PineNote

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The PineNote

The PineNote is the first hybrid notepad computer device combination of notebook, tablet and e-reader using an e-ink panel. It is derived from the Quartz64 model A SBC and powered by a Rockchip RK3566 quad-core ARM Cortex A55 64-bit processor with a MALI G-52 GPU.

Specification

PineNote Pen function.jpg
PineNote Cover-1.jpg

General Information

  • Dimensions: 191.1x232.5x7.4mm
  • Weight: 438g

Core

  • CPU: RK3566 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core A55
  • GPU: MALI G52 2EE
  • System memory: 4GB LPDDR4
  • Flash: 128GB eMMC

E-ink Display

  • Size: 10.3"
  • Resolution: 1404x1872
  • DPI: 227
  • Grayscale: 16
  • Front Light: 36 level cold and warm
  • Capacitive multi-touch panel
  • EMR pen digitizer

Network

  • WiFi: 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth: 5.0

Audio

  • Built in stereo speakers
  • 4 x DMIC microphone

Sensor

  • G-Sensor for portrait and landscape sensing

Power

  • 4000mAH LiPo battery
  • DC 5V @ 3A USB-C connector

Accessories

  • Optional EMR pen with magnetic attachment (included in the first production batch)
  • Optional Cover (included in the first production batch)

Software releases

  • Not yet available

SoC and Memory Specifications

RK3566 icon.png

CPU Architecture

  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A55@1.8GHz
  • AArch32 for full backwards compatibility with ARMv7
  • ARM Neon Advanced SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) support for accelerated media and signal processing computation
  • Includes VFP hardware to support single and double-precision operations
  • ARMv8 Cryptography Extensions
  • Integrated 32KB L1 instruction cache and 32KB L1 data cache per core
  • 512KB unified system L3 cache
  • TrustZone technology support
  • 22nm process, believed to be FD-SOI

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Capabilities

  • Mali-G52 2EE Bifrost GPU@800MHz
  • 4x Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) with minimal performance drop
  • 128KB L2 Cache configurations
  • Supports OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, and 3.2
  • Supports Vulkan 1.0 and 1.1
  • Supports OpenCL 2.0 Full Profile
  • Supports 1600 Mpix/s fill rate when at 800MHz clock frequency
  • Supports 38.4 GLOP/s when at 800MHz clock frequency

NPU (Neural Processing Unit) Capabilities

  • Neural network acceleration engine with processing performance of up to 0.8 TOPS
  • Supports integer 8 and integer 16 convolution operations
  • Supports the following deep learning frameworks: TensorFlow, TF-lite, Pytorch, Caffe, ONNX, MXNet, Keras, Darknet

System Memory

  • RAM Memory : 4GB LPDDR4.
  • Flash Memory: 128GB eMMC

PineNote Information, Schematics, and Certifications

  • Certifications:
    • Not yet available

Datasheets for Components and Peripherals


Development Efforts

  • PineNote Development for general information regarding how to flash the device and other development information.

Software

Hardware

This section includes discussions and their results regarding hardware changes to the PineNote.

The following topics have resolved:

  • PineNote/Hardware_Changes/Closed_Case_UART
  • Could the USB-C port support USB 3.1 5Gbps? Yes and no. The RK3566 only has a host-mode 5Gbps controller, meaning it can only negotiate such a high data rate with a device such as a flash drive. When the RK3566 is acting as a device, it only supports 480Mbps transfer rates. The hardware required to switch between these modes would raise the PineNote's price unreasonably. Therefore, the USB-C port will remain at USB 2.0 speeds for Host and Device mode.
  • Could the USB-C port output DisplayPort? Yes and no. The hardware required to support such a feature would raise the PineNote's price unreasonably. Therefore, DisplayPort output will not be possible through the USB-C port.
  • Where is the microSD card slot? The case design of the PineNote is fixed, making physical changes like adding a microSD card slot would raise the cost unreasonably. However, revisions of the PineNote motherboard after 1.1 will feature an internal ribbon cable connector where a microSD card slot may be attached. Attaching such a device will require taking the PineNote apart.
  • How will I install software to the PineNote? This is a hardware and software question. If the software on your PineNote is completely broken and cannot boot to a recoverable state, a Hall (magnet) sensor was fitted to the PineTab motherboard as U9009. This sensor is attached to SARADC_VIN0_KEY/RECOVERY on the RK3566. With the device powered off, holding a magnet over U9009 and plugging in a USB-C cable causes the device to boot into "rockusb" flash mode. With proper flashing software and drivers, it should be possible to load a new operating system using rockusb if the system is soft-bricked. Of course, software vendors will need to be more careful with flashing firmware and providing useful "recovery" options on this device due to this process's relative difficulty to other PINE64 devices.

Unresolved

The following concerns have been brought up as open, unanswered topics:

  • Does Audio Adapter Accessory Mode work? It appears that the Headphone output of the audio codec was routed to the USB-C audio+USB switch, but it's unclear whether CC lines are hooked up correctly for detection of such a device. The PineNote hardware team will be testing this functionality soon (as of August 19, 2021). Note that Audio Accessory mode is detectable by reading the I2C registers of the WUSB3801Q. So connecting ASEL to a GPIO would be enough to get this working if it is not working already.
  • Why is the Headphone output of the audio codec routed to the speakers? HPL_OUT is routed from the RK817 PMIC and audio codec to U9010 (the USB-C switch) and U6 (the audio amplifier). SPK_OUT is unused. It seems like SPK_OUT should be routed to U6 and HPL_OUT to U9010.
  • Nitpick: The cold white charging LED bleeds through the gap between the rear case and the device's face. It does not bleed onto the screen, but it is jarring in low-light conditions or when the screen is amber. Could be resolved in software by turning off the charge LED when the screen is on.
  • Is there any way to indicate when the device is in rockusb mode, such as connecting a certain magic pin to the power LED?
  • The modem/4G connector (J6010) has its I2C and UART pins unconnected. Could those be connected to the SoC?

BSP Linux SDK

BSP Linux SDK ver 4.19 for PineNote and Quart64 model A SBC

Android SDK

Android 11 eink SDK for PineNote and Quart64 model A SBC

Hardware troubleshooting guide

At present, nothing is available.