The Radxa CM3 Raspberry Pi 4 alternative was just presented yesterday, but today Pine64 SOQuartz The calculation module has just been available for $ 34.99 and up.
Pine64 announced the Rockchip RK3566 Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 compatible system on module (SoM) last June, and today the company / community released three SOQuartz models with a wireless module and equipped with 2GB, 4GB or 8 GB of RAM.
Preliminary specifications of the system on the SOQuartz module:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3566 Cortex-A55 quad-core processor up to 1.8 GHz with RISC-V 32 bir MCU, Arm Mali-G52 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1 / 2.0 / 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1, 0.8 TOPS NPU for AI acceleration
- System memory – 2 GB to 8 GB LPDDR4
- Storage room
- Optional 128 Mbit SPI flash
- 16 GB to 128 GB capacity optional eMMC module or soldered eMMC module (see bottom of card)
- Wireless module – Azurewave AW-CM256SM WiFi 5 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless module plus u.FL.
- 2 high density 100 pin board-to-board connectors with:
- Video output
- 1 time HDMI 2.0 interface up to 4Kp60
- 1x 2-way MIPI DSI display interface
- 1x 4-way MIPI DSI display interface
- Integrated DisplayPort (eDP)
- I / F Camera
- 1x 2-way MIPI CSI camera interface
- 1x 4-way MIPI CSI camera interface
- Ethernet – Gigabit Ethernet
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host
- SATA III or PCIe (multiplexed)
- 28x user GPIO (3.3v or 1.8v) also configurable as 6x UART, 6x I2C, 5x SPI, SDIO, 1x DPI (Parallel RGB Display), 1x PCM, 2x PWM, 3x GPCLK outputs
- Video output
- Supply voltage – 5V
- Dimensions – 55 x 40 x 4.7mm with 4 M2.5 mounting holes
The module currently supports Android 11 and a Linux 4.19 BSP with download links and partial hardware specs listed on the wiki. There is also a SOQuartz Model-A base board, but it doesn’t seem to be available at the moment, so you will have to rely on the carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4 to boot. Note that software development is progressing as stated by Pine64:
The SOQuartz Calculation Module software is still at an early stage of development and is therefore only suitable for developers and advanced users who want to contribute to software development. Rockchip’s main branch and BSP fork of Linux have already been started on the platform and development is proceeding apace, but it will be months before end users and industry partners can reliably deploy it.
The advantages of SOQuartz over the RPi CM4 compute module are the presence of an AI accelerator, an optional 128 Mbit SPI flash card, flexibility for eMMC flash memory (module or soldered) and support for SATA which should be multiplexed with the PCIe 2.1 interface assuming they used the Multi-PHY2 interface of the processor. However, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 has two HDMI interfaces, and the RK3566 module should only have one with the pins left unused. SOQuartz is not supplied with an additional 100-pin board-to-board connector provided on the Radxa CM4 module to benefit from the additional interfaces made available by the Rockchip processor.
Pine64 indicates that SOQuartz will be software compatible with Quartz64 single board computers, which means support for Linux and Android distributions. It is still early days and a lot of work remains to be done. In theory, the module should be an instant replacement in Raspberry Pi CM4 support boards, but practice can hinder some boards, and incompatibilities are not impossible.
You can order the modules directly from the Pine64 store with the 2GB RAM version for $ 34.99, the 4GB model for $ 49.99, and you’ll have to spend $ 74.99 to get 8GB of RAM.
Update: The post was originally published on June 15, 2021 and updated on November 8 with SOQuartz becoming available for developers
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 on a part-time basis, before stepping down as head of software engineering and starting writing daily news and reviews full-time later in 2011.