NanoPi R5S router SBC/gateway with 2x 2.5GbE, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 NVMe storage coming soon

FriendlyELEC’s family of NanoPi router SBCs and gateways will soon be extended with the NanoPi R5S board equipped with a Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor, and providing three Ethernet ports (2x 2.5Gbps, 1x 1 Gbps), plus support for M.2 NVMe SSD storage.

The company has not published any information publicly, but a post on Weibo social network reveals additional details with the single board computer being equipped with 2GB LPDDR4X, 8GB eMMC flash, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI video output, and more.

NanoPi R5S

NanoPi R5S preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3568B2 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G52 MP2 GPU, 0.8 TOPS AI accelerator (RK3568B2 comes in a “plastic package” instead of the “metal-can type package” found on RK3568, but the features are the same)
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4
  • Storage
    • 8GB eMMC flash for OS
    • Key M socket for M.2 2280 NVMe SSD support
    • Optional SPI flash for network boot
    • MicroSD card socket
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 port up to 4Kp60
  • Networking
    • LAN – 2x 2.5GbE RJ45 ports (via 2x Realtek RTL8125BG)
    • WAN – 1x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port (via Realtek RTL8211F)
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Expansion
    • 16-pin GPIO connector for I2S/SDIO expansion
    • Connector for flat cable with UART/SPI/PWM
  • Debugging – 4-pin UART header (unpopulated)
  • Misc – Button, RTC connector, fan header, 4x LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/9V/12V USB Type-C port (USB PD support)
  • Dimensions – 9 x 6 cm (rough estimation)

Arm Router SBC with M.2 NVMe SSD, SPI flash

There’s no information about software support at this time, but FriendlyELEC usually provides Ubuntu Core and OpenWrt based images respectively called FriendlyCore Lite and FriendlyWrt for their NanoPi R-series board, so I’d expect the same for NanoPi R5S. [Update: The Wiki is online, and we have a clearer view of the specs.NanoPi R5S specifications

]

The board will most certainly be sold in a metal enclosure for cooling as suggested by the photo below, and the previous launches by the company.

Rockchip RK3568 gateway

We do not know when FriendlyELEC plans to launch the NanoPi R5S board/gateway, but it should not be too long, as the board is already in the wild.

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42 Comments
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Benjamin Hojnik
3 months ago

Pretty sad that WAN portion of this router isn’t 2.5G. Makes it pretty useless as a multigigabit gateway.

TLS
TLS
3 months ago

Since all ports have native controllers and aren’t sitting behind a switch, it should be possible to change what port does what in software.

gion
gion
3 months ago

what’s the point of an hdmi in a router ?

WereCatf
WereCatf
3 months ago

It could be used e.g. for seeing what you’re doing when installing some operating system? Besides which, there’s no law that says that a router can’t also do some graphical tasks as well.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

Even if this thing here will be called ‘router’ it’s not the only possible use case. And such a passive HDMI socket most probably costs close to nothing.

The board can also be used for ‘cold storage’ (slow storage) by slapping a 5-port SATA controller into the M.2 slot. If there are 2.5GbE clients up to 2 of them get exclusive Ethernet ports while the GbE port is connected to a switch for example. And with the HDMI port this sort of NAS becomes simply a NAS / media player combo.

orion
3 months ago

Well thats a good idea!

Justin
Justin
3 months ago

You could service way more then two clients with a decent managed switch. LAG the 2 2.5gbe ports together into a mikrotik sfp+ sw and you have upwards of 5gb routing traffic available to as many clients as your willing to chop it up.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

> decent managed switch

Who cares? The point I tried to make is that if this R5S thing is a permanently on NAS you could easily use its 3 Ethernet ports to extend an el cheapo and already existing Gigabit switch with two 2.5GbE ports simply by using bridge-utils and ‘brctl addbr’.

BTW: your use of ‘LAG’ seems weird since it does not turn 2 x 2.5GbE into a 5GbE link 🙂

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

How are the Ethernet ports connected? AFAIK there is no native support for 3 ethernet ports :-).

Btw: Dimensions – 90 x 60 cm (rough estimation) -> I think you meant “mm”.

TLS
TLS
3 months ago

I thought it was MaxLinear first, but they don’t make PCIe based Ethernet chips. The only other option is Microchip, unless this is some new solution from a PRC player, at least if they’re connected over PCIe.
The logo doesn’t look right for Microchip though.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

According to FriendlyElec’s wiki the GbE port is RGMII attached (RTL8211F PHY/transceiver) and the two other ports are PCIe Gen3 attached (RTL8125BG controllers). So the remaining PCIe Gen2 lane is for NVMe and if I understood the SoC’s multiplexing options correctly at least one USB3 port and NVMe are mutually exclusive.

TLS
TLS
3 months ago

Yeah, the BG is the “Dragon” chips which are for “gaming” and thus have a different logo as per below.
https://www.edimax.com/edimax/mw/cufiles/images/products/pics/en-9225tx-e/big/EN-9225TX-E_1000x1000_top_1.png

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

‘Gaming’?! How I love all of this marketing BS!

Honestly I thought B and BG have a different meaning: https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/02/20/fixing-performance-issues-with-realtek-rtl8156b-2-5gbe-usb-dongle-in-ubuntu/#comment-591707 😉

TLS
TLS
3 months ago

Another “router” that isn’t going to be a great router. These chips lack a lot of features, but I guess it might work if it’s used for nothing else than a really basic router.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
3 months ago

Same reason the fanless compact firewall posted about yesterday has one.

Willy
Willy
3 months ago

It can be interesting for some usage like compact storage (thought 2GB will limit the ability to run rsync). But I’m really really annoyed by the fact that they keep not populating the UART port! That renders the device useless once installed into a box: if it fails to boot, you need a screw driver! I think I’ve reported this to them many times with different devices already, including the fact that some of my friends and coworkers refuse to buy these machines for this exact reason and go to SolidRun instead. All this to only save $0.50 on a… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

Next to one of the 2.5GbE ports there are 3 through holes labeled Debug UART (3.3V, 1500000 bps)

Willy
Willy
3 months ago

Yes, I’m precisely speaking about these ones which require a screwdriver to access. Because once everything’s fit into an enclosure you have nowhere to install a CH340E board and you need to resort to a drill and some glue, hoping that things will stay tightly attached together 🙁 I have an R4S, a really cool device. I never use it because I never remember what IP address it had last time and each time it takes me more time to try to recover access to it than to use my older clearfog.

Willy
Willy
3 months ago

The problem is for the device I carry in my computer bag. Sometimes plugged at home, sometimes at work on my desk on the local LAN, sometimes on my desk behind another machine, sometimes at work in the lab, or sometimes at a friend’s, etc… And in the past there was also the @customer variation. So you have to try various IP addresses when trying to connect to it out of usual places, and it’s even worse if it was configured for DHCP and you don’t have it where it’s connected :-/ All that for $0.50.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

I really don’t get why people deal with problems solved almost 4 decades ago (the AppleTalk protocol family: concepts ported over to TCP/IP over 15 years ago –> ZeroConf/Bonjour).

Addresses are for machines, names for humans. And mDNS does the job. Even Redmond’s crap learned it starting with Win10 and on Linux it’s usually just some avahi packages to ‘ssh r4s.local’ afterwards.

Willy
Willy
3 months ago

In plenty of technical places such as labs, that’s exactly the opposite. As you say, addresses are for machines. And when you’re dealing with configs and services and are setting up an end-to-end chain, names are totally pointless and only serve to distinguish machines in the prompt, and addresses are the only useful thing that remains consistent and readable across the setup. In addition addresses are the only readable element when you’re on multiple networks and are debugging. For example I’m using 198.19.<node>.0/24 for loopback networks, 198.18.<lan>.<node> for machines, This way you can have routes such as 198.19.x.0/24 via 198.18.0.x… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

Your (initial) problem is: not remembering your R4S’s IP address.

And this problem is solved since 1.5 decades by DNS-SD/mDNS (link local service propagation). Even if you’re on a 10/8 network and your R4S has 198.18.1/24 (ping won’t work) as long as both devices are connected ‘link local’ the R4S will happily announce its 198.18.1.x address once you install avahi-daemon on it.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

ZeroConf addresses a few different but related problems. It’s not only about assigning unique IPv4 addresses in case of missing DHCP server. It’s also about host/service propagation and discovery (exactly your ‘IP address not known’ problem). A customer’s Samba server as an example:

Rogan Dawes
Rogan Dawes
3 months ago

Best solution I have found for that is IPv6 Link Local Addresses. My portable devices generate consistent/constant IPv6 LL addresses, so just create an entry in .ssh/config with the address (and the interface name) hard coded, and you are ready to go at any time. Host pandora*     User root Host pandora-4     Hostname 192.168.19.1 Host pandora-6e     Hostname fe80::e695:6eff:fe45:928c%%enp0s31f6 Host pandora-6w     Hostname fe80::e695:6eff:fe45:928c%%wlp4s0 1234567891011 Host pandora*    User root Host pandora-4    Hostname 192.168.19.1 Host pandora-6e    Hostname fe80::e695:6eff:fe45:928c%%enp0s31f6 Host pandora-6w    Hostname fe80::e695:6eff:fe45:928c%%wlp4s0 The -e and -w indicate whether my laptop is connected via Ethernet or… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

Link local addresses work also fine with IPv4. Stuff like ‘automagic service propagation’ as well. No need to manually fiddle around in .ssh/config. All that’s needed on Linux hosts usually is avahi-daemon and avahi-autoipd (w/o DHCP server the device then picking up a link local 169.254/16 address).

AFAIK unfortunately only RPi guys do it right: every RPi firing up with RPi OS is instantly accessible as raspberrypi.local (based on /etc/hostname contents).

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

Why dealing with IP addresses? Names are far more convenient. If your router is not crappy then it should support DHCP with dynamic DNS updates so regardless which IP address a host called ‘r4s’ will be assigned ‘ssh r4s’ will always work.

If the router is crap then ZeroConf to the rescue. On Linux hosts it’s usually installing avahi-autoipd and avahi-daemon and from then on ‘ssh r4s.local’ will work…

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Just wonder whether OPNsense or OpenWRT will official ( or with source provided to build on our own ) run on these board, there is actually another similar board ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCd3JHNT3B2KdhakLmMkYqA ) which runs same SoC, with two 2.5Gbe and two 1Gbe rj45 ports and two USB 3 ports. ( effectively exchanging nvme slot for another Ethernet port )

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
3 months ago
tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

> ( effectively exchanging nvme slot for another Ethernet port )

Technically not since RK3568 has two GMACs so it would be surprising if they use PCIe and not RGMII for the 2nd GbE port here.

If I understood RK3568’s multiplexing correctly at least one of the USB3 ports and PCIe Gen2 are mutually exclusive so on this other board both USB3 ports could be used always (with R5S I assume one of the USB3 ports and NVMe being in conflict so a switch in software is needed to decide which one to use).

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Maybe I am wrong, feel free to correct me, but according to Odroid-m1’s diagram
https://wiki.odroid.com/_detail/odroid-m1/m1_rk3568_blockdiagram.png
it seems that GMAC0 is unique?
( my guess here odroid m1 picks USB / USB / Sata3.0 Controller2 for 5Ghz Serdes Lane 0 / 1 / 2 ( as in https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/12/01/rockchip-rk3568-processor-to-power-edge-computing-and-nvr-applications/ )
Probably rk3568 has unique RMGII0 ( or maybe both RGMII0/RGMII1? )

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

It really doesn’t matter which sort of pictures Hardkernel is publishing (they utilized just a single PCIe lane on their canceled ODROID-N1 since they thought RK3399 could only saturate Gen2 x1 and not all 4 lanes).

Check RK3568 datasheet (‘two identical Ethernet controllers’) and R68s description: ‘1000M *2 (RTL8211F-CG)’. 8211 -> RGMII/transceiver, 8111 would be PCIe/controller.

Jeroen
3 months ago

Would’t put your hopes up for OPNsense or pfsense, there run on bsd and i haven’t seen much bsd support for sbc’s

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 months ago

And in fact Netgate (the company behind pfSense) ported FreeBSD to ARM devices so that they could be used with pfSense later: https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/11/30/netgate-sg-3100-is-an-arm-based-pfsense-firewall-appliance/#comment-549524

Jlinkels
Jlinkels
3 months ago

Great every day new product announcements. And invariably not available.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
3 months ago

Sad story
What happened to the good times where electronics was always well available.

Rick
Rick
2 months ago

I just ordered this one on taobao, and it will be shipped by end of this month. I cost 479 Chinese Yuan(71.77 USD) with CNC case. It’s pretty nice that has two RTL8125 2.5Gb ethernets.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
2 months ago

On Friendlyelec website for sale $59 bare board, +$16 with case

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