Okdo teams to supply Rockchip boards

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Single board computer (SBC) distributor OKdo, has signed a deal with Radxa of China to manufacture and distribute boards and System on Modules (SoMs) based on Rockchip processors.

The move will boost the availability of the customisable SBCs via OKdo’s engineering expertise, technology, ecosystem partners, robust supply chain and global distribution channels.

The range starts with the ROCK 4 SE, a cost-reduced version of Radxa’s ROCK 4C Plus board that uses the RK3399-T six core ARM processor. This has two Cortex-A72 cores at 1.5GHz for high performance operation and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.0GHz for power efficient operation as well as ARM’s T860MP4 Mali GPU with 4GBytes of 64bit LPDDR4 RAM.

It adds an M.2 expansion slot for large capacity drives, Real Time Clock (RTC) combined with the ability to shut down multiple areas of the board for extended battery operation and reduced energy consumption and eMMC memory port for industrial memory applications. It also includes a USB PD/QuickCharge which enables the use of lower cost cables and higher reliability and USB-OTG and microphone input.

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As well as a 40 pin general purpose IO (GPIO) connector, the board can also be customised to remove devices without compromising the integrity of the board. This allows professional design engineers to develop high-volume end products that meet their exact needs and work towards reducing e-waste.

“Manufacturing today is entirely different to a few years ago, and we are ensuring we have coverage, capacity, and supply chain plans to manage uncertainty with our world-class team, and partners,” said Sarah Fawcett, VP of Operations, part of the RS Group. “We have a resilient supply chain and an agile design and manufacturing offer for our customers. Our internal supply chain expertise can help our partners navigate the enormous supply chain risks and challenges to the macro-economic climate today.”

The supply of the Rockchip processors is key to the availability of the boards.

“One of the greatest advantages of Rockchip is the diversified model they use. Considering the supply chain constraints that Taiwan Semiconductors have had lately, there is a significant risk of stock shortages when the production of semiconductors is solely located in Asia or in one wafer fab,” said Richard Curtin Co-Founder and CTO of OKdo.

“Rockchip, on the other hand, use several different fabs to produce their wafers, meaning that they have been able to ride the supply chain storm better than some other semiconductor companies. This was one of the main attraction points when we initiated the design, manufacture and distribution partnership with Radxa, a Rockchip design partner.”

“ROCK products are designed by a talented engineering team from Radxa in China.” He said. “They’ve approached their engineering by considering how they can provide everybody, from education and makers to industrial customers, with scalable, robust platforms using next-generation technology. It has been another key differentiator that laid the foundation of our partnership with Radxa and RockChip.”

Software support is a key issue with Rockchip devices, and the board supports Debian/Ubuntu Linux, Android 7.1 to 11 and GPU-enabled AI stacks such as Caffe, and there is a hardware access/control library for Linux/Android.

The board operates from 0~50 ℃

The partnership with Radxa follows the launch of the configurable DEBIX Model A board based on the NXP i.MX 8M Plus processor earlier this year.

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