Banana Pi is a Raspberry Pi Compatible Board fitted with an AllWinner A20 SoC

So you’ve got a Raspberry Pi board, an enclosure, and a few add-on boards. Your application would however do with some more processing power, or you’d like to run Android, but you don’t want to have to purchase accessories all over again for another board. Banana Pi could be the solution, as it’s apparently [Update: it’s not. See comments] mechanically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi, and comes with a dual core Cortex A7 AllWinner A20 SoC with 1GB RAM, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a SATA port, among other things.

Banana Pi (Click to Enlarge)

The board does indeed look familiar, with all external connectors at the exact same positions, but the hardware specs are fairly different:

  • SoC- Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB RAM
  • Storage – SD card slot, SATA connector
  • Video output – HDMI, Composite, and LVDS/RGB
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo jack, and on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
  • Expansion – Raspberry Pi compatible headers (26-pin P1 header only), Camera connector (CSI), and LCD connector (DSI).
  • Misc – 3x on-board buttons, IR receiver
  • Dimensions – 92 x 60 mm (Raspberry board is reported to be 85.60 x 56 mm)
  • Weight – 48 g
Banana Pi with AllWinner A20 (Click to Enlarge)

The board is said to support sunxi Debian, Ubuntu, Android 4.2, XMBC, and FireFox OS (work in progress). You’ll notice the dimensions reported for Banana Pi and Raspberry Pi are different, but this may depend how they’ve measured it: PCB only, or including connectors. Most likely both board are the same dimensions, or Banana Pi would bring little to the table. I’ve just measured my board. PCB only: 84.85 x 56 mm. Including connectors: 92.25 x 64.67 mm. This is confusing, so if somebody has the board and tried with a Raspberry Pi enclosure, please let us know.

The board is also said to support 2160p capacitive touch screen, and designated camera modules, and even though it’s possible the board is electrically compatible to the Raspberry Pi, It’s not clear at all if the software is there to work with the Raspberry Pi camera module for example. So even if most R-Pi accessories will happily be connected to the Banana Pi, they may not work out of the box without substantial (software) work.

You can find a bit more information on Banana Pi website (most of the links do not work),  The board is available from Aliexpress starting at $57 including shipping, but the design, e.g. SATA port, seems to be different from the pictures above. [Update: As mentioned in comments, lemaker.org has more information, including download links and forums]

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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36 Replies to “Banana Pi is a Raspberry Pi Compatible Board fitted with an AllWinner A20 SoC”

  1. *XBMC, and there is still no official XBMC for support for Allwinner A1x/A2x CedarX VPU

    Many people only buy Raspberry Pi to run XBMC so this would otherwise be interesting

  2. @Harley
    They claim that it’s R-Pi compatible (and will run raspbian), so there’s more than a good chance that the XBMC R-Pi image will ‘just work’, but someone will have to get their hands on one and try it.

  3. Comparing my Banana Pi and my RPi board, seems the size is almost the same. Although the size is not exactly the same.
    There are a few additional connections such as SATA, UART pins out, mic, IR receiver, power and reset buttons. I believe the hardware capabilities is much better than RPi.
    With the image from the website, it can run Raspbien-like OS and apps from Pi store.
    On the other hand, agree cnxsoft’s viewpoint. Although the GPIO (26-pin headers) was claimed compatible with RPi, However, the other connectors, for example, CSI and DSI , need to have software efforts to extend hardware companions on Banana Pi.

    @cnxsoft
    The mounting direction of SATA connector was changed based on my latest Banana pi.

  4. Dear all,

    My name is Judy, I am from SinoVoip– the manufacture of Banana Pi in China.
    If need buy banana PI, please contact me, thank you! ^^

  5. Hi !!!

    I have a Laser cuttermachine and now I make enclosure for the Raspberry PI board.

    But now I’m also interested in making enclosure for Banana Pi board.

    Unfortunately I have not the computer board.

    If anyone has one, you could send or post the dimesiones physical card and its connectors, etc.

    Thank you very much

  6. Hello Again…

    I have seen that there are several versions of the Banana Pi board.

    The Banana Pi version 1.3, also called LAMOBO M1

    Bring 4 holes in the corners to grip.

    Green board with CE logo..

    And wearing a small button battery installed.

    The price is somewhat cheaper .. ¥ 249.00 versus ¥ 299.00 Banana A20

    What do you know about this?

    Thank you

  7. @onebir
    Bringing it in line with the RPi B+ would definitely make this a preferable board to the B+ itself, especially for those like me who have run into the limits of the RPi and are hungry for processing power and enhanced connectivity.

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