A few weeks after introducing NanoPC-T3 single board computer based on Samsung S5P6818 octa-core Cortex A53 processor, FriendlyARM is now launching a cost-down version called NanoPi M3 for just $35 with 1GB RAM, and booting from a micro SD card.
NanoPi M3 board specifications:
- SoC – Samsung S5P6818 octa core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.4GHz with Mali-400MP GPU
- System Memory – 1 GB 32-bit DDR3
- Storage – 1x micro SD card slot
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 (Ampak AP6212) with on-board chip antenna and IPX antenna connector
- Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI 1.4a up to 1080p60, LVDS, parallel RGB LCD
- Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, 7-pin I2S header
- Camera – 1x DVP interface
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A host ports; 1x micro USB 2.0 client port; 2x USB 2.0 host ports via 8-pin header
- Expansions Headers – 40-pin header
- Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
- Misc – Power & reset buttons; power status LEDs.
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port; AXP228 PMIC
- Dimension – 64 x 60 mm (6-layer PCB)
The board supports Android and Debian running on top of Linux 3.4. More technical details can be found in the Wiki. Samsung S5P processors are actually made by Nexell, and not supported at all in mainline Linux, so don’t expect support for a more recent kernel. Arnd Bergmann, one of Linux ARM SoC maintainers, even referred the code to as “awful“:
Source code is available but awful.
Specifically, this is a Linux-3.4 kernel that looks more like a Linux-2.6.28 platform port that was forward-ported.
Nevertheless, at $35 plus shipping ($10 in my case), NanoPi-M3 must be the cheapest octa-core board available on the market so far. Visit the product page for more details and/or purchase the board.
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.