Subject: Systems | September 25, 2017 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, tinker, SoC, Rockchip, rk3288, Mali-T760, Cortex-A17
ASUS' take on single board computers is the new Tinker Board, powered by a 1.8 GHz Cortex-A17 based Rockchip RK3288 and a 600MHz Mali-T760 GPU which share 2 GB of LPDDR3. Storage is handled by a microSD slot, or the four USB 2.0 ports and the Tinker offers Gigabit wired connectivity as well as optional WiFi. You have a choice of operating systems, either Marshmallow flavoured Android or the Debian based Tinker OS, depending on which you prefer.
The Tech Report tested out the Tinker Board and found the hardware to outpace competitors such as Raspberry Pi, however the lack of software and documentation hamstrung the Tinker Board badly enough that they do not recommend this board. This may change in time but currently ASUS needs to do some work before the Tinker Board becomes an actual competitor in this crowded market.
"Asus' Tinker Board single-board computer wants to challenge the Raspberry Pi 3's popularity with a more powerful SoC and better networking, among other improvements. We put it to the test to see whether it's a worthy alternative to the status quo."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- PCSpecialist Apollo X01 (i7-7820X & 1080 Ti) System @ Kitguru
- HP Omen Desktop PC @ Techspot
- Upgrade My PC Please! Episode 1: The First 5 @ Techspot
- The Tech Report System Guide: September 2017 edition
ARM Releases Top Cortex Design to Partners
ARM has an interesting history of releasing products. The company was once in the shadowy background of the CPU world, but with the explosion of mobile devices and its relevance in that market, ARM has had to adjust how it approaches the public with their technologies. For years ARM has announced products and technology, only to see it ship one to two years down the line. It seems that with the increased competition in the marketplace from Apple, Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm ARM is now pushing to license out its new IP in a way that will enable their partners to achieve a faster time to market.
The big news this time is the introduction of the Cortex A72. This is a brand new design that will be based on the ARMv8-A instruction set. This is a 64 bit capable processor that is also backwards compatible with 32 bit applications programmed for ARMv7 based processors. ARM does not go into great detail about the product other than it is significantly faster than the previous Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A57.
The previous Cortex-A15 processors were announced several years back and made their first introduction in late 2013/early 2014. These were still 32 bit processors and while they had good performance for the time, they did not stack up well against the latest A8 SOCs from Apple. The A53 and A57 designs were also announced around two years ago. These are the first 64 bit designs from ARM and were meant to compete with the latest custom designs from Apple and Qualcomm’s upcoming 64 bit part. We are only now just seeing these parts make it into production, and even Qualcomm has licensed the A53 and A57 designs to insure a faster time to market for this latest batch of next-generation mobile devices.
We can look back over the past five years and see that ARM is moving forward in announcing their parts and then having their partners ship them within a much shorter timespan than we were used to seeing. ARM is hoping to accelerate the introduction of its new parts within the next year.