There’s a kickstarter project that has been launched by the Chinese company “Firefly”. They propose a development board based on the rockchip RK3399 (2xA72 + 4xA53) which is quite rich and complete in term of interfaces. It’s much more expensive than the current C2. A fully equipped C2 (the board + the PSU + 16GB eMMC) costs around 110 euros in europe, a similarly equipped firefly RK3399 is proposed at around 150$, and the 4GB/32GB costs around 200$. I’ve backed their project and have chosen the 4GB/32GB model although I need only a small part of the equipment of this board. I’d prefer a less expensive C3 - with a RK3399 or equivalent processor - with roughly the interfaces of the C2.
- the memory (I need to manipulate large amount of audio files so 2GB is a bit short, 4GB is OK, 6GB would be the heaven
- the cpu power (the 4xA53 are not bad at all, but the 2 additional A72 open a much larger panel of possibilities),
- a really working USB2 controller especially when used for isochronous (audio) transfers (don’t need USB3),
- an I2S controller able to manage 8 input and output channels up to 96KHz.
- an efficient and silent cooling system to avoid cpu throttling which is a killer for real time audio applications.
My use case makes a heavy usage of available cores, so the hexacore 2xA72 + 4xA53 configuration is really attractive to me. The XU4 is an interesting board with its 8 cores. it's a powerful board but the A15 are not good at delivering their power at a low temperature. The processor starts throttling allmost immediately when I run a cpu intensive program.