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Headless NanoPi combines RK3399 with dual GbE ports

Nov 12, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,414 views

FriendlyElec has posted specs on a “NanoPi R4S” SBC equipped with a hexa-core RK3399 with up to 4GB LPDDR4, a microSD slot, dual GbE, dual USB 3.0, and -20 to 70℃ support.

Rockchip’s RK3399 has been dropping in price over the years, with RK3399-based Linux hacker boards starting at over $100 but now selling for as low as $39 for the 1GB version of Radxa’s Rock Pi 4. Apparently, the hexa-core -A72 and -A53 SoC is now cheap enough that FriendlyElec can afford to use it on its latest headless NanoPi Rx router boards. The unpriced, RK3399 based NanoPi R4S lacks display or camera interfaces to exploit the SoC’s high-end Mali-T860 MP4 GPU and MIPI and HDMI 2.0 interfaces.

NanoPi R4S detail views (left) and four views of the earlier NanoPi R2S
(click images to enlarge)

The open-spec NanoPi R4S follows FriendlyElec’s $22 NanoPi R2S, which runs FriendlyWrt or Ubuntu Core on a 1.4GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 RK3328. CNXSoft spotted the R4S on a “hidden” wiki page without price or OS details.

Presumably, FriendlyElec chose the RK3399 for its faster CPU speed and full-speed native and PCIe Ethernet interfaces. Yet, the NanoPi R2S already provided a large boost in Ethernet bandwidth over the Allwinner H3 or H5 based NanoPi R1S, offering a claimed 941Mbps throughput over both the native and USB 3.0 driven GbE ports. Since the second GbE on the R4S is enabled by PCIe, you might see a modest boost to 1,000Mbps on both ports.


The 66 x 66mm SBC is larger than the earlier 55.6 x 52mm NanoPi R2S and R1S boards and has a new layout. The SBC ships with 1GB DDR3 or 4GB LPDDR4 and has a microSD slot. Other features include 2x USB 3.0 ports, a debug UART, and headers for USB 2.0, SPI, and I2C.

The NanoPi R4S inputs 5VDC power via a USB Type-C port or header with the help of an RK808-D PMIC. There is also an RTC battery input connector, 4x LEDs, a user key, and a 5V fan connector. The operating range is -20 to 70℃ compared to 0 to 80℃ on the R2S. Schematics and CAD files have already been posted.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the NanoPi R4S. More information may be found on FriendlyElec’s wiki.

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2 responses to “Headless NanoPi combines RK3399 with dual GbE ports”

  1. Vadim says:

    The image states that DDR3 ia used on the board. Which one is it? LPDDR4 or DDR3?

  2. Jeff Child, Chief Editor- LinuxGizmos says:

    While it does seem unusual, the specs do say that the 1GB is DDR3 and that the 4GB version is LPDDR4. Schematic of the 4GB version confirms this.

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