The new ROCK PI S v1.2 - transformation through community influence
Rock Pi S was introduced to the market in the middle of June. With the outstanding RK3308 a 64bit quad core low power CPU and the very attractive price/value ratio it created a lot of attention with 5-6k people daily looking for the product on our store. In the meanwhile Rock Pi S has grown up and will be sold in the Version1.2 very soon.
The first version of Rock Pi S v1.0 was available with an SD card slot and of course additional features like wifi/ble/PoE, USB-C power/OTG port GPIO access and 2 different RAM versions.
This version did not go into mass production and was soon replaced by v1.1 which had some major improvements, introduced a new color (yellow) and most importantly the option to use SD NAND flash as mass storage. The choice for this optional mass storage really made Rock Pi S immediately more flexible. Especially taking into account that the use cases IoT and voice/audio applications do not need huge storage but low power, small dimensions with reliable durable storage.
The chosen SLC SD NAND is industrial level with ECC onboard and protects data in case of sudden power failure. It can be easily accessed like a normal TF storage and also boot the Rock Pi S from it. Another nice part is that the SD card slot remains available and could still be used as additional mass storage if needed.
When this version was introduced we sent out a lot of samples which created valuable feedback from the community and triggered a very important discussion on e.g. how to improve the limited GPIO 26/26 pins, which features to outline and many more issues.
The now upcoming version v1.2 includes loads of changes which are based on feedback from the community. Ongoing discussions have lead to the as is and will help Rock Pi S to a much wider acceptance in the market.
In v1.2 the major changes are done on the GPIO´s. In the below table you can see the comparison between Rock Pi 4 and the two Rock Pi S versions.
After all the above mentioned details, the major excitement is the low power RK3308 which does not need any heat sink even during heavy operation. We did tests over a long period of time with full CPU load - the RK3308 did not throttle, stay within normal temperature range and could still be touched.
It now remains to be seen which applications will be realized on Rock Pi S. There is a lot of activity going on providing a useful ecosystem like hardware expansions (HATs) and OS improvements and adaptions.
Once again listening to the community has proven to be the right way!