Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra SBC is now offered with Allwinner A40i industrial-grade processor

The Allwinner A40i and A60i industrial-grade quad-core and hexa-core Cortex-A7 processors were first introduced in 2018 with support for the wide -40°C to +85°C industrial temperature range, but so far I had not noticed any hardware making use of either processor.

But Banana Pi is now offering the Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra SBC, which they launched in 2016 with the Allwinner R40 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, with the pin-to-pin and software-compatible Allwinner A40i industrial-grade processor.

Banana BPI-M2 Ultra Allwinner A40i SBC

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A40i quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 processor with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 500 MHz, 1080p60 H.264, MPEG-4, MPEG-1/2 video decoder, H.264 1080p45 video encoder
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, SATA interface, microSD card slot
  • Video Output
    • HDMI 1.4 port up to 1080p60
    • 4-lane MIPI DSI display connector, or RGB, or LVDS
  • Audio I/O – 3.5mm headphone jack, digital audio output via HDMI, built-in microphone
  • Camera – CSI camera connector
  • Connectivity
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211E/D)
    • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with 28x GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, PWM, 5V, 3.3V, GND signals.
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART for serial console
  • Misc – Reset, power, and u-boot buttons; IR receiver; power and networking LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via a power barrel connector, or 3.7V Lithium battery via battery connector on the back of the board. AXP221s PMIC
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm (Same size as Raspberry Pi 3)
  • Temperature Range – Not specified!

You can’t simply replace a consumer-grade processor with an industrial-grade processor and magically make the board industrial-grade, and other components need to be updated too. If the specs are up-to-date, the Realtek RTL8211E is only certified to operate in the 0 to 70°C temperature range, so that would be a fail!

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra specifications

Since the Allwinner A40i is just a drop-in replacement for the R40 or V40 processor, the documentation and software support are the same as for the earlier board with Android 6.0, Ubuntu 16.04, and Debian 9 images. Just to remove any doubts, yes, I’m writing this in September 2022, but I suppose the good news is that the Ubuntu 16.04 image was last updated in April of this year, although it is still based on Linux 3.10 from the Allwinner BSP.

Some Ubuntu 22.04 and Debian 11 server/desktop images can be found on Armbian with Linux 5.15 or 5.19, but those are not officially supported, and possibly not tested. We had also noted some addition for A40i/R40 to mainline Linux with the CAN bus driver added to Linux 5.17, and Forlinx OKA40i-C SBC was added to Linux 5.14, a board that I missed at the time, and is offered in two variants operating in different temperature ranges, namely industrial grade (-40°C to +85°C) and extended commercial grade (-25°C to +85°C). Allwinner A40i support in mainline Linux is not complete, and you can see the progress on linux-sunxi website.

Forlinx OKA40i-C Single Board Computer
Forlinx OKA40i-C

The Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra single board computer is available now with the Allwinner A40i, just not online, but Banana Pi said its sells for $46 per unit in the announcement on Twitter.

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1 Comment
1 year ago

Hi. armbian images have additional patches to enable analog audio and hdmi audio

Khadas VIM4 SBC