The Mixtile Blade 3 is a single-board computer with a Rockchip RK3588 processor at its heart, a Pico-ITX form factor, and a design that allows you to stack multiple boards on top of one another to build a cluster.
The starting price is for a board with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, and a heat sink. You can also pay $259 for a higher-spec version of the board with 16GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The board can apparently support up to 32GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, although it’s unclear if and when you’ll be able to purchase configurations with those maxed-out specs.
Each board features Rockchip’s RK3588 processor with four ARM Cortex-A767 CPU cores, four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, Mali-G610 graphics, and a neural processing unit with up to 6 TOPs of performance.
The boards also have:
- 2 x 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports
- 1 x HDMI 2.1 port
- 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports
- 1 x microSD card reader
- 1 x mini PCIe Gen 2 / USB 2.0 interface
- 1 x U.2 interface (with PCIe Gen 3 x4 and SATA 3.0 support)
- 1 x 30-pin GPIO expansion header
- 1 x MIPI-CSI connector
While you could use a single Mixtile Blade 3 as a standalone computer measuring just 100 x 72mm (3.9″ x 2.8″) , what really makes the device special is it’s stackable design and support for cluster computing. Just run a cable from the onboard PCIe Gen 3 edge connector of one Blade 3 to another and you get twice the processing cores, ports, and everything else.
The hardware supports network speeds up to 20Gb/s, memory bandwidth up to 136 GB/s memory bandwidth and a compact, energy-efficient design. According to the crowdfunding page, you can build a cluster with as many as 75 boards to create a 600-core computer that consumes less than 1,500 watts of power.
There’s also an optional four-node cluster box available for $239 that’s basically a case that makes it easy to build a cluster of up to four Mixtile Blade 3 units within a small enclosure, but you’ll need to pay separately for those Blade 3 computers as they’re not included in that price.
The boards ship with Android 12 software, with a custom version of the Debian 11 GNU/Linux distribution pre-loaded in a container, and source code and SDKs are available for Buildroot and Yocto.