Mixtile Blade 3 – A Rockchip RK3588 Pico-ITX board for server applications

The Rockchip RK3588 hype continues with the Mixtile Blade 3, a new Pico-ITX card powered by the Cortex A76/A55 processor, paired with up to 32GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and designed for applications server with two 2.5 GbE interfaces.

The single board computer also comes with an HDMI 2.1 output, an HDMI 2.0 input, USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB Type-C ports, a mini PCIe Gen 2 for expansion and a PCIe Gen 3 x4 slot for connecting two Mixtile cards Blade 3 together for high-performance computing.

Mixtile Blade 3 Specifications:

  • SoC – Octa-core Rockchip RK3588 processor with four 2.4 GHz Arm Cortex-A76 cores, four Arm Cortex-A55 cores, ArmMali-G610 MP4 quad-core GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.2, OpenCL 2.2, Vulkan1. 1 , 6 TOPS NPU, 48MP ISP, 8Kp60 video decoding, 8Kp30 video encoding
  • System memory – Up to 32GB LPDDR4 memory
  • Storage – Up to 256GB eMMC flash memory, MicroSD 3.0 card socket, 3SATA 3.0 via U.2 edge connector,
  • Video Interfaces
    • HDMI 2.1 8Kp60 output
    • HDMI 2.0 in 4Kp60
    • 4-way MIPI DSI
    • DisplayPort 1.4a via USB-C ports
  • Networking – Two 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports with link aggregation
  • USB – 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.4a
  • Expansion
    • U.2 edge connector with 4-lane PCIe Gen3, SATA 3.0
    • Mini PCIe socket with PCIe Gen2.1 and USB 2.0
    • 30 pin GPIO connector with GPIO, I2C, USB 2.0, TTL UART, SPI, I2S, ADC
  • Power supply – 12V via DC socket
  • Dimensions – 100 x 72 mm (2.5 inch Pico-ITX form factor)
  • Temperature range – 0 to +80°C

Mixed blade 3

The company plans to provide Android 12 with a Linux container, and while the card is quite versatile, when asked if the card was designed for server applications, Mixtile confirmed that it was. When asked why not just run Linux, I was told that the driver support for Android 12 is better, so they just run a Linux container inside Android to make software development easier…

Some of the use cases include single clusters and high-density servers with up to 75 Blade 3 cards in a standard 2U 19-inch chassis that would get 600 cores and the equivalent of 630 GHz of computing power in a power envelope 1500 watts.

PCIe multiprocessor RK3588

Pricing is pretty competitive, especially since Firefly is asking nearly $500 for its RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard, with Mixtile Blade 3 selling for $160 with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, $195 in 8GB/64GB configuration and $259 in 16GB/128GB configuration. These are still on pre-order, but the The Mixtile bed shop “Pre-orders will close March 31 and ship in April.” Seems like an optimistic timeline to me, and when I asked for pictures of the board I was told that the real samples are not yet available, they have finished the schematics and are currently working on the PCB layout. I had a good laugh and I can tell you that the board will definitely not be shipped in April! That said, it’s probably not vaporware, as Mixtile has been around for several years, and we’ve written about their cards as far back as 2014.

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