HardROCK64: A new and affordable Raspberry Pi alternative with a six-core processor and multiple ports
Pine64 is not only known for its open-source laptop and smartphone, but also for its SBCs. In many cases, its developer board are not only well equipped, but also cheaper than the more popular Raspberry Pi.
Now, the company has introduced the HardROCK64, a new SBC powered by the Rockchip RK3399, a chip that we have already seen powering the Pinebook Pro and the ROCKPro64. The RK3399 integrates two ARM Cortex-A72 cores and four A53 cores, along with an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. A dedicated heat sink can be installed should you want to get the best performance from the SoC.
The HardROCK64 also integrates two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, while ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 5.0 are on board too. Additionally, there is a socket for adding eMMC flash storage and a microSD card reader, as is almost always the case with modern SBCs. Likewise, external monitors can be connected via HDMI and MIPI-DSI. Meanwhile, the board supports camera connections via MIPI-CSI. Unsurprisingly, there is a GPIO header too.
Pine64 has even included an infrared receiver, along with headers for a fan and a real-time clock. The company estimates to start shipping the board in April and in three variants. Currently, there are plans to release units with 1 GB, 2 GB and 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. These will be priced at US$35, US$45 and US$55, respectively.