SinoVoip has recently released PDF schematics for both of their Banana Pi boards, namely BPI-M64 board powered by Allwinner A64 processor, and BPI-M2 Ultra board based on the latest Allwinner R40 SoC with an on-chip SATA interface.
- BPI-M64 schematics – https://bananapi.gitbooks.io/bpi-m64/content/en/bpi-m64schematicdiagram.html
- BPI-M2 Ultra schematics – https://bananapi.gitbooks.io/bpi-m2-ultra-open-source-single-board-computer/content/bpi-m2ultraschematicdiagram.html
The clear benefit of BPI-M2 Ultra is the presence of a SATA connector NOT implemented via a slow USB 2.0 to SATA bridge, but instead directly through the SATA interface of the R40 quad core processor. As for BPI-M64 ($46), it can be compared to Pine64+ with 2GB RAM and a WiFi module ($39), and despite the higher price it does come with some benefits like adb over OTG working, it is equipped with an 8GB eMMC flash instead of just a micro SD card slot, and it’s powered by a separate power connector. Pine64+ comes with DDR3 memory, while BPI-M64 is fitted with
LPDDR3, which should consume less power (Update: BPI-M64 comes with DDR3 memory too , the specs on Banana Pi website are wrong).
One the other side, there have been several instances – not to say many – where SinoVoip did not take inputs from the community in order to fix bugs, and they’ve made some interesting decisions including using a 6-pin battery header on BPI-M2 Ultra, and are now unable to explain one of their customers where to source such type of battery or even just the connector [Update: Banana Pi will sell the connector soon]
Thanks to Jon and Thomas for the info.