Banana Pi BPI-R4 WiFi 7 router board is powered by a MediaTek Filogic 880 processor

Banana Pi BPI-R4 is a WiFi 7 router board powered by the MediaTek MT7988A (Filogic 880) quad-core Arm Corex-A73 processor with 4GB DDR4 RAM, 8GB eMMC flash, and 128MB SPI-NAND flash.

The board also comes with two 10GbE SFP cages, four Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, a USB 3.2 port, as well as an M.2 socket for a 4G/5G modem or an NVMe SSD, and two mini PCIe slots with PCIe 3.0 to support WiFi 7.

Banana Pi R4

Banana Pi BPI-R4 specifications:

  • SoC – MediaTek MT7988A (Filogic 880) quad-core Arm Corex-A73 processor @ 1.8GHz with AI-powered packet accelerator
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR4
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, 128MB SPI NAND Flash, microSD card slot, M.2 Key M for NVMe SSD (see Expansion section for details)
  • Networking
    • 2x 10GbE SFP cages (option for 1x 10Gbe SFP cage and 1x 2.5Gbe PHY)
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports (1x WAN and 3x LAN)
  • USB – USB 3.2 port
  • Expansion
    • M.2 Key-B slot with USB 3.2 interface for 5G or 4G LTE connectivity plus three nanoSIM slots
    • M.2 Key-M slot with 1-lane PCIe 3.0 for NVMe SSD
    • 2x mini PCIe slots with 2-lane PCIe 3.0 for Wi-Fi 7 NIC (Network Interface Card)
    • 26-pin GPIO header for expansion
  • Debugging – 3-pin header for 3.3V serial console
  • Misc – Reset button, WPS button, bootstrap switch, RTC battery connector
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/5.2A or 19V/3.2A via DC jack
    • 20V DC input via header
    • Optional PoE module (RT5400)
    • 5V/12V output header
  • Dimensions – 148 x 100.5 mm (Same dimensions as Banana Pi BPI-R64 and Banana Pi BPI-R2)
  • Weight – 250 grams

Banana Pi R4 specifications

Banana Pi currently provides three OpenWrt images for the board for eMMC, NAND flash, or microSD card boot, and a Debian image is in the works as well. The wiki has some more extra information with schematics, DXF files, and a link to a BSP that has not been updated for four months. You may have noted the Banana Pi BPI-R4 board does not come with a WiFi 7 module by default, and it needs to be added via the two mini PCIe sockets as shown in the photo below.

MediaTek Filogic WiFi 7 module

The “WiFi 7 iPA NIC Module” is based on a four-chip design with MediaTek MT7996 (WiFi 7 tri-band BE19000 SoC), MT7995N (2.4 GHz WiFi), MT7977AN (6 GHz), and MT7977B (6 GHz).

MediaTek WiFi 7 module

The Banana Pi BPI-R4 can be purchased for $103.15 plus shipping on Aliexpress, but crazily enough this does not include the WiFi 7 card which I can’t find for sale anywhere yet… Since it’s Black Friday, you can also use coupon codes like CNXALI10 ($80+ orders) or CNXALI20 ($150+ orders) to get a $10 or $20 discount although some countries are excluded. If you are based in the US, you may want to use other coupon codes such as USAFF6, USAFF10, USAFF20, USAFF50, or USAFF80 instead. Those codes should work with any products on Aliexpress during the Black Friday promotion.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

Update: This post was initially published on June 23, 2023, and updated following the launch of the Banana Pi BPI-R4 on Aliexpress

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17 Comments
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osmarks
8 months ago

What WiFi 7 PCIe cards are there?

Imi
Imi
8 months ago

Realtek one was announced during Computex.

TLS
TLS
8 months ago

Most likely a solution from MTK, as it’s really hard to make a router with third party WiFi chips, unless the SoC vendor and the WiFi chip vendor collaborates. This used to be somewhat common a decade ago (I know this from experience), but these days it doesn’t seem to be common at all.

lionnwang
8 months ago

yes, we just MTK wifi7 design .MT7996+MT7995+MT7977A+MT7977B

Mike
Mike
8 months ago

WiFi card is mt7996 pcie card, and we can see MediaTek RD is working on driver upstream. https://patchwork.kernel.org/project/linux-mediatek/list/?series=&submitter=&state=&q=Mt7996&archive=&delegate=

Mike
Mike
8 months ago
Jeroen
8 months ago

Does anybody actualy still buyes these bananna’s?, they seem to keep pumping out boards but i never read anything good about them.

vobo
vobo
8 months ago

me – no
great hardware – poor software

Moore
Moore
8 months ago

BPI router dev board with MediTek chipset (bpi-r2/r64/r3) have openwrt/kernel/uboot upstream support . I think they are good platform if you want to learn embedded linux programming.

AggregatVier
AggregatVier
8 months ago

So, sorta like Radxa (although they made recent big changes moving forward).

Pix
Pix
8 months ago

Got a r3 on openwrt, with 2.5G sfps works flawlessly !

Willy
8 months ago

“AI-powered packet accelerator” => so the bullshit language has finally reached the lower layers and will soon be replaced by the next exciting new trendy stuff ? Most likely they’re speaking about adaptive interrupt moderation, and in any case something totally unrelated to AI but a manager there asked “guys, we’re late, please place AI anywhere so that we don’t look stupid”. But you failed guys, you *now* look stupid.

domih
domih
8 months ago

Yep. Soon we’ll have AI-powered trowels, with quantum bent handle, for a faster and better GPT-based mortar spreading, wirelessly connected for live AIOps analytics, equipped with dual dimensional surface laser sensors.

Moore
Moore
8 months ago

According to the spec in MediaTek website. Packet accelerator is Network Processing Unit (NPU) provides hardware QoS acceleration and Tunneling Offload Engine for VLAN / PPTP / L2TP / GRE. 

RK
RK
8 months ago

They probably baked in some perceptrons for the QoS packet filtering or the likes. It’s a common research topic: https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.11246

Willy
8 months ago
  RK

Maybe, except this one is talking about a method to improve detection accuracy while the article speaks about acceleration. The other possibility is that some marketing people read “NPU” and said “ah awesome, our developers have put a neural processing unit there, let’s mention AI, it’s important”.

solipso
solipso
8 months ago

Well, AI may mean Adaptive Interrupt in this context.

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