SinoVoIP has launched many development boards & SBCs under the Banana Pi brands, but so far they had not designed any system-on-modules (SoM). Banana Pi BPI-S64 Core is their first SoM, which they refer to as “Compute Module” for the compulsory Raspberry Pi reference, and it’s not based on Allwinner or Realtek processors used in many of their recent boards, but instead an Actions Semi S700 quad core Cortex A53 processor. Banana Pi BPI-S64 Core specifications: SoC – Actions Semi S700 quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali-450MP4 GPU with OpenGL ES2.0/1.1, OpenVG 1.1, EGL 1.5 support System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Edge Connector – 204-pin SO-DIMM connector Power Supply – PMIC on-board Dimensions – 67.5 x 30 mm The company also provides Banana pi BPI-S64 core kit for getting started with the module. Development kit preliminary specifications: SODIMM slot for Banana BPI-S64 Core SoM Storage – micro SD card slot Video Output / …
SinoVoIP has been pretty busy those days, as beside launching a BBC Micro:bit clone based on ESP32, and BPI-AI-Voice speech recognition board (also a clone or MicroSemi AcuEdge kit), the company has now started to take orders for Banana Pi BPI-ESP32 board for $10.99 plus shipping on Aliexpress. As the name implies, the based is based on ESP32 WiSoC, supports Arduino shields since it follows Arduino UNO form factor, and can be programming with web based Webduino visual programming IDE, or the Arduino IDE. BPI-ESP32 (aka BPI-UNO32) board specifications: Wireless module – ESP-WROOM-32 WiFi 802.11b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.2 LE module; 4MB flash Expansion – Arduino headers with GPIOs, ADC, Ethernet, VP/VB, UART, I2C, Touch interface, etc… (See pinout table below) Misc – Buzzer, Tx/Rx LEDs, power LED, RGB LED, buttons Power Supply 5V/1A via micro USB 12V via 5.5mm DC jack Dimensions – 68 x 53 mm The company has yet again to make a complete mess of the product …
SinoVoIP has just launched BPI-AI-Voice development platform for speech recognition on Aliexpress for $169, and excluding the different PCB color, it is a clone of the official $299 Microsemi AcuEdge Development Kit for Amazon AVS, which is based on MicroSemi ZL38063 audio processor and comes with two microphones. BPI-AI-Voice key features: Audio Processor – MicroSemi ZL38063 Storage – U2 SPI flash to store ZL38063 firmware Audio 4x on-board digital microphones (AKU441) supporting a 2 microphone configuration for 180° and 360° audio pick-up. 2x low cost class D audio amplifier (NCP2820) Expansion Headers JMMA1 audio header for digital microphone, analog out, and 3 GPIOs JM1-4 digital microphone headers for off-board microphones 40-pin P2 header to connected to Raspberry Pi 3 (I2S, SPI and 8x GPIO used) Debugging – JAIB2/2 auto tuning headers, micro USB port. Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 70 mm × 66 mm Temperature Range – −40° C to 85° C The original kit …
BBC micro:bit board for education was first unveiled in 2015, before starting to be given away to UK students, and later sold for about $19 in 2016. The board supports Bluetooth connectivity, includes an array of 25 LEDs, as well as a specific 20-pin edge connector also featuring 5 large holes (rings) for 3 I/Os and power. So far I had not seen any clones or alternative boards inspired from the design, as we see for Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards. But SinoVoIP (Banana Pi) has changed that with their BPI:bit clearly inspired from the Micro:bit, but offering both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity via an ESP32 module. Hardware specifications: Wireless module – ESP-WROOM-32 module with WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity LEDs – 25x RGB LED array Sensors – 2x light sensors, thermistor, 9-axis accelerometer / gyroscope / compass (MPU-9250) Expansion – 3 digital/analog I/O rings, 3V/GND ring, 20-pin edge connector (same as Micro:bit design) Debugging – USB to UART micro …
Several companies are already offering development kits for Amazon AVS (Alexa Voice Service), but as we’ve seen in the past, those are rather expensive with far-field kits such starting at $349 with kits such as Synaptics AudioSmart 4-Mic Development Kit, or Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit, and hands-free kits being barely cheaper at $299 and up. But there will soon be a cheaper solution, as Allwinner and SinoVoIP (aka Banana Pi) are working on “SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit for Amazon AVS” that includes 3 microphones, and works without special DSP, relying instead on Allwinner R18 processor’s audio codec and capabilities. Allwinner SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit for Amazon AVS (aka R18-AVS-EVK) specifications: SoC – Allwinner R18 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.15GHz with Mali400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI Audio – 6x Microphones, 2x AEC, AUX and headphone output; GMEMS voice recognition algorithm Connectivity – Dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 USB …
Banana Pi M2 Magic development board was first unveiled in February of this year with an Allwinner R16 SoC, 512 MB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash, and its main selling points were support for MIPI DSI LCD displays, CSI cameras, and 3.7V LiPo batteries. AFAIK SinoVoIP never sold that version of the board, at least on Aliexpress. Possibly due to the intricacies of Allwinner business units, the company has now officially launched Banana Pi M2 Magic (aka BPI M2M), but replaced Allwinner R16 by the similar Allwinner A33 processor, and removed the 8GB eMMC flash to bring the price down to $23 plus shipping. The “old” Allwinner R16 based Banana Pi M2 Magic board will apparently be sold as M2 Magic Plus soon. Banana Pi BPI-M2 Magic (A33) specifications: SoC – Allwinner A33 quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU System Memory – 512MB DDR3 Storage – micro SD slot Display Interface – 4-lane MIPI DSI …
I’ve reviewed several Realtek RTD1295 platforms with Zidoo X9S and Eweat R9 Plus, and I was generally impressed by the storage, Ethernet, and WiFi performance. 4K video playback was good too, as long you don’t have any 4K H.264 videos at 30 fps or more. Most devices would also run Android and OpenWrt side-by-side bringing the best of both operating for respectively apps & multimedia, and server functions. HDMI input – with PVR, time-shifting and PiP functions – was also a bonus, However so far, nobody cared to design a maker board powered by RTD1295 processor. Since then we’ve learned Realtek was working on RTD1296 processor with even more Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and SATA interfaces, and SinoVoIP has now designed a board based on the SoC called Banana Pi BPI-W2. Banana Pi BPI-W2 preliminary specifications: SoC – Realtek RTD1296 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC …
Banana Pi BPI-R2 is a multimedia router board powered by MediaTek MT7623N quad core processor with 2GB RAM, 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to two SATA ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, and I/O headers. The board is not for sale yet, but the company has recently released the source code with U-boot and Linux 4.4.70, as well as a datasheet for MediaTek MT7623N processor. The source code can be found on Github, so let’s see if we can build it:
git clone https://github.com/BPI-SINOVOIP/BPI-R2-bsp
sudo apt install gcc-arm-linux-gnueabihf
new build.sh default select BPI-R2-720P and pack all boards
BPI-R2-720P configured. Now run `make`
This tool support following building mode(s):
1. Build all, uboot and kernel and pack to download images.
2. Build uboot only.
3. Build kernel only.
4. kernel configure.
5. Pack the builds to target download image, this step must execute after u-boot,
kernel and rootfs build out
6. update files for SD
7. Clean all build.
Please choose a mode(1-7): 1
After a couple of minutes, the build would end with:
For the very last step, it asks you to login as root / sudoer, which it should not do… But we end up with the images, so at least it builds:
ls -lh ./SD/
drwxrwxr-x 2 jaufranc jaufranc 4.0K Jun 28 10:46 100MB
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jaufranc jaufranc 22M Jun 28 10:46 4.4.70-BPI-R2-Kernel.tgz
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jaufranc jaufranc 151K Jun 28 10:46 BOOTLOADER-bpi-r2.tgz
drwxrwxr-x 3 jaufranc jaufranc 4.0K Jun 28 10:46 BPI-BOOT
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jaufranc jaufranc 4.8M Jun 28 10:46 BPI-BOOT-bpi-r2.tgz
drwxrwxr-x 4 jaufranc jaufranc 4.0K Jun 28 10:46 BPI-ROOT
MediaTek has also been active by committing patchsets for MT7623 to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, so mainline Linux is an eventual possibility for BPI-R2 board. We just don’t have a clear view of …