Introduce ROCK 5A - Gift for the year of rabbit

It would be better If there’s an on-board WIFI 6 & BT5 module give that the RPi 4 compatible form factor is not easy mount the antenna to and its not pretty to connect an external antenna with IPEX 4 cable.


Also the signal sucks if the M.2 wireless module is not connected to the antenna.
Potential competitors with RK3588S have already done this.

CoolPi 4B
Pico PC

Wifi m.2 module with ipex anthenna is few bucks, You can easily add it to m.2 e slot.
Also You can add there something different like 2.5G ethernet, sata drive or nvme with adapter. It’s really more power than wifi chip glued to board.

It’s not about the money, the external antenna makes it less portable.
They had on board WIFI and M.2 E key slot in earlier revision.

pic is taken from discord:

There are actually many slight differences to Pi format due to placement of components and gpio pinout that this like all pi lookalikes actually do themselves a disservice as like the Rock-5b and the evolution of the SBC there are superior formats that would be better to try. and standardise.

It looks like a Pi, runs like a Pi, but hats and cases don’t fit as many pi lookalikes are.
Why look like a Pi when as a Soc its vastly superior? But hey :slight_smile:

Just because it was there does not mean that this was good idea, maybe it was just too slow or not working with m.2 at same time (which BTW is m.2 M slot for nvme). Hey, it was dev board :slight_smile:
Asks radxa team why they eventually decided to remove onboard wifi, probably they moved limited i/o somewhere else. One lane 2.1 nvme is not that great idea, usually You expect some speed from those drives and here is worst than on rock 3a board or even rock 4a/b/c.

One reason alone is certification costs (and most probably a different stance on certifications now compared to few years ago).

Make the slightest change to any radio component and your whole device needs a new certification (depending on which international markets you want to target it’s not one but many).

Remove WiFi from board and provide an USB receptacle or an M.2 or mPCIe slot --> problem solved.

Adding to this: onboard WiFi on majority of SBC is insecure crap but of course consumers don’t care whether they’re affected by BroadPwn or Kr00k.

Little BroadPwn celebrates his 5th birthday next month! And still isn’t fixed on majority of SBC relying on Ampak/Broadcom/Cypress onboard WiFi.

While this for sure makes life little easier I expect that it’s not a big problem for such company to do certification if this is needed and by removing wifi they probably moved it’s io somewhere. I.e they could easily add it to near m.2 slot (but according to specs it’s not much there, one pcie 2.0 line).

Comparing different rk3588s board I see that we have either wifi or m.2 slot (that usually can take some wifi card). SOC just have very limited i/o and You can forget about nvme with speed like it’s on rk3588 (4x pcie 3.0). That’s why I think that something is wrong about included picture of dev board - nvme/ssd slot would be slow and wifi not replaceable by anything (or at least working together with m.2).

I know that some people miss wifi feature, and maybe there will be some Rock5 SE board with replaced m.2 E with wifi. Not a problem for me to insert wifi card now if needed.

Cool Pi 4B: wifi chip, no m.2
Pico PC: wifi chip, no m.2
Orange Pi5: no wifi, m.2 B slot for nvme (and custom wifi B card)
Rock 5A: no wifi, m.2 E slot for wifi (and adapter to M.2 B for NVME or SATA)

So far most have similar capabilities if You want to have wireless communication, but for orange pi5 You need special card or adapter (or just use usb wifi). On radxa is super easy to plug some wifi card, but also You can do something else there like sata port. And that is whole point about it :slight_smile:

I will not complain if Radxa team can prepare a portable metal case for 5A that can handle the antenna mounting well. I just don’t like messy external antennas.

I don’t want to be part of this useless discussion whether there should be onboard Wi-Fi or not, just sharing something I learned recently by talking to people who should know:

FCC, CMIIT, MSIP, ANATEL. For example Japan and EU (CE) aren’t even listed there. If you have onboard Wi-Fi and need to change anything (e.g. due to chip shortages) then you need to recertify your device for all these markets again and again.

Radxa these days cares about such things (their FCC approvals are done via a company called “RockPi Trading Ltd.”), many other SBC makers don’t. Even if there’s FCC and CE silkscreened on the board they do not certify anything. Many not even USL.

Should there be also Rock 5B listed? Last submission is 2022-08-25, board has printed fcc sign, but has no radio (m.2 e slot).

Probably not necessary to be listed in this case. FCC covers all sorts of radio emissions from the device even if it doesn’t have wireless capabilities.

You can find smaller antennas.

Just curious about two things:

  1. Has there been an update to the release date? Lawl, I’m anxious to get my hands on it!
  2. Does anyone know if any of the existing (3, 4, 5 etc) cases will fit the 5a? If not, is it likely there will already be a fitting 5a case available at launch?

It’s got a custom chip called Radxa RA620-1 on it, isn’t it?
What is it for?

Display Interface Controller: Radxa;RA620-1

Does this mean that support for monitors will be better?
Such as “Variable refresh rate”?

It was already on Rock 4c+, earlier there was same chip named RK620-1 (rockchip)

On schematics it’s DP to HDMI:

I don’t know why its rebranded now, but probably nothing new since 4c+ :slight_smile:

I see, thanks for the info. It seems that the main purpose is to unify the interface type.

This chip was customized from Rockchip and we want it exclusive now. So we can use radxa logo on it.

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