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Vamrs launches RK3399Pro SBC plus cheaper version of RK3399-based Rock960

Jan 22, 2019 — by Eric Brown 3,661 views

Vamrs has launched an under $299 “Toybrick RK3399Pro” SBC that runs Linux or Android on the AI-enhanced RK3399Pro. Vamrs also released a cheaper, $69 Model C version of its RK3399 based Rock960 SBC.

Shenzhen based Vamrs has opened pre-orders for a Toybrick RK3399Pro (TB-RK3399Pro) development board, a collaborative project with Rockchip to showcase its AI-enabled RK3399Pro SoC. Despite posting a pre-order submission page with a promise to start shipping this month in limited quantities, pricing is not yet settled, but at least one version will sell for under $299. Meanwhile, Vamrs has released a slightly stripped-down, 1GB version of its earlier, RK3399-based, 96Boards compatible Rock960 hacker board (see farther below).

Toybrick RK3399Pro
(click image to enlarge)

Vamrs posted its teaser page for the Toybrick RK3399Pro back on Dec. 11, but it apparently wasn’t reported until yesterday in a tweet from MiniNodes, the company that recently brought us the 5 Node Raspberry Pi 3 CoM Carrier Board. CNXSoft followed up with its own story.

RK3399 Sapphire

According to the announcement on 96rocks — Vamr’s community site — the TB-RK3399Pro is currently available only from Rockchip in Fuzhou, China, but Vamrs will be able to facilitate a small number of oversea orders. Vamrs also developed Rockchip’s official dev board for the RK3399 SoC, called the Rockchip RK3399 Sapphire.


When Vamrs originally announced the Rock960 board last March, it said there would also be a larger, 96Boards EE compatible RockPro96 Enterprise Edition version that would offer the RK3399Pro. It has yet to appear, however, and the only other RK3399Pro equipped SBC so far is the Khadas Edge-1S SBC, which is available via Indiegogo in an experimental developer model for $299. It’s expected to ship early this year.

The RK3399Pro is the same as the original — 2x Cortex-A72, 4x -A53, and a Mali-T860 GPU — except for the addition of an up to 3.0-TOPS performing Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU). The NPU supports Tensorflow, Tensorflow Lite, Caffe, and other deep learning models.

The confusing pricing section of the Toybrick teaser page mentions a 3GB RAM, 16GB eMMC version and a 6GB/32GB version, both of which are “under $299.” Specs are also incomplete. The SBC ships with a microSD slot, an Ethernet port (presumably GbE), and a WiFi module. USB 3.0 host and Type-C ports are available along with dual USB 2.0 ports and a micro-USB debug port.

For media, the Toybrick RK3399Pro supplies DP 1.2 and HDMI 2.1 ports, as well as MIPI-DSI and eDP display interfaces. You get dual MIPI-CSI connections driven by the RK3399Pro’s “dual ISP with pixel processing capability up to 1300W pixels,” says Vamrs. There’s also an 8-channel digital microphone array input, a speaker interface, and a headphone jack

The Toybrick RK3399Pro is further equipped with RS232 and fan interfaces, as well as a reset button. Unlike the Rock960, which has the usual 96Boards expansion connectors, you get 4x PCIe lanes and a mini-PCIe slot. The SBC dual-boots pre-installed Android and Linux with one-button OS switching. There’s no mention of open specifications, but since it’s posted on the 96rocks community site, this will likely be the case.

Rock960 Model C

Vamr’s 96Boards CE compatible Rock960 boards sells for $99 (2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC) or $139 (4GB/32GB), which is in the lower mid-range among the many RK3399-based SBCs that are rounded up in our Jan. 3 roundup of 122 Linux hacker boards. Now, with RK3399-based products like Radxa’s Rock Pi and NanoPi Neo4 applying pricing pressure, Vamrs has released a more affordable Rock960 Model C.

Rock960 Model C
(click image to enlarge)

The Model C, which was spotted earlier this week by CNXSoft selling for $69 on Seeed, reduces the price to $69. The board offers only 1GB of RAM and gives you an empty eMMC socket instead of 16GB or 32GB, plus the pre-existing microSD slot.

The RAM is the speedier LPDDR4 instead of LPDDR3 on the earlier models, but many users will still find 1GB to be insufficient for exploiting the powers of the RK3399. Seeed is only selling the $69 1GB version, but a product table suggests the Model C may soon be available in 2GB ($79) and 4GB ($99) models, as well.

Another difference from the original is that the USB 3.0 Type C port with DP support has switched to a USB 2.0 Type-C without DP, leaving you only the HDMI 2.0 port. Finally, it uses a lower-cost version of the dual-band 802.11ac module without 2×2 MIMO. The new module tops out at 200Mbps instead of 867Mbps.

Like the Model A (2G/16GB) and Model B (4GB/32GB), the open-spec board provides an M.2 (4x PCIe 2.1) slot that supports an optional M2 Extend board for NVMe SSD. You also get MIPI-DSI and CSI, a USB 2.0 host port, 40- and 60-pin expansion connectors and a wide-range 8-18V input, among other features detailed in our original Rock960 story.

Further information

The Toybrick RK3399Pro (TB-RK3399Pro) SBC is available for pre-orders in limited quantities starting at under $299 with shipments beginning as early as this month. More information may be found in Vamrs’ TB-RK3399Pro announcement. Vamrs’ Rock960 Model C is available at Seeed for $69 with 1GB RAM and no eMMC.

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