The Radxa Rock 3A is a credit-card-sided single-board computer with a 2 GHz Rockchip RK3568 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor, Mali-G52 graphics, and a neural processing unit.

It looks a bit like a Raspberry Pi and has some similar features including a 40-pin GPIO header and USB and Ethernet ports. But Radxa’s little computer stands out in a few ways. It support san optional eMMC storage module. And it has two M.2 keys – one for wireless cards and another for PCIe NVMe solid state storage.

Radxa says the Rock 3A will be available for purchase starting in August, with prices ranging from $35 for a model with 2GB of RAM to $75 for an 8GB model.

All models will have the same basic features set including:

  • Processor: Rockchip RK3568
  • RAM: 2GB, 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4-3200 memory (DRAM controller frequency up to 1560 MHz)
  • Storage: Pluggable eMMC module, M.2 key for PCIe 3.0 x2 NVMe SSD (on the bottom), microSD card reader
  • USB-C: 1 x USB-C for power delivery
  • USB-A Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 (1 x OTG and 1 x Host) and 2 x USB 2.0
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet with PoE support and M.2 E key for PCIe 2.0 x1/SDIO/UART with support for WiFi cards
  • Display: HDMI 2.0 and MIPI DSI
  • Other connectors: 40-pin GPIO header and MIPI-CSI camera connector
  • Dimensions: 85mm x 54mm (3.3″ x 2.1″)

The system can also be configured to support SATA storage by using a breakout cable connected to the two USB 3.0 ports.

Radxa says the Rock 3A will support the Debian 10 Linux for Rockchip-powered devices that’s maintained by the Toybrick team, but it’s likely that other operating systems will be ported to the platform as well.

via CNX Software

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5 replies on “Radxa ROCK 3A is a Raspberry Pi-sized computer with an M.2 slot for NVMe SSD”

    1. I hear you, since it’s easier to find affordable M.2 2280 SSDs, but it’s be kind of hard to fit an 80mm long card on a board that’s only 84mm!

      1. So you fit it in a case for a 80mm board when doing jobs that it is designed for, and a bigger case when you want M.2 2280 SSDs. ( if it could use them ).
        That is all x86 machines have been doing for years.

      2. Guys, you can use any SSD you want. The upper M.2 (E key) is for a 2230 wifi/wlan card. The bottom M.2 (M key) points out, not the most elegant solution, but takes any length. For a better CPU and stacking architecture I would recommend the NanoPi M4v2 with an M.2 HAT.

        1. Hmm, I think you’re right. It would probably be an ugly solution, but if I’d looked more carefully I would have realized this sooner. My bad. I’ll update the article accordingly!

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