[Updated: 9:30PM] — FriendlyElec’s $45, 75 x 40mm “NanoPi S2” SBC runs Debian or Android on a quad-core A9 SoC, and offers RPi expansion, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 8GB eMMC.
FriendlyARM, which is now selling its hacker boards under the name FriendlyElec, is one of the most prolific of hacker board makers. The Chinese firm spins numerous variations on its open-spec, Allwinner or Samsung based “NanoPi” single-board computer line, five of which made it into our recent Hacker Boards SBC survey. The company even builds boards for other projects, as it did with LinkSprite’s latest NanoPi M1-based pcDuino4 Nano. FriendlyElec’s latest NanoPi S2 SBC adds to its line of Samsung S5P4418 based boards, including the NanoPi2 Fire, NanoPC-T2, and NanoPi-M2.
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The $45 NanoPi S2 most closely resembles the $23 NanoPi2 Fire, sharing the same 75 x 40mm footprint and similarly running Debian Linux or Android on the quad-core, Cortex-A9 S5P4418 SoC clocked to 1.4GHz. Other common features include USB 2.0 host, micro-USB, microSD, 45-pin LCD interface, camera link, and AXP228 power management chip. The two boards also share in common their Raspberry Pi compatible 40-pin connectors.
NanoPi S2 front and back views
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The NanoPi S2 dispenses with the Fire’s GbE port, but adds WiFi and Bluetooth. It also shrinks the HDMI port to mini-HDMI. The DDR3 RAM count stands at 1GB, split into two 512MB banks. New features on the S2 include 8GB of eMMC, an ADC pin header, an audio jack, and an LVDS interface.
NanoPi S2 detail view
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As long as you don’t need the Ethernet port, all the new features are easily worth the additional $22. As usual, you get full schematics and a thriving community site.
Specifications listed for the NanoPi S2 include:
- Processor — Samsung S5P4418 (4x Cortex-A9 @ 400Mhz to 1.4GHz); Mali-400MP GPU
- 1GB DDR3 RAM
- 8GB eMMC
- MicroSD slot
- Wireless — 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0 dual mode; IPX ant. interface
- Multimedia I/O:
- Micro-HDMI port @ 1080P60 with audio
- LCD (0.5 mm pitch 45-pin SMT FPC seat) or full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
- LVDS (0.5mm pitch 24-pin FPC seat)
- DVP Camera Interface
- 3.5mm jack with audio left/right and line/mic input
- Other I/O:
- USB 2.0 host port
- Micro-USB 2.0 port for data and power
- ADC pin header
- Serial debug port (2.54mm pitch 4-pin header)
- 40-pin Raspberry Pi connector (2.54mm pitch) with UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, etc.
- Other features — User key; power button; boot mode switch; 2x LEDs; RTC pins
- Power — DC 5V/2A supply; AXP228 PMU
- Dimensions — 75 x 40mm, 8-layer
- Operating system — Android 5.1; Debian8; with U-boot