Mekotronics unveils cost-effective board with eight-core RK3588


A new single-board computer powered by the eight-core Rockchip RK3588 SoC has appeared via the pages of CNX Software, and the Mekotronics R58 appears to be almost budget-friendly, starting at $169 (pre-order).

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Mekotronics R58

(Image credit: Mekotronics)
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Mekotronics R58

(Image credit: Mekotronics)
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Mekotronics R58

(Image credit: Mekotronics)

The high-end chipset, often found at the expensive end of the single-board computer market, combines two quad-core complexes of Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 cores respectively, then adds up to 32GB of RAM, a quad-core GPU, video processing up to 8K and a neural processor for TensorFlow and similar applications.

SoCs Octa-core Rockchip RK3588 processor with four 2.4GHz Cortex-A76 cores, four 1.8GHz Cortex-A55 cores, Arm Mali-G610 MP4 GPU, 6TOPS NPU, 10-bit 8K decoder, 8K encoder
RAM / Storage Options 4GB LPDDR4x + 32GB eMMC flash memory
8 GB LPDDR4x + 64 GB eMMC flash memory
16 GB LPDDR4x + 64 GB eMMC flash memory
Video 2 HDMI 2.1 ports up to 8Kp60
1x DisplayPort up to 8Kp60
DisplayPort over USB-C port
Video input – 1 HDMI 2.0 port
Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Dual Band Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 1x USB 3.0 Type-A
2x USB 2.0 Type-A
1x USB Type-C
GPIOs 2x 5-pin GPIOs
2x serial port headers
Able 12 V DC via barrel jack

The most economical version, the Mekotronics R58, drops a few features like the second gigabit Ethernet port, RS485/RS232 terminal block and M.2 socket, but it gains an additional HDMI output port along the way. The two HDMIs, plus a DisplayPort and USB-C switchable to DisplayPort mode, mean the card can support four independent displays. Yet another HDMI port functions as an input. A separate input handles power, leaving USB-C free.

This card’s RAM is capped at 16GB, and eMMC flash tops out at 64GB. Storage is where chipset cuts will be felt, because while the currently unpopulated SATA header should be functional in the final version, and that there are a pair of USB 3 ports, the missing M.2 jack was a handy way to quickly connect Storage in a handy small form factor, essential if you’re working with 8K video files.

The board is square, and while official dimensions have yet to be revealed, guesses based on the width of an Ethernet port put it at around three inches across. Images for Android 12, Debian 11, and Ubuntu 20.04 OS will be provided at launch, and an aluminum case is in development. Pre-orders are currently being taken on the Mekotronics store starting at $189 for the 4GB model ($169 if you pre-order), while an AliExpress page should be available soon. Mekotronics’ R58X mini PC puts a similar board in an in-vehicle-ready package, but cuts down on USB and HDMI ports, while adding extra gigabit Ethernet.


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