Pine64, makers of the PinePhone and line of Linux-powered devices, has announced the QuartzPro64, a professional development board based on the powerful RK3588 chipset.
The SoC, which also powers the ITX-3588J from Firefly and the BPI-R2 Pro from Banana Pi, is the successor to the RK3399 used in the ROCKPro64 board from Pine64. The manufacturer is keen to make it clear, however, that the ROCKPro64 isn’t going anywhere ‘anytime soon’.
With eight cores (4x A55 and 4x A76 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz and 2.4 GHz respectively) and capable of driving an 8K display, there's a lot to like about the RK3588. Pine64’s QuartzPro64 will ship with 16GB of of LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, and with as much of the SoCs fearsome array of IO exposed as possible.
The board will be 180mm x 180mm (7.1 x 7.1 inches) in size, and features heatsink mounting holes plus system KEY buttons on the PCB. The ports include a whole lot of USB, PCIe 3.0, 2 x SATA, 2 x HDMI out and 1 x in, 2 x gigabit Ethernet, 2 x SMA antennas, USB-C with video-alt mode, 2 x MIPI D-PHY display connectors, 2 x MPI DPCHY (which we suspect may be a typo, as a Google search links only to the QuartzPro64 announcement page), and an SD card slot. Power comes via 12V DC.
To purchase the board you’ll ideally need to be a developer, at least at first. This is because the software for the board has yet to be developed, and the device isn’t end-user ready. Other manufacturers have posited Linux and Android compatibility for their RK3588 products, so we’ll likely see the same here.
Pine64’s announcement also delved into the vexed issue of pricing, with the board likely to retail “north of $300”, putting it out of Raspberry Pi competitor territory. The manufacturer hasn’t yet settled on a price-point, but it is likely to be sold at cost or even subsidized. “Here’s the take-away,” the announcement concludes. “This is an amazing platform, but it will take time for it to mature.”
In the same news posting, Pine 64 also announced that the Quartz64 Model B board would be available on the Pine Store soon. It’s supported by the most recent Manjaro Linux update, and contains a quad-core Rockchip RK3566 CPU at 2.0 GHz, backed by 8GB of RAM and with an M.2 slot. It’s not available yet, but the 8GB version of the Model A retails for $80.
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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.