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Quad-GbE Banana Pi upgraded with RK3568

Aug 30, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 514 views

Sinovoip has unveiled a “Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro” router board that runs OpenWrt on a quad -A55 RK3568 and offers 4x GbE with WAN, 2x USB 3.0, SATA, HDMI, MIPI DSI/CSI, 40-pin, mini-PCIe, and M.2 E-key.

Sinovoip is updating its Banana Pi BPI-R2 router SBC with a “Pro” model that offers a much faster processor and adds MIPI-CSI, an audio jack, a speaker connector, RTC with battery, up to 4GB RAM support, and twice the eMMC at 16GB. The Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro also replaces the WiFi/BT module with an M.2 E-key slot and removes the optional second SATA interface and the SATA power connector. There are no photographs, pricing, or availability information for the Pro, but a preliminary product page has been posted.

Whereas the Banana Pi BPI-R2 runs Linux on a MediaTek MT7623N (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz), the Pro model adopts Rockchip’s quad-core, Cortex-A55 RK3568. No clock rate was listed, but the RK3568 can achieve up to 2.0GHz. The SoC has a Mali-G52 EE GPU and a 0.8-TOPS NPU. Rockchip also offers an RK3566 SoC with similar specs but reduced I/O.



Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro detail view (render)
(click image to enlarge)

Announced products based on the RK3568 include Radxa’s upcoming Rock 3 Model A and more feature-rich Rock 3 Model B SBCs, as well as Firefly’s $122 and up Station P2 mini-PC, Firefly’s Core-3568J AI Core Board module and dev kit, and Geniatech’s RK3566 Development Board.

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Like the BPI-R2 and earlier, dual-GbE, Realtek RTD129 based BPI-W2, the Pro has a 148 × 100.5mm footprint, but it has been substantially redesigned. It is presumably backed with the same open specifications and community resources. For now, Sinovoip lists support for OpenWrt, Linux “and other OSes.”

The Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro, which we saw on CNXSoft supports 2GB to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM. (The specs list DDR3, but we imagine the detail view has it right with LPDDR4.) The Pro supplies 16GB eMMC instead of 8GB, as well as a microSD slot. Some SPI flash has also been added.

Continuing features include 4x GbE, GbE WAN, 2x USB 3.0, and HDMI and micro-USB OTG ports. One big improvement is the HDMI port’s ability to display 4096 x 2304 @ 60fps video,


BPI-R2

In addition to dual MIPI-DSI interfaces, you get a MIPI-CSI camera interface with up to HD encode. Internal features include SATA, 40-pin GPIO, mini-PCIe, M.2 E-key, IR, a 5V input jack, and various buttons.

The original BPI-R2 now sells for $91 on AliExpress, up from $84 when we last checked at the start of the year in our catalog of 150 Linux hacker boards. The original will likely be discontinued or greatly discounted once the Pro model ships.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Banana Pi BPI-R2 Pro, which will begin sampling in a few weeks. More information may be found on Sinovoip’s preliminary BPI-R2 Pro wiki page.
 

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