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.

Introduction

State of the software

The PineNote is based on the in 2021 released Rockchip RK3566 SoC. The upstreaming status of the SoC functionality can be found on the Quartz64 development wiki page of the Quartz64 single-board computer using the same SoC. In the PineNote development wiki page you'll find the items specific for the PineNote.

The early adopter's batch of the PineNote is aimed solely at early adopters - more specifically, the units are solely intended to find their way into the hands of users with extensive Linux experience. If you’re looking to buy a PineNote in the first batch, you must expect to write software for it, not to write notes on it. The software shipping from the factory for the first batch will not be suitable for taking notes, reading e-books, or writing your dissertation. It may not even boot to a graphical environment.

An early version of a GNOME-based Debian image is available for testing, but should not be expected to meet general-user readiness.

Help and support

Still have any questions regarding software, shipping, or ordering after reading this wiki? Please don't hesitate to contact the community in the bridged community channels for detailed answers or simply to chat with friendly people in the community! See Main Page#Community and Support.

Please keep in mind that PINE64 is not like a regular company (see the PINE64 philosophy) and that support resources are limited - the best way to get support quickly is to ask in the community chat! Please only contact the PINE64 support directly if questions couldn't be solved via the community chat or this wiki.

Software releases

While there are no robust and tested operating system releases for the PineNote available at this time, various linux distributions can be installed on the PineNote, with various degrees of working functionality. Operating system software releases, or efforts to create them, can be found in the PineNote Software Releases section. Please join the development effort and help creating one.

Development efforts

The following page discusses the development efforts for the PineNote:

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

Software

Linux Kernel

User Space

For tweaks and tricks see:

For app development see:

Android

Android 11 e-ink SDK for the PineNote and [[Quartz64|Quartz64 Model A]. This is the Android SDK build for 10.3" eink panels on Quartz64 Model A.

Download:

  • Direct download from pine64.org (72.88GB, MD5 of the TAR-GZip file 293a550584298de4fb95ceae18103672)
  • Mirror by mwfc
  • An unofficial torrent download provided by a community member of the BSP Linux and Android SDKs can be found here (100GB).
  • Just the boot blobs (<1MB): File:Rk35-blobs.tar.gz

Notes:

Related

Hardware

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

Resolved issues

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.
  • 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, and screen face down, 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.
  • PineNote/Battery Replacement

Unresolved issues

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?

UART Dongle

The USB UART dongle delivered with the PineNote allows you to have access to a serial port via USB-C Debug Accessory Mode (DAM) without having to open up the device. The factory firmware runs at a baud rate of 1500000bps, 8 data bits 1 stop bit, no parity and no flow control. The USB-C male end should go into the PineNote and the female end can be connected with a standard USB-C cable to your computer.

In case you loose your dongle, you can rebuild one using a USB-C Breakout board.

It is also relatively easy to build your own UART interface with a USB-C breakout board (for example https://www.ebay.com/itm/275407037613), two resistors and a 3.3V USB serial adapter. It is basically just two 1K pull up resistors (R3, R4), the data sheet values of 10K isn't whats on the real hardware, see the schematic. The pull ups enable the serial output on SBU1 and SBU2 you can use with any 3.3V USB serial adapter.

The UART dongle is not necessary to flash the PineNote, but is essential if something goes wrong to fix it without having to open the case.

You can flash premade images with the following links:

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)

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

Information, Schematics, and Certifications

PineNote Developer kit version

Version v1.2 is the PineNote production version that was sold through the Pines64 store

The v1.1 is early release schematic just for reference only and used by developers who received the prototype.

Certifications:

Datasheets for Components and Peripherals

Rockchip RK3566 SoC information:

Rockchip RK817 PMU (Power Management Unit) Information:

LPDDR4 (200 Balls) SDRAM:

  • ---

eMMC information:

E-ink Panel information:

Touch Screen information:

WiFi/BT module information:

G Sensor information:

Audio Amplifier information:

Resources