OKdo To Manufacture Raspberry Pi Rockchip Powered Alternative

The Rock 4 SE board
(Image credit: OKdo)

Finding a stockist of Rockchip-powered boards just became a bit easier, as UK based (but worldwide-delivering) online store OKdo, part of the RS Group, has announced via eeNews Europe, a partnership with Chinese open source hardware specialist Radxa which will see Raspberry Pi alternative, Rockchip powered boards manufactured and distributed under the Rock moniker.

The news comes less than a week after news broke of RS Group's decade long Raspberry Pi license came to an end.

Co-Founder and CTO of OKdo, Richard Curtin, said: “We’ve listened to our customers and understand the challenges that the current supply chain dynamic creates. Our mission is to solve customer problems, and we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Radxa which allows us to provide leading technology to our customers worldwide."

The Rock 4 SE board

(Image credit: OKdo)

The process starts with the Rock 4 SE, a £61.13 ($72.21) version of Radxa’s Rock 4C+ that’s been tweaked to reduce its cost. The RK3399-T CPU sports six Arm cores, split between two Cortex A72 and four Cortex A53, and adds a Mali T860MP4 GPU plus 4GB of RAM. There's a tiny Micro SD slot, and an undetermined amount of eMMC can be specified. There's also an M.2 slot for an NVMe SSD.

Expansion comes via four USB ports, two 2.0 and two 3.0, a full-size 4K HDMI port, 3.5mm audio out, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Power is delivered over USB-C, and there's a 40-pin GPIO array, said to be “extensively compatible” with SBC accessories.  What remains to be seen is how extensive the compatibility with Raspberry Pi accessories is. It is common to see boards being electrically compatible but software support is often lacking.

Volume purchasers can customize the board by adding or removing components (what you can add isn’t detailed, though a full-size PCIe 4.0 x16 slot down the middle seems unlikely) to tailor the board to their precise needs. This has been common for industrial Raspberry Pi applications, such as EV charging stations.

Operating system support comes in the form of Debian or Ubuntu Linux and Android from 7.1 to 11. GPU-enabled AI stacks such as Caffe can be used, and there's a hardware access and control library for Linux and Android.

At the time of writing, the Rock 4 SE is out of stock on the OKdo site, but this could just be early teething trouble, as the site says it’s ‘coming very soon’. “Tackling the shortage of semiconductors on the market, OKdo, in collaboration with Radxa, ensured long-term stock availability of ROCK 4 SE, sparing you from stock hunting,” reads the ‘Availability’ section of the product page.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.