Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro is an update to the Banana Pi BPI R2 router board that replaces MediaTek MT7623A quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with a much more powerful Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor.
The Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro board looks very similar to the first generation R2 board with the same dimensions, 2GB RAM, HDMI & DSI display interfaces, five Gigabit Ethernet ports, one SATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, and one mPCIe socket, but it also adds one M.2 socket, support for MIPI CSI cameras, and extra storage with a 16GB eMMC flash.
Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Mali-G52 GPU, 0.8 TOPS NPU
- System Memory – 2G DDR3 (option for 4GB)
- Storage – Onboard 16GB eMMC Flash, MicroSD card slot, 1x SATA III port, SPI flash for network boot
- 5x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports (1x WAN, 4x LAN) using Realtek RTL8367RB-VB-CG switch
- Optional 5G, 4G LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth via M.2 and/or mPCIe card
- Display interfaces – 1x HDMI port, 1x MIPI DSI connector, 1x MIPI DSI/LVDS connector (selectable by software)
- Camera – 1x MIPI CSI camera connector
- Decode – H.265, H.264 up to 4Kp60fps
- Encode – H.265, H.264up to 1080p100
- Audio – I2S header, speaker header, 3.5mm headphone jack
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- 1x mini PCIe socket (PCIe + USB)
- 1x M.2 Key-E socket (PCIe + USB)
- 40-pin GPIO header with 28x GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI or PWM, and power signals (+5V, +3.3V, GND).
- Misc – IR Receiver; Reset, power, and u-boot buttons; LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V/3A via DC power jack, 2-pin header, or Micro USB (OTG) port
- Dimensions – 148 x 100.5mm
- Weight – 100 grams
The original BPI-R2 router board had a built-in MT6625L wireless module with WiFi and Bluetooth that is missing with BPI-R2 Pro. But that may not be a bad thing, as I had read people had issues with the driver, and the expansion slot provides more flexibility to the users for their preferred wireless module(s) if needed.
Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro will support OpenWrt and other Linux distributions. The Wiki has limited information at this time, and absolutely nothing about software. The Rockchip RK3568 2.0 GHz processor combines with native PCIe, SATA, and USB 3.0 interface should make moving data around quite faster than with the MediaTek MT7623A SoC, especially for things like VPN. The multimedia capabilities will also be much better with 4K support, and up to three displays. We’ve also seen initial RK3568 support added to the recent Linux 5.14 release, which will be a plus.
At this time, the only illustration we have is a 3D render, but the Banana Pi team says the first samples will be available this week. That means it should take a few more months before it can easily be purchased from Aliexpress or another store. I’d expect pricing to be around $100, as the Banana Pi BPI-R2 board is currently sold for $91 plus shipping.
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.