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The Radxa ROCK3 Model C is a credit card-sized computer that looks a bit like a Raspberry Pi except that it has more input and output options including an M.2 2230 slot that can be used to add storage or wireless cards.

And while the Raspberry Pi 4 features a Broadcom BCM2711 chip, the ROCK3 Model C is powered by a 1.6 GHz Rockchip RK3566 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor. The chip delivers less CPU performance, but it has a built-in neural processing unit that could make it a better fit for AI applications. The Rock3 Model C is now available for purchase for $39 and up.

The starting price is for a model with just 1GB of LPDDR4-3200 RAM and no storage, but it only costs $5 more to upgrade to a 2GB model. Versions with 4GB or 8GB of memory aren’t available yet, but should be coming soon.

In addition to the M.2 slot, Radxa’s little computer has a microSD card that can also be used for storage, plus support for an optional eMMC module.

Ports include:

  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio
  • 1 x USB 2.0 OTG
  • 1 x USB 3.0 host
  • 2 x USB 2.0 host
  • 1 x GbE Ethernet (with Power over Ethernet support using an optional HAT)

There’s also a MIPI CSI camera connector and MIPI DSI display connector (although the system only supports one display at a time, so you cannot use this if you’re also using the HDMI port).

Other features include support for 24-bit/96 kHz audio, a 40-pin expansion header, support for an optional RTC battery, and support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.

Radxa says the board measures 85 x 56mm (3.3″ x 2.2″) and works with 5V/3A USB Type-C power supplies, although the company suggests using a 5V/5A power supply if you’re using an SSD with the computer.

If the Rock 3 Model C looks familiar, that’s because it’s basically a cheaper, slightly less powerful version of the Rock 3 Model A that launched nearly two years ago. That model has a 2 GHz Rockchip RK3568 processor but lacks built-in support for WiFi and Bluetooth. It currently sells for $45 and up.

via @theradxa and LinuxGizmos

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  1. This is a really nice one. But I don’t get the jump from a 5v 3A requirement to a 5v 5A just because of an SSD. That’s a whole 10w difference, while most (if not all) SSDs don’t exceed 4w of power consumption.