip RK3328.

Station M2
(click images to enlarge)

Aside from the switch to the RK3566, which Firefly claims is 30 percent faster, other enhancements over the M1 include the addition of 16MB SPI flash, an M.2 2242 slot for NVMe SSDs, and faster, dual-band 802/11ac with Bluetooth 5.0. The M2 also extends maximum configurations to 8GB RAM (including ECC RAM) and 128GB eMMC.



The Station M2 and M1 mini-PCs are smaller than the 142 x 89 x 31.5mm Station P2, which is based on the slightly more powerful, quad -A55 Rockchip RK3568. It is also smaller than the earlier, 124.4 x 79 x 31.6mm, RK3399-based Station P1.

Like Rockchip’s RK3568, the RK3566 is a 22nm fabricated SoC equipped with 4x up to Cortex-A55 cores. However, they top out at 1.8GHz instead of 2.0GHz on the RK3568. They both provide a Mali-G52 EE GPU and a 0.8-TOPS NPU. I/O is scaled back on the RK3566 to dual independent displays, a single GbE port, and PCIe 2.1 instead of the RK3568’s triple displays, dual GbE, PCIe 3.0 x2, and PCIe 2.1.

The fanless Station M2 is equipped with a microSD slot to complement the eMMC and M.2 storage. There are single GbE, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 ports, as well as a USB OTG Type-C for power input.

Station M2 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The HDMI 2.0 port supports audio output and 4K@60fps video. You also get an earphone jack and inside the box, MIPI-DSI (4-lane) up to 1080p60 (or dual-channel up to 2560×1440@60fps).

Other internal I/Os include MIPI-CSI, PCIe, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, ADC, PWM, and GPIOs. Like the underlying ROC-RK3566-PC board, the Station M2 has a -10 to 60°C operating range.

As noted by the CNXSoft story that alerted us to the M2’s launch, since the ROC-RK3566-PC SBC arrived in May, Firefly has expanded beyond an Android 11 image to supply Ubuntu 18.04 and Buildroot + Qt. The featured port for the Android-based, media-savvy Station OS (Firefly Geek System) does not appear to be ready. Station OS offers a variety of applications plus seamless switching between desktop and media modes.

The downloads page also has a new RK356x RKNN Toolkit for developing the NPU for frameworks such as Tensorflow, Caffe, and ONNX. Schematics and other files are available for the community-supported ROC-RK3566-PC SBC.

Further information

The Station M2 is available for $79 (2GB LPDDR4 RAM) or $104 (4GB), both with 32GB eMMC 5.1 and WiFi/BT. In 16 days the prices will rise to $95 and (and according to CNXSoft) $129, respectively. More information may be found on Firefly’s shopping page and the ROC-RK3566-PC downloads page.

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One response to “Tiny mini-PC shows off Rockchip RK3566”

  1. Stephen Zhang says:

    Where to buy?

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