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Media player mini-PC runs Android on 64-bit octa-core SoC

Jun 30, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 4,600 views

Tronsmart unveiled a media player mini-PC that runs Android 5.1 on a 64-bit octa-core Rockchip RK3368 SoC and supports H.265 4K video at 60fps via HDMI 2.0.

We no longer cover every Android media player or HDMI stick that comes around, but the new Tronsmart “Orion R68” certainly caught our attention. (So did its similar predecessor, the quad-core Rockchip RK3288 based Orion R28). First, it runs Android 5.1, a bug-fixed and more secure version of Android 5.0 Lollipop, on a new Rockchip RK3368 system-on-chip, which combines eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz.

Rockchip unveiled the RK3368 (full PR in Chinese PR) in January at CES, but has yet to post it on its SoC page or provide extensive details. The SoC’s GPU, which is a top-of-the-line PowerVR 6110 GPU, supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL 1.2, and DirectX 9.3. In addition, the RK3368 offers 4Kx2K H2.64 and H.265 video @ 60fps — specs that are matched by Tronsmart’s Orion R68. The RK3368’s AnTuTu benchmark score is “more than 38,000,” according to a recent Rockchip news release.

Orion R68
(click image to enlarge)

The Tronsmart Orion R68 and Rockchip RK3368 also support the new HDMI 2.0 standard. HDMI 2.0 is said to increase bandwidth to up to 18Gbps, support 21:9 aspect ratios and 4K video at up to 60fps, and provide dual independent video streams on the same screen. HDMI 2.0 offers enhanced audio with up to 32 channels and 1536KHz sampling frequency, and can deliver up to four different audio streams simultaneously. The connectors and cables, thankfully, remain the same.

Rockchip RK3368 promotional image
(click image to enlarge)

Tronsmart touts the RK3368 for its much wider 64-bit throughput for RAM and general processing. Despite this, according to an April post on CNXSoft, “the RK3368 will not be quite as fast as RK3288, but it will be more cost effective.” If true, the speed boost is likely due to the fact that the quad-core RK3288, which is based on the 32-bit Cortex-A17 architecture, can be clocked at a higher 1.8GHz rate. Also, while Android 5.0 and 5.1 are 64-bit ready, most media player applications are 32-bit, and have yet to be optimized for octa-core configurations. The RK3288, which also supports 4K2K video, has a similarly speedy GPU with its Mali-T7.

Tronsmart’s Orion R68 offers many of the same features of the company’s earlier Orion R28. No dimensions were listed, but the R68 has a more square footprint, and might occupy a bit less space than the R28. Like the earlier model, the R68 is offered in both a basic “Pro” and an advanced “Meta” version. The Pro gives you 1GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB eMMC flash, and 802.11n WiFi, while the Meta doubles the memory allotments and advances the WiFi to 802.11ac.

Top and side views of the Orion R68
(click image to enlarge)

Both R68 versions offer an SD slot, Bluetooth 4.0, and a gigabit Ethernet port. As with the Orion R28, there are three USB 2.0 host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and HDMI and S/PDIF ports. Gone, apparently, is the earlier AV port, and there’s no mention of external antennas.

Specifications listed for the Pro and Meta versions of the Orion R68 mini-PC include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3368 (8x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.5GHz); PowerVR 6110 GPU
  • Memory:
    • Pro — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC flash
    • Meta — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC flash
    • SD slot
  • Video support — 2160P multi-format video decode, H.265, 4K2K
  • Audio support — WMA, WAV, OGG, APE, FLAC, AAC, AC3
  • Wireless:
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • IR with remote
    • Pro — 802.11b/g/n (Broadcom AP6212)
    • Meta — 802.11b/g/n/ac (Broadcom AP6335)
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB with OTG port
    • HDMI 2.0 out port with audio
    • Optical S/PDIF port
  • Other features — OTA updates
  • Power — 5V, 2A adapter included; DC-in jack
  • Operating system — Android 5.1

Further information

The Orion R68 will be available in July at an undisclosed price, says Tronsmart. More information may be found at the Orion R68 product page.

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One response to “Media player mini-PC runs Android on 64-bit octa-core SoC”

  1. dean says:

    Looks like GeekBuying is having a sale on these – $50 USD for the higher spec version of the Tronsec R68

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