Banana Pi BPI-R64 Linux Router Board Launched for $68

SinoVoIP introduced Banana Pi BPI-R64 router board in the summer of 2018. The Linux router board is powered by MediaTek MT7622 dual-core Cortex-A53 WiFi processor with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 built-in, and offers more connectivity options namely 802.11ac WiFi 5 via MT7615 chip, as well as  Gigabit Ethernet ports. 4G LTE is optional via a mini PCIe socket, and a SATA port is included for storage.

At the time, I envisioned an official launch in Q1 2019, but I was off by a few quarters, as the company has only just launched Banana Pi BPI-R64 on Aliexpress for $68 plus shipping.Banana Pi BPI-R64 Linux router board specifications The specifications of the Banana Pi BPI-R64 board have slightly changed since last year announcement, and we’ve got a few more details:

  • SoC – MediaTek MT7622 dual-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.35GHz with dedicated network accelerator, 4×4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5 connectivity
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage
    • 8GB eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot up to 256GB
    • 1x SATA interface
    • SPI NAND flash (TBC)
  • Connectivity
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports + 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN port connected via Realtek RTL8367S MediaTek MT7531 switch controller
    • 802.11n WiFi 4 up to 800 Mbps + Bluetooth 5.0 built-in SoC
    • Optional 802.11ac 4×4 WiFi 5 up to 1733 Mbps via Mediatek MT7615 module
    • Optional 4G module via mini PCIe socket + SIM card slot
    • 2x SMA connectors for antennas
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin GPIO header with up to 28x GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, I2S.
    • mPCIe slot with USB 2.0 and PCIe 2.0
    • mPCIe slot with PCIe 2.0
  • Misc – Reset button, recovery & WPS keyspower status LED and RJ45 LEDs, boot select switch, 3-pin header for serial console, IR receiver, 5V fan header
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/2A DC power barrel jack
    • Optional PoE module with support for 12V/3A
  • Dimensions – 148 x 100.5 mm
  • Weight – 100 grams

OpenWrt Board 4G SIM Card SlotThe optional PoE board (BPI-7402) complies with IEEE802.3at and IEEE802.3af Power-over-Ethernet standards, supports 36V to 57V Input voltage range, and can deliver up to 30 Watts to power the board. You’ll need to add $10 to the total price.

Banana Pi PoE Module
PoE Module

Software-wise the company offers a Linux 4.4 BSP which has not been updated in 8 months, but the board is apparently supported by mainline OpenWrt using Linux 4.14 or 4.19. The company also provides Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS, Debian 10 Buster Lite, and “AArch64 Linux Lite”  images that are allegedly all based on Linux 4.19, making it clear the Linux BSP is completely useless… You’ll find links to all those resources in the Wiki.

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14 Comments
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willy
willy
10 months ago

Pretty interesting, it could have made a nice alternative to my WRT1900ACS. This may still happen 🙂 Their SATA connector is absurd, it requires an adapter cable that nobody has, while everyone who bought a motherboard in the last 10 years already has some spare regular female-female SATA cables. This one only allows you to plug an SSD vertically inside, turning it into a NAS… with 1 GB RAM only.

TLS
TLS
10 months ago

Fair comment, but at least it’s a cable you can get, unlike the weird 2-pin power connectors some of their other boards have. https://www.amazon.com/22-pin-Female-Power-Combo-Extension/dp/B006WPC1TK

hitech95
10 months ago

This could be relly interesting,
if properly supported by OpenWRT it would be a good router if they will sell a good encolure for it!

AFIK Mediatek socs are the only with the netfilter hw aceleration implemented so far.

megous
megous
10 months ago

Already in mainline linux, see: mt7622-bananapi-bpi-r64.dts

Looks like wifi is not mainline yet.

megous
megous
10 months ago

Maybe wlan doesn’t need to be described in DTS. Anyone knows if wifi works without extra patches?

willy
willy
10 months ago

In the worst case there’s PCIe to plug a cheapo card.

hitech95
10 months ago

I think that it will work with the MT76 driver from nbd168

Robert
Robert
10 months ago

Looks like 5 GHz Wifi is optional. It says so on Aliexpress and in the wiki. It looks like they do it with a PCIe card:
http://wiki.banana-pi.org/File:Banana_Pi_BPI-R64_1.jpg

eas
eas
10 months ago

I can’t find that card for sale, unfortunately. Good 3 or 4 chain 802.11ac cards suitable for Access Point use are expensive and would almost double the price.

willy
willy
10 months ago

Note that it’s not the final design of this board that is represented there. They use an RTL8367S switch while it looks like they finally changed for MT7531. So maybe they also applied a few changes to the WiFi options between that photo and the latest version.

Paul M
Paul M
10 months ago

I guess being a mediatek chip, you can’t expect too much on the way of kernel updates.
It might be a useful device, but the single band WiFi is pointless.

Hugh
Hugh
9 months ago

From accounts I heard, their first attempt, the Banana Pi R1 was a disaster to use.
Why would this be better?
I seem to remember that they don’t put enough care into the software side.
For years I’ve been using nice little miniPCs — Zotac Zboxes with two ethernet ports.
It’s kind of nice to run CentOS on the router — all the comforts of home, including a mail server.
I like the idea of OpenWRT but the hardware it lives on is so uneven.

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