NanoPi R5S preview – Part 2: Ubuntu 20.04 (FriendlyCore)

NanoPi R5S M.2 NVMe SSD

I started the NanoPi R5S review with an unboxing, a teardown, a quick try of the pre-installed OpenWrt-based FriendlyWrt, and some iperf3 benchmarks on the 2.5GbE interfaces that were rather disappointing. I test further I switched to the Ubuntu 20.04-based FriendlyCore image since I’m more familiar with Debian-based operating systems, and some tools will not run on OpenWrt. Note the performance is still not quite optimal, and that’s why I call this a preview since numbers should improve in the next few months as more people tweak the software. OpenWrt optimizations? But feature jumping to Ubuntu, I gave an updated version of FriendlyWrt a give as FriendElec told me they had added some optimizations: We have made some optimizations on the new image, such as NIC interrupt settings, and offload support… So I downloaded “rk3568-eflasher-friendlywrt-20220526.img.gz” found on Google Drive, and flashed it to a microSD card with USBImager, and booted […]

NanoPi R5S router review – Part 1: Unboxing, OpenWrt, and iperf3 benchmarking

NanoPi R5S router review

FriendlyElec has just launched the NanoPi R5S mini router powered by a Rockchip RK3568 processor, and the company kindly sent me two samples for review. In the first part of the review, I’ll check out the device itself, the internal design, the preinstalled OpenWrt, and run some networking benchmarks with iperf3. NanoPi R5S unboxing   The router comes fully assembled together with a 3M sheet with 6 rubber feet, which, as we’ll see below, are not really necessary. A microSD card socket can be found on one of the sides, while the rear panel comes with a USB-C port for power, a WiFi antenna hole (which can also be used to run cables for GPIO. UART console, etc…), two 2.5GbE RJ45 LAN ports, a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, and HDMI video output. We’ll find a Mask button for firmware flashing on the other side, and the front panel features four […]

NanoPi R5S Rockchip RK3568 mini router launched for $59 and up

NanoPi R5S Rockchip RK3568 mini router

The Rockchip RK3568-powered NanoPi R5S SBC with two 2.5GbE ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, and M.2 NVMe storage is now available for $59, or $75 with a metal enclosure. As previously mentioned, the mini router board is equipped with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC flash, two USB 3.0 ports, as well as an HDMI output for people wanting to make use of the Rockchip RK3568 processor’s multimedia capabilities, or simply have a user interface on a monitor. NanoPi R5S specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3568 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with Arm Mali-G52 MP2 GPU, 0.8 TOPS AI accelerator, 4Kp60 H.265/H.264/VP9 video decoder, 1080p60 H.264/H.265 video encoder System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4X Storage 8GB eMMC flash for OS Key M socket for M.2 2280 (PCIe 2.0 x1) NVMe SSD support Optional SPI flash for network boot MicroSD card socket Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 port up to 4Kp60, […]

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

NanoPi R5S

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 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 […]

DIY SBC cases and SBC Case Builder tool based on OpenSCAD

DIY ODROID-H2 SBC case

Since you can’t always rely on single board computer (SBC) vendors to provide a case to match your needs, some went the DIY route. Willy Tarreau designed some laser-cut enclosures with Inkscape for various SBCs, while hominoids went a step further by developing the “SBC Case Builder” tool to automatically generate various types of 3D printable enclosures using OpenSCAD. Willy designed five similar enclosures for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L, FriendlyELEC NanoPi Fire3, SolidRun Clearfog Base networking SBC, Libre Computer AML-S805X-AC (aka “La Frite”), and AAEON UP Board. All cases are available in Inkscape SVG format, and Willy accepts contributions for other boards. You’ll need a laser engraver or CNC router to cut out those enclosures. Hominoids’ SBC Case Builder project attempt to automatize enclosure generation for SBCs using SBC Model Framework written in OpenSCAD. Work has focused on ODROID boards so far, but it should work for other vendors too. The parameters […]

NanoPi R2C Plus dual GbE router board adds 8GB eMMC flash

NanoPi R2C Plus

NanoPi R2C Plus is a variation of NanoPi R2C dual Gigabit Ethernet SBC powered by a Rockchip RK3328 processor that adds an 8GB eMMC flash for storage and replaces a 10-pin 2.54mm pitch I/O header with an 8-pin 1.25mm pitch header. FriendlyELEC introduced the NanoPi R2C last August as a lower-cost version of NanoPi R2S replacing Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver with a Motorcomm YT8521S chip for availability and pricing reasons. NanoPi R2C Plus is just an evolution of the original design. NanoPi R2C Plus specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450MP2 System Memory – 1GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash, MicroSD Slot, SPI flash footprint Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via MotorComm YT8521S Gigabit Ethernet transceiver 1x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via Realtek RTL8153B USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller USB – […]

Building a NanoPi M4V2 based All-in-One Linux PC running Armbian (Ubuntu/Debian)

Armbian Ubuntu All-in-One PC

At the end of my review of “RPI All-in-One” PC with Raspberry Pi 4, I noted the system also appeared to be compatible with NanoPi M4V2 single board computer. I’ve now tried it out, and assembling the board inside the 10.1-inch display is even easier than I initially thought. That means I now have a NanoPi M4V2 All-in-One PC running Ubuntu Hirsute or Debian Buster with XFCE desktop environment from Armbian, and most features work including the display and wireless connectivity, but I still have an issue with the touchscreen function. Here are the steps I followed initially: Download Armbian Buster XFCE image from Armbian and flash it to a microSD card with tools like USBimager. Insert the microSD card in the board Install the USB Type-C and HDMI-A adapters in the display. Insert the USB Type-C and HDMI port of the NanoPi M4V2 SBC into the adapters Install the […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

RISC-V laptop, mini PC