Banana Pi BPI-CM2 – A Raspberry Pi CM4-compatible Rockchip RK3568 SoM with extra I/Os

Banana Pi BPI-CM2 is another Raspberry Pi CM4-compatible system-on-module, this time based on a Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 SoC and with a twist as besides the two 100-pin high-density connectors, the module adds two 70-pin high-density connectors for the extra I/Os provided by the Rockchip processor such as PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, eDP, MIPI DSI, and an additional Gigabit Ethernet.

The Rockchip RK3568 module comes with many of the same features and options as the Raspberry Pi CM4 with 2GB to 8GB RAM, 8GB to 256GB eMMC flash, optional WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and an on-module Ethernet transceiver, in this case, a Realtek RTL8211F.

Rockchip RK3568 Raspberry Pi CM4 SoM

Banana Pi BPI-CM2 specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3568
    • CPU – Quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz
    • GPU – Arm Mali-G52 2EE GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.1
    • AI accelerator – 0.8 TOPS NPU
    • VPU – 4Kp60 H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoding, and 1080p60 H.265/H.264 video encoding
  • System Memory – 2GB to 8GB LPDDR4/LPDDR4x
  • Storage – 8GB to 128GB eMMC flash
  • Networking
    • Realtek RTL8211F Gigabit Ethernet PHY
    • Optional Ampak AP6256 WiFI 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 module
  • Host interfaces
    • 2x 100-pin connector following Raspberry Pi CM4 interfaces (mostly as there’s only on HDMI port for example)
    • 2x 70-pin connectors for PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, eDP, MIPI DSI, RGMII0
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input; Rockchip R809-5 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 55 x 40 mm

Banana Pi BPI-CM2 specifications

Banana Pi plans to provide Android, Ubuntu, and Debian images for the module, but details in the wiki are far and few between both for the hardware and software. In terms of Raspberry Pi CM4 compatibility, the Rockchip RK3568-based Banana Pi BPI-CM2 provides no benefits (that I can see) over competing Rockchip RK3566 modules such as Radxa CM3 or Pine64 SOQuartz since it provides the same performance and the extra I/Os are not available on existing carrier boards for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

For example, our RK3566 vs RK3568 comparison shows the latter supports three displays, so having two HDMI ports and a MIPI DSI port would be possible in theory, but this would require an additional eDP to HDMI chip that’s not present on the latest Banana Pi module. So the Banana Pi BPI-CM2 SoM will be mainly interesting for new or upgraded designs making use of the four high-speed connectors. It’s not the first time companies have designed modules with a “Raspberry Pi CM4 Extended” form factor with, for example, the Radxa CM5 and Banana Pi BPI-CM4 modules, but those are equipped with Rockchip RK3588S and Amlogic A311D processors respectively, both of which offer better performance than the Broadcom BCM2711 found SoC in the Raspberry Pi module.

Banana Pi did not provide availability and pricing information, and it’s not uncommon for the company to make an announcement after six months before product launch.

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Adrian Scarlett
8 months ago

I really hope this becomes the standard form factor for SBC’s, makes integration into compact devices so much simpler, and you can select the carrier board with only the required IO connections.

8 months ago

don’t bet on it, perhipitals change and they always invent another format i a few years.

8 months ago

Hope this time, they’ll offer them without both WiFi and eMMC. I just want the CPU with maxed out RAM.

Khadas VIM4 SBC