A year ago Libre Computer brought “Le Potato” to Kickstarter. The Raspberry Pi-like single-board computer was quickly followed by the Tritium, and the Renegade. Now Libre is back, with the Renegade Elite.
All three of Libre’s previous boards have one thing in common, the form factor. The Raspberry Pi form factor has become a de facto standard in the SBC market, and until now Libre’s other boards had all shared it. However the new Renegade Elite is a big departure from that.
The board is built around a Rockchip RK3399 which has two CPU clusters, the first a dual-core Cortex-A72 optimized for high performance, and a second quad-core Cortex-A53 is optimized for low power. Aside from these is a quad-core Arm Mali-T860 MP4 GPU, and 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM. The board should be able to run a mainline Linux 4.19+, Linux Rockchip 4.4, or alternatively Android 8 Oreo.
Unlike previous Libre boards, the Renegade Elite does not have a Raspberry Pi-style 40-pin GPIO connector. Instead it has two 60-pin headers. The first is a PCI-e header, while the second is a “low-speed” GPIO header.
The board comes with 2×USB-C 3.0 connectors both supporting DisplayPort, with one also carrying power. It has a HDMI 2.0 connector, and Gigabit Ethernet with optional PoE support.
Like the ASUS Tinker Board, which has carved out a niche as a relatively inexpensive media center, the Renegade Elite is a board intended for video. Support for Gigabit Ethernet is therefore a necessity, rather than a luxury. Despite this, the lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE for the board is somewhat puzzling. Not everybody will want, or be able, to connect it to a wired network, and an additional wireless network interface would prove useful in many scenarios.
On the flip side of the board, alongside the RK3399 processor, are two MIPI DSI interfaces, an MIPI CSI interface, and an Embedded DisplayPort Interface connector. The board also features 3×USB-A 2.0 connectors, a micro SD card slot, eMMC interface, an RTC with battery backup, and an IR receiver.
The Renegade Elite isn’t yet available, but Libre should be raising on Indiegogo in July, with shipping expected to begin in August. While there is no pricing information for the board just yet, the cheapest RK3399-based boards retail at around $80, with more typical pricing being well over $100. Considering the specification, my expectation would be that the Renegade Elite would weigh in towards the more expensive end of the market.
UPDATE (7/13): The Renegade Elite is now available on Indiegogo, starting at $99 for early birds. Delivery is slated for September 2018.