The single-board computer space has sort of blown up in the six years since Raspberry Pi released its first credit card-sized computer.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of models powered by Rockchip’s RK3399 hexa-core processor. But the latest isn’t so much a single-board PC as an entire ecosystem of products designed around a RK3399-powered SBC.

The Khadas Edge line of computers and accessories are up for pre-order for $99 and up through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and they’re expected to start shipping in January.

The Khadas Edge is a Raspberry Pi-like mini computer with all the usual bells and whistles, plus a 314-pin connector that lets you attach it to a carrier board for added functionality.

The Khadas Edge-1S is a model with a RK3399Pro chip featuring a neural processing unit. And the Khadas Edge-V is more of an all-in-one device.

$99 is the pre-order price for an Edge basic board with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC 5.1 storage, HDMI 2.0a, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, two USB Type-C ports (one for power and one for data/video), and an SD card slot, among other features).

There are also Pro (4GB/32GB) and Max (4GB/128GB) models with Bluetooth 5.0.

The Edge-1S adds dedicated LPDDR3 memory for the neural processing unit, so it comes in three configurations:

  • Basic – 1GB LPDDR3/2GB LPDDR4
  • Pro – 2GB LPDDR3/4GB LPDDR4/32GB
  • Max – 2GB LPDDR3/4GB LPDDR4/128GB

The Edge and Edge-1S measure about 3.2″ x 2.3″ x 0.2 inches and weighs less than an ounce. The Edge-V is a little thicker, at about 0.5 inches.

If you want additional ports and features, you can buy a Khadas Captain carrier board.

You can plug the Khadas Edge into the carrier board the same way you would insert a stick of RAM into a computer, and it gives you an M.2 2280 socket with support for PCIe NVMe solid state storage, an accelerometer and gyroscrope, a 40-pin connector, a 3.5mm audio jack, programmable game control buttons, and other features.

It also has an Li-Po battery charging circuit, allowing you to connect a battery pack, MIPI-DSI and eDP connectors for an optional touchscreen LCD display.

You can also attach an optional cooling fan or heat sink, or an optional camera.

The Captain board measures 4.6″ x 3.2″ 0.5″.

In other words, depending on which version of the Khadas Edge you buy and which accessories you opt for, the system could be used as in a home media center or as a handheld gaming device. You could use it for digital signage or use it as a platform for developing your own hardware powered by the tiny computer.

Khadas says the Edge line of devices support operating systems including Android, mainline Linux, and LibreELEC.

The company says the Khadas Edge and Edge-V are already production ready. But it’s hoping to raise money through the crowdfunding campaign to bring the Edge-1S to market (if Khadas can raise at least $200,000) and to manufacturer a new “NextC Case” for the little computers (if it raises at least $350,000).

via FreakTab and Khadas Forum

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6 replies on “Khadas Edge is a hacker-friendly single-board PC… and ecosystem (crowdfunding)”

  1. Not sure about now but Rockchip had poor support in open source.
    Due to that i won’t really call it hacker friendly, it is just another SBC.

  2. This is going to be very successful… if they can have them produced in high numbers, and scale costs over time.
    Everyone loves the Pi, but its quite slow and inefficient. There’s a demand for a more modern version.

    Not that the RockChip 3399 Pro is winning any awards on its own, its basically equivalent to the QSD 650.
    However, the GPU is noticeably (40% – 180%) faster than on the Snapdragon… depending on Vulkan. Native Linux alone is going to see a huge boost, and people are finally going to enjoy their N64/Dreamcast/PSP emulation. Still everything is thermal capped due to the cheap 28nm production.

    Even on 28nm, there would’ve been more thermal and performance headroom if used a newer architecture like:
    – Cortex A75 (same 1.8GHz clockspeed, but moving up to Quadcore)
    – Cortex A55 (boost from 1.5GHz to about 1.7GHz)
    – Bifrost v3 (boost from ~600MHz Simple Mali-T860MP4 to ~500MHz Complex Mali G76-MP8)

    Ofcourse this is all theoretical, as no-one is going to go and design and produce such a chip. The profit-margins aren’t large enough. OEM’s would demand a newer lithography anyway, but that bloats the cost quite much.
    There is definitely an increase going from 28nm -> 16nm -> 12nm -> 7nm, to the size, efficiency, and max performance. But the greater gains still come from the architecture.

    I’m only nitpicking, this is a great project.
    And I hope they bring in a high-end version in the coming months/year.

    1. They _could_ get popular, but only if they release proper opensource drivers and a good documentation – things that most upstart hacker boards fail to do. Everyone can piece together a PCB in Eagle and put whatever CPU on it (you basically connect the data lines and provide the voltage needed for the part), that alone won’t make it good or hacker-friendly, the support does. That is why the RasPi is so popular even with those meager specs

      1. True, I forgot to mention that.
        Though I thought they would be providing the documentation, source, and drivers anyway. I’ve heard of the RK3399 gaining some reputation already, sort of reminds me of that old Allwinner SoC.

        At least it’s not MediaTek.

    2. As I know, Rockchip new SoC RK35xx spec with Quad-core Cortex A75 and A55 already on the road now. The new SoC should target to ARM Server marketing.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

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