Raspberry pi 3 competitor.... The Asus Tinker board


#1

https://www.google.com/amp/s/b.marfeel.com/amp/hothardware.com/news/asus-unveils-tinker-board-rockchip-powered-rpi-3-competitor


#2

Looks cool, could it run retropie or something like it?

Edit: It costs £55. Maybe wait til the Pi 4?


#3

I would be surprised and disappointed if there was a RPi 4 this year. They said when the RPi 3 was released that there will not be a new version this year. Also it will fragment the platform again, something that can cause issues as it did with some hats on the RPi3.

For their goal, education, the platform needs to remain stable.


#4

interesting… it’s the same chip as in my Chrmebook, so yes, though I haven’t tried it, it should work just fine with Retropie, very sure of that.


#5

Well retropie runs on Linux. I wonder if this will rub Linux.


#6

Has anyone found a pinout for it yet?


#7

it is clearly in my view a Pi clone with standard J8 mapping, i.e it will take HATs made for the RPi… I am planning to order one in the course of the day so we’ll find out soon enough.


#8

It it likely it will not “just work” with RetroPie - RetroPie will need to include support for it. If it has X with h/w opengl (not gles), it may be possible to get somewhere with a generic X11 + opengl build, but it may well need more work than that (and for running on the framebuffer, some of the existing mali code may work, but it expects specific packages to be available - eg mali-fbdev as shipped with odroid ubuntu etc).


#9

yes, indeed, certainly an admin on the Retropie forum said it wasn’t compatible and they had no plans currently to support it… I suspect the later is more to avoid people purchasing the board on the back of a commitment it will in the future, but still.


#10

That was probably me.


#11

@gadgetoid - as in something like this: https://image.slidesharecdn.com/asustinkerboardsaleskitv1-161215130047/95/asus-tinker-board-4-638.jpg for the pinout?


#12

Oh boy that pinout image is shoddy :D 2001 called, they want their Geocities image back :D

Looks like RetroPie’s compatibility goes deeper than I first thought- don’t some of the emulators also have Pi-specific hacks/optimisations? I didn’t dig too deep, but I know it’s less about raw CPU power and more about utilisation when it comes to emulation. (Well, a bit of both really!)


#13

@gadgetoid Ok, well how about this. Mine arrived just a moment ago, so I’ve taken a photo of their user manual:

It even comes with a heatsink (larger than the Pi), so assume this is going to be an essential part?


#14

Just thought I’d post more photos I took:

And another:


#15

Do the camera and display connectors use the same bus as the RPi? I thought the ones the Pi use were owned in some way by Broadcom and not an accepted format? (or maybe I dreamt that)

Why does it have so many chips on it? ( I know nothing about board design ).

May get one just because. :)


#16

no idea about the DSI and CSI… yet at least.

reports from my end so far (literally just turned up an hour ago):

  • could fit it in pibow case with hack of layer 3 (as expected)
  • runs pretty hot, heatsink definitely needed, but too tall for HAT (not unexpected)
  • by the magic of pulseaudio (or black magic) pHAT DAC was auto-configured as a ‘usb audio’ and working out of the box.
  • GPIO API is through wiringpi, unsurprisingly.
  • a python API is supplied but reported as not yet supporting SPI, I2C and hardware PWM.
  • kernel is 4.4.16 on what looks like a fairly standard Debian jessie
  • WiFi worked as expected, Eth0 is reported to be half of advertised speed (still, markedly faster than Pi3)

… some of the above as been reported elsewhere, but I thought I’d post it here as and when I see something worth mentioning. Unfortunately I have to close up my self-assessment this weekend, so I don’t think I’ll have more to add for a while :/


#17

Thanks for the feedback. As Sky TV are loosing the discovery channels in a couple of days I’m thinking of building a media centre type thing and cancelling my sky subscription. This sounded like an interesting option.


#18

actually, I should have paid more attention, the distro under the bonnet is Linaro, which AFAIK is sort of an ARM optimised mid-way between debian and ubuntu.

either way, I’ve switched all sources to raspbian and the raspberrypi svn repositories… so far no trouble though I’m probably walking on a razor’s edge - but hey, happy to take one for the team ;-)


#19

a (moving) picture being word a single word:


#20

a word of warning, this board runs easily in the 65-70C degrees with moderate CPU activity, and has a power off safety that kicks in at 90C.

… if you pick one up, make sure to use in a well ventilated space, a Pibow closed on both sides, as shown in my video, is probably not going to lead to a great experience.

I have now taken the top off but plan to add a pibow lego base to further help with heat disipation!