Tech

Radxa Rock 5A is a Raspberry Pi alternative with much more power

In a nutshell: Radxa has unveiled a new single board computer that could be a viable alternative for those who are struggling to get their hands on a Raspberry Pi. The credit card-sized Rock 5A is based on the Rockchip RK3588S, an octa-core SoC consisting of four Cortex-A76 cores clocked from 2.2GHz to 2.4GHz, as well as four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.

You also get a Mali G610MC4 GPU and support for up to 16GB of RAM.

Other noteworthy hardware features include a microSD card slot, two micro HDMI ports (one supporting up to 8Kp60 and one supporting up to 4Kp60), a Gigabit Ethernet port, a SATA M.2 PCIe 2.1 connector (single lane), a camera port, a display port, a USB Type-C port for power and a 40-pin connector that supports multiple interface options. Full equipment specifications can be found at Forums.

Raspberry Pi boss Ebon Upton warned in December that consumers shouldn’t expect a next-generation board from the company in 2023. Instead, the Raspberry Pi will spend this year recovering from a global chip shortage that rocked the supply chain during the pandemic.

It would be a mistake to try to release the Pi 5 this year if production can’t properly scale to meet demand, Upton said. What’s more, launching a new version too early could impact sales of existing models that are still in high demand.

Last year, CNX Software tested the Rock 5B (based on the similar RK3588) and found that it was capable of run in circles Raspberry Pi 4 and other SBCs, especially when it comes to memory bandwidth. If you need an SBC with some punch, this could very well be it.

Radha Rock 5A expected early in the second quarter of this year. Interested parties can contribute $5 deposit to the 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB model, which will end up costing $69, $89, or $129, respectively, after early booking discounts have been applied.


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