Asus launches the Open Hardware and development cards: it will be a competitor to the Raspberry Pi 3 with the Asus Tinker Board. A very well-equipped and architecture solution around the SoC Rockchip RK3288. With Wifi, Bluetooth, Ethernet Gigabit and a lot of features, the little news is pretty seductive.
Developed in Open Hardware, the Asus Tinker Board adopts in its broadest lines the rules dictated by its competitors of the foundation Raspberry Pi. Same format, same basic design and presence of a Header GPIO 40 Pons very classic. Yet it brings its own developments and quite interesting elements. Asus targets the same market, namely individuals wanting to make their own computer tools or connected machines. It also targets a passionate public of Makers and even professionals.
With CPU SoC Rockchip RK3288, a Quad Corex-A17 core clocked at 1.8GHz and Mali-T764 graphics chipset. The chip will support multiple environments and many 3D libraries: OpenGL ES1.1, 2.0, 3.0. OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and even DirectX11. The card is announced Debian compatible and “Kodi”. Asus also says working on Ubuntu and OpenSUSE ports.
One can imagine a system very similar to Pi and thus a compatibility of certain elements developed by the community. But since the SoC will be different, the optimizations made for the Raspberry Pi will not necessarily be compatible. The RK3288 will be associated with 2GB of DDR3L RAM on two channels. The storage is on a MicroSD card as usual.
The connectivity includes an HDMI output capable of displaying in 4K, a Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports and an antenna for 802.11 b/g/n Wifi and integrated Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR.
The board also has a 40-pin header with the usual functions. 28 GPIO bus, 2 SPI, 2 I2C, 4 UART, 2PWM, 1 PCM / I2S, 2 5V outputs and 2 3.3V outputs as well as 8 ground. Two more pins will also be available with a PWM signal and an S/PDIF. In this regard, the card will provide a sound output in 192K and 24 bits which could make it an interesting basis for developments around the sound without necessarily using a USB DAC.
To point out the big effort made on the Asus tinker Board to clearly identify the different pins of the header with a color code. All will be powered in 5V/2A through a Micro USB jack. Asus announces a maximum power consumption of 5 watts for the card and quieter speeds with 2.25 watts in current use in 1080p via HDMI and just 2 watts without video output.
Asus plays the big arms with benchmarks to show the effectiveness of its Tinker Board. Obviously the brand forgets that primo is not necessarily the subject of this type of solution but especially that the interest of this type of card comes from its community and its existing developments. In both cases, the map of Asus goes far, far behind, the immense base already established by the Raspberry Pi foundation.
Now, Asus tinker Board is available to order at Farnell.com price at £45.83.