Allwinner H3 processor has become popular on hobbyist boards thanks to several Orange Pi board, especially Orange Pi PC and Orange Pi One due to their ultra-low prices, respectively $15 and $10. Olimex is also involved with their H3-OLinuXino-NANO board, and now at least one more company is about to release another Allwinner H3 board with SinoVoip’s Banana BPI-M2+.
- SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3
- Storage – micro SD card slot up to 64GB, optional 8GB eMMC flash
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI with CEC support
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, optional 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (AP6212). More options: AP6181, AP6335
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Camera – CSI Interface
- Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
- Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
- Misc – Power, recovery, and u-boot buttons; Power and status LEDs, IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel (micro USB OT does not support power input)
- Dimensions – 65mm × 65mm
- Weight – 48 grams
SinoVoip explains that 8G eMMC and on board Wifi module may be removed for cost cutting purpose in their board announcement.
The company claims the board will support Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu, Debian, and “Raspberry Pi” image (meaning Raspbian + Allwinner H3 kernel/bootloader), and the firmware should eventually be downloadable on banana-pi.org, but there’s nothing for M2+ for now. Some limited information is also available in the Wiki. SinoVoip also like to claim their boards are open source hardware, but they usually only release the schematics in PDF format and nothing else… You can get support via the forums that are mostly inactive, except for Banana Pi BPI-M2 and Banana Pi BPI-M3 boards, and some posts such as “Garbage M2 distros” are not really re-assuring, but at least they did not remove the critical post. It seems for anything Allwinner H3 related, you may consider the community developed armbian instead of the manufacturer’s firmware images.
I could not find when the board will be launched, nor its price, but when it does launch, it should be listed on SinoVoip’s Aliexpress store.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.