Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now unveiled a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-M2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor.
BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports.
- SoC – Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex A55 @ up to 2.0 GHz with an Arm Mali-G31 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDR, CEC, EDID support
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 1×1 and Bluetooth 4.2 via Realtek RTL8821CU module
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, etc…
- Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
- Misc – Reset and user buttons; Power and status LEDs; IR receiver
- Power Supply – 5V/3A via power barrel (micro USB port does not support power input)
- Dimensions – 65 x 65mm
- Weight – 58 grams
The board can be seen as a cost-down version of Banana Pi BPI-M5 with less RAM, two fewer USB ports, and no audio jack, but otherwise the same features and specifications. As its name implies, it’s also an upgrade to the Allwinner H3 based BPI-M2+ board with a more powerful Amlogic S905X3 processor, more memory, USB 3.0 ports and 4K video output, as well as a better wireless module, but without a camera interface. That also means the SBC is compatible with BPI-M2 accessories such as the metal enclosure shown below.
The company will provide Android 9 and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CoreELEC) images together with source code for the board, and some of the resources are already available on the Wiki. As usual, it should be noted that software support has not been a strength of Banana Pi historically speaking, so this type of board is better used by experienced engineers.
Banana Pi usually announces its new boards several months before launch, and that’s the case for BPI-M2 Pro board, so we don’t know sample pricing yet. But for reference Banana Pi BPI-M5 sells for $53, while BPI-M2+ board goes for $36, so I’d expect Banana Pi BPI-M2 SBC to be offered for around $40+.