Firefly, here is the new powerful alternative to Raspberry Pi with RockChip SoC

Firefly, here is the new powerful alternative to Raspberry Pi with RockChip SoC


Firefly has launched a new device that, on paper at least, will directly clash with the Raspberry Pi 4, but which also offers several advantages over the popular Single Board Computer, such as an integrated flash memory and an NVMe slot.

The ROC-RK3566-PC is equipped with a quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A55 CPU running at 1.8GHz and built on a 22nm node. The rest of the other technical features include a low-profile RJ-45 connector, up to 8GB of RAM and built-in flash memory (32 to 128GB), along with an M.2 PCIe 2.0 slot for installing SSD M .2 2242 NVMe. Everything else on the board is quite similar to what the Raspberry Pi offers, with an HDMI 2.0 port that allows you to go up to 4K and 60fps, a second screen enabled via the MIPI-DSI / RGB interface and a network card with connectivity Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0. A GPIO header is also present, but it is not compatible with Raspberry Pi, as there are fewer pins and with a smaller pitch (2.0mm). To it, however, you can connect components such as I2C, SPI, UART, PWM and more.

The RockChip RK3566 SoC is equipped with a dual-core Mali G52 2EE GPU, capable of decoding 4K video streams. 60 fps and encode in H.264 / H.265 1080p format up to 100fps. There is also an NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for use with machine learning frameworks such as Caffe and Tensorflow. The dimensions are quite small, measuring only 8.2 × 5.8 cm. Certainly could not miss a Micro SD slot and various other USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. In case you are interested, you can find the list of complete specifications in a PDF on the Firefly website.

ROC-RK3566-PC comes with a customized operating system, Station OS, which seems to be oriented to the use of multimedia formats. The alternatives are Ubuntu 18.04 and Android 11, but presumably, once the card is in the hands of the developers, support for more operating systems will come. In case you need more power, Firefly has also announced ROC-RK3568-PC, which has similar specs but boasts a slightly faster CPU, Wi-Fi 6, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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Firefly Rockchip-Based SBC Debuts With M.2 SSD Support To Challenge Raspberry Pi 4

Do you need a powerful computer that comes in the form factor of a credit card? The new ROC-RK3566-PC from Firefly should fit the bill, supporting up to 8GB of RAM and an M.2 NVMe SSD which should be plenty for many workloads.To kick things off, this pint-sized PC packs a quad-core Cortex-A55 running at up to 1.8GHz alongside an ARM Mali-G52 2EE GPU with support for a variety of rendering APIs and video codecs. This single-board computer can also be configured with up to 8GB of LPDDR4 ECC RAM and up to a healthy 128GB eMMC before you must worry about adding an M.2 NVMe PCIe 2.0 SSD.As for connectivity, the board boasts gigabit ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5 onboard. There is also one HDMI 2.0 port and one MIPI DSI port for video, alongside one USB 3.0 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, and a USB Type-C for power and OTG. Interestingly, there is also a MIPI-CSI camera interface for up to an 8MP camera and an IR receiver for whatever you can think of.Overall, this little device is built for either creative projects or creative use in what could be some cool projects as an alternative to numerous Raspberry Pi solutions. As it stands, it supports Android 11, Ubuntu 18.04, Buildroot + QT, StationOS and perhaps Windows in the future, but only the Android and Linux software tools are available. If you want to pick one of these up, they are available now starting at $89 on Firefly’s store. It appears that the 8GB version of the board is not available quite yet, so keep an eye on the store for updates. Also, let us know what you think of this little device and ideas you would have for it in the comments below.