The Radxa ROCK5 Computing Module, also known as the Radxa CM5, is a 55 x 40mm computer-on-a-module featuring a Rockchip RK3588S processor, support for up to 16GB of LPDDR4x-4224 memory, and optional support for up to 128GB of eMMC flash storage.

It also happens to be the same size and shape as the older Radxa CM3 as well as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, and has similar connectors. That means it can be used with some carrier boards designed for either of those compute modules, (although some features may not be fully functional). But there are a few key differences to keep in mind.

The first is that the Radxa CM5 has a higher-performance processor than either of those other modules. Rockchip’s RK3588S features four ARM Cortex-A76 CPU cores capable of speeds up to 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores at up to 1.8 GHz. It also has ARM Mali-G610 MP4 graphics, support for 8K video decoding, and a neural processing unit with up to 6 TOPs of performance for AI tasks.

What the Radxa CM5 doesn’t have is any built-in wireless capabilities. You’ll either need to plug the model into a carrier board that has WiFi and Bluetooth hardware if you need those features, or use a USB wireless adapter. And since the CM5 currently lacks an on-module Ethernet PHY solution, wired networking support may be limited if you’re using the new module with an older carrier board that doesn’t have its own. But it’s possible that feature could change by the time the module is released.

Radxa hasn’t announced pricing or availability details yet, but you can find more details about the module at the Radxa wiki. And CNX Software has published some pictures of the board, including the ones shown in this article.

Here’s how Radxa says the ROCK5 Computing Module stacks up against the other boards in terms of specs so far:

Raspberry Pi CM4Radxa CM3Radxa CM5
Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHzRockchip RK3566, Quad core Cortex-A55 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 2.0GHzRockchip RK3588S, Quad core Cortex-A76 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 2.4GHz + Quad core Cortex-A55 64-bit SoC @ 1.8GHz
Small Footprint 55mm × 40mm × 4.7mm moduleSmall Footprint 55mm × 40mm × 4.7mm moduleSmall Footprint 55mm × 40mm × 4.7mm module
Options for 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM with ECCOptions for 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM with ECCOptions for 4GB or 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x-4224 SDRAM
Options for 0GB (CM4Lite), 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB eMMC Flash memory, Peak eMMC bandwidth 100MBytes/sOptions for 0GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB eMMC Flash memory, Peak eMMC bandwidth 250MBytes/sOptions for 0GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB eMMC Flash memory, Peak eMMC bandwidth 250MBytes/s
Option for WiFi5/BT5Option for WiFi5/BT5None
Gigabit Ethernet PHY supporting IEEE 1588Gigabit Ethernet PHY(RTL8211F), optional IEEE 1588 support1x GMAC, without phy on SoM
1 × USB 2.0 port ( highspeed )1 x USB 2.0 port ( highspeed ), 1 x USB 3.0 port (5Gbps)1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB C 3.1 port (5Gbps), 1x USB 3.0 host port
1 × PCIe 1-lane Host, Gen 2 ( 5Gbps )1 x PCIe 1-lane Host, Gen 2 ( 5Gbps )2 x PCIe 1-lan host, Gen 2.1 (5Gbps)
N/A2 x SATA ports, one shared with USB 3, one shared with PCIe2 x SATA ports, one shared with USB 3, one shared with PCIe
2 x HDMI 2.0(up to 4K60)1 x HDMI(up to 4K60)1 x HDMI(up to 8K60)
MIPI DSI:
– 1 × 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
– 1 × 4-lane MIPI DSI display port
MIPI DSI:
– 2 × 4-lane MIPI DSI display port(MIPI DSI0, MIPI DSI1)
– 1 x 4-lane LVDS support(shared with MIPI DSI0)
MIPI DSI:
– 2 × 4-lane MIPI DSI display port(MIPI DSI0, MIPI DSI1)
eDP:
– 1 x eDP up to 4K60
eDP:
– 1 x eDP up to 8K60(shared with HDMI)
MIPI CSI-2:
– 1 × 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
– 1 × 4-lane MIPI CSI camera port
MIPI CSI-2:
– 1 × 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
– 1 × 4-lane MIPI CSI camera port
MIPI CSI-2:
– 1 × 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
– 1 × 4-lane MIPI CSI camera port
1 × SDIO 2.0 (CM4Lite only)1 x SDIO 3.01 x SDIO 3.0
N/AAudio Codec
28 × GPIO supporting either 1.8v or 3.3v signalling and peripheral options:
– Up to 5 × UART
– Up to 5 × I2C
– Up to 5 × SPI
– 1 × SDIO interface
– 1 × DPI (Parallel RGB Display)
– 1 × PCM Up to
– 2× PWM channels
– Up to 3× GPCLK outputs
50 × GPIO supporting either 1.8v or 3.3v signalling and peripheral options:
– Up to 8 × UART
– Up to 8 × I2C
– Up to 4 × SPI
– 1 × SDIO interface
– 1 × PCM
– Up to 8 × PWM channels
– 2 x ADC
50 × GPIO supporting either 1.8v or 3.3v signalling and peripheral options:
– Up to 8 × UART
– Up to 8 × I2C
– Up to 4 × SPI
– 1 × SDIO interface
– 1 × PCM
– Up to 8 × PWM channels
– 2 x ADC
Single +5v PSU inputSingle +5v PSU inputSingle +5v PSU input
2 x 100Pin B2B connector3 x 100Pin B2B connector3 x 100Pin B2B connector

via CNX Software

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  1. I wonder how many devices out there are designed to use the Raspberry Pi CM4 and also have a sufficient cooling solution to handle the heat that the RK3588S will generate.

    Given the fact that the Raspberry Pi doesn’t even need a heatsink, I wonder how many CM4-powered devices bothered to support one.

    Is this a leap in performance that CM4-powered devices can even support thermally?

    1. I have no solid proof, just anecdotal impressions I gained from YT reviews of RK3588-based boards where they stated that it was running pretty cool, but it looks like we mightn’t need to worry so much about cooling solutions for the Radxa CM5?

      1. Yeah, it seems to be COOLER than the Pi4 which is built on an older cheap node.

        What people should be concerned about is comparability. If you bought a Handheld Shell (like PiBoy SRX or Retro Dreamer) for the CM4, you have no guarantee it will fully-support the rCM5, or even work at all.

        1. True but hopefully with all the different user groups working on RK3588(S) support, one of the priorities will be getting it to an RPi level of usability/compatibility. I imagine there will be fairly quick support for Armbian, DietPi and straight up Debian, which would be a helpful start