ASUS Tinker Board is a single board computer launched at the beginning of 2017. Its physical size and the arrangement of all connectors are designed to be compatible with the second and later generations of Raspberry Pi. The first model of ASUS Tinker Board offers 4K video presentation, a Rockchip RK3288 1.8GHz processor, 2GB of built-in RAM and 1GB Ethernet port.
The ASUS single board computer was designed as a direct competitor to the Raspberry Pi series. The layout of all outputs, including custom LVDS connectors for connecting the screen and camera, is identical to the one in the popular Raspberry models. Additionally, the 40-pin GPIO connector, found in both models of single board computers, is characterized by the same location and the same structure of individual signals. Thanks to that, mechanical components such as extension modules or HAT boards created for Raspberry Pi are also compatible with ASUS Tinker Board.
Although ASUS Tinker Board is physically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi module, this solution is more efficient than most single board Raspberry computers. The computer designed by ASUS, a well-known manufacturer of PC mainboards, is characterized by 2 GB of dual-channel LPDDR3 and efficient SoC. ASUS Tinker Board is based on a quad-core processor with ARM Cortex-A17 - RockChip RK3288, with a clock frequency of 1.8 GHz. The CPU is supported by a Mali-T764 GPU with a clock frequency of 600 MHz (this is 50% more than in the case of Raspberry Pi 3 B+).
ASUS Tinker Board outperforms its competition not only in terms of the embedded processor and GPU computing power but also in terms of the quality and speed of the embedded output interfaces. Both Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and ASUS Tinker Board have an Ethernet port that can operate at a speed of one gigabit (1000 Mbps), however, in the case of popular Raspberry Pi, the controller is shared with other resources and allows a real transmission speed which doesn’t exceed 230 Mbps. The audio output of the ASUS module can also boast with better parameters - it supports sampling frequency up to 192 kHz.
ASUS Tinker Board is equipped with a processor based on ARM technology and thanks to that, it’s compatible with numerous Linux-based operating systems. Apart from standard distributions such as Debian and Ubuntu, the system is supported by Armbian, DietPi, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, LibreELEC (minimalist operating system for the Kodi multimedia package), Volumio or Linux created with the use of the Yocto tool. Moreover, the system works also with Android. Especially for this platform, ASUS has developed dedicated TinkerOS accessible in two different versions - Linux (Debian 8 or Debian 9) or Android (version 6.0.1 or 7.1.2).
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