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).
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|
|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.