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ROCK 3A SBC brings M.2 slots for NVMe SSD, WiFi 6 to Raspberry Pi form factor

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Radxa ROCK 3A is a single board computer powered by Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor like the early Rock Pi 4 SBC, but with a twist.

By switching from a Rockchip RK3399 to a Rockchip RK3568, the board loses some CPU and GPU performance, but gains extra I/Os with enabled the company to add an additional M.2 slot with PCIe to ROCK 3A board, meaning it’s now possible to attach one NVMe SSD and another M.2 module like a WiFi 6 M.2 card.

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Rock 3A Offers Faster M.2 Storage in Raspberry Pi Form Factor

  • Rock 3A Offers Faster M.2 Storage in Raspberry Pi Form Factor

    The Raspberry Pi form factor is a popular one, compact enough to fit in some interesting places yet packed with power and IO. What the form factor lacks is fast and cheap storage possibilities. Step forward the Radxa Rock 3A, as spotted by CNX Software, which offers the familiar form factor and two M.2 slots for Wi-Fi and SSDs.

Pi-like RK3568 SBC grows SATA out of its USB ports

  • Pi-like RK3568 SBC grows SATA out of its USB ports

    Radxa unveiled a $35-and-up “Rock 3 Model A” SBC that runs Linux on a 2.0GHz, quad -A55 Rockchip RK3568 and offers up to 8GB RAM, GbE with PoE, M.2 M- and E-key, and SATA via USB 3.0.

    Radxa has begun sampling a new community backed SBC built around the NPU-equipped Rockchip RK3568 in a collaboration with Rockchip’s Toybrick division. The open-spec Rock 3 Model A (or Rock 3A) will launch in late August at $35 (2GB LPDDR4), $55 (4GB), and $75 (8GB).

    The Rock 3 Model A is billed as “basically a little brother of” the RK3399-based Rock Pi 4 and shares the same Raspberry Pi style dimensions, layout, and 40-pin GPIO. This is the first compact, low-priced SBC built around the RK3568, the slightly higher end sibling to the similarly quad-core, Cortex-A55 based RK3566.

Radxa ROCK 3A: New Raspberry Pi-sized single-board computer

  • Radxa ROCK 3A: New Raspberry Pi-sized single-board computer arrives with two M.2 slots at an affordable price

    The ROCK 3A may look like another Raspberry Pi alternative, but it has two tricks up its sleeve. According to a community post, the ROCK 3A utilises a Rockchip RK3568, a weaker version of the Rockchip RK3399 found in many single-board computers (SBC). In return, however, Radxa has included two M.2 slots for storage and a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi module. Specifically, the ROCK 3A has an M key socket that supports two PCIe 3.0 lanes for NVMe SSDs and an E key with a single PCIe 2.0 lane. The latter could be used for UART connectivity or a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi modem.

    The built-in RK3568 has four ARM Cortex A55 cores that can operate at up to 2.0 GHz. Additionally, the SoC has an ARM Mali-G52 GPU, a 0.8 TOPS NPU and up to 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM at its disposal. Furthermore, the ROCK 3A has a pluggable eMMC module and a microSD card slot, should you prefer not to use an NVMe SSD. The ROCK 3A has other typical SBC I/O too, including an HDMI port, four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a 40-pin GPIO header.

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