Raspberry Pi's latest competitor RockPro64 brings more power plus AI processor

The RockPro64 developer board is a Rockchip RK3399-powered alternative to the Raspberry Pi.

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Pine64 has released a budget-friendly single-board computer with the high-powered Rockchip RK3399 system on chip (SoC).

Available from around $60, the RockPro64 board comes in two flavors, either with the hexa-core RK3399 SoC or the RK3399Pro, Rockchip's first "artificial-intelligence processor". Unveiled at CES 2018, it combines a CPU, GPU, and neural-network processing unit (NPU).

As noted by CNX-Software, a number of RK3999-based boards have been released in the past week but, priced at around $200 each, they've been aimed at business customers rather than home developers.

The RockPro64 with 2GB of RAM will cost between $59 and $65 and will be available from March, while the RockPro64-AI will cost $99 but won't be available until August 1, according to Pine64.

The hexa-core SoC consists of a dual-core ARM Cortex-A72, a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53, and quad-core Mali-T860MP4 GPU. The AI-model is differentiated by the additional NPU featured in the RK3399Pro and 4GB RAM.

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The RockPro64 comes in two versions, with either the RK3399 SoC or the RK3399Pro, Rockchip's first "artificial-intelligence processor".

Image: Pine64

The board features a USB 3.0 Type C port to attach to a second display with 4K support, and two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card HDMI 2.0 output, 40-pin GPIO, Gigabit Ethernet, an SDIO socket for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, and a PCIe4 connector. There's also 128MB of SPI Flash memory to boot from attached storage.

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CNX-Software notes that the board will support Android and Linux. Part of the reason the business-focused RK3999 boards cost more is they include storage. The RockPro64 does not, and requires an external wireless module for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

While the RockPro64 boards won't be available for a few months, Pine64 is also launching new Pine H64 boards on January 31 starting at $25 for the 1GB model. The 2GB and 3GB models will be available for $35 and $45, respectively.

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