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Rugged, octa-core hacker board has 2GB RAM

Nov 24, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,176 views

FriendlyElec’s $75 “NanoPC-T3 Plus” SBC runs Linux or Android on an octa-core -A53 Samsung SoC, and features 2GB DDR3, 16GB eMMC, and -40 to 80℃ support.

FriendlyElec announced the original NanoPC-T3 SBC in April 2016, back when the company still called itself FriendlyARM. The community backed board, which was a processor and RAM upgrade to the NanoPC-T2, has now been further enhanced with a new NanoPC-T3 Plus model.

NanoPC-T3 Plus, AKA NanoPC-T3 2GB, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Plus model retains the Samsung S5P6818 SoC with eight Cortex-A53 400MHz to 1.4GHz cores, but it doubles the RAM and flash with 2GB DDR3 and 16GB eMMC, respectively. It also switches a USB header to a Type-A port so there are now three USB 2.0 host ports and one header.

The NanoPC-T3 Plus extends the temperature range to -40 to 80℃. It also lengthens the shorter dimension by 4mm, giving it a 100 x 64 x 11.8mm footprint.

NanoPC-T3 Plus detail views
(click images to enlarge)

Other features appear to be identical, including GbE, WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Media ports include an HDMI port plus LVDS, RGB LCD, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, and DVP interfaces. There’s also a micro-USB OTG port, an audio jack, debug, RTC, and various user keys and LEDs.


Unlike FriendlyElec’s NanoPi boards there is no Raspberry Pi compatible expansion, but you get a 30-pin GPIO connector. The 5V/2A board ships with a PMIC and a heatsink, and a metal case is optional. Images are available for Android, Debian, and the Ubuntu Core based FriendlyCore. Like other FriendlyElec boards, open schematics and other resources are available.

NanoPC-T3 Plus with heatsink (left) and in optional case
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the NanoPC-T3 Plus include:

  • Processor — Samsung S5P6818 (8x 28nm Cortex-A53 cores @ 400MHz to 1.46GHz; Mali-400MP GPU
  • Memory:
    • 2GB DDR3 RAM
    • 16GB eMMC
    • Micro-SD slot for up to 128GB
  • Display/multimedia:
    • HDMI 1.4A port for up to 1080p
    • RGB LCD
    • MIPI-DSI
    • LVDS
    • MIPI-CSI camera
    • DVP camera
    • 3.5mm headphone jack and mic interface
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.0 dual mode
    • Porcelain IPX antenna
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port (RTL8211E)
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 (3x ports, 1x header shared with I2S)
    • Micro-USB 2.0 client port
    • 30-pin GPIO header
    • Serial debug header
  • Other features — RTC; boot selection button; LEDs; heatsink with mounting holes; optional metal case
  • Power — DC/5V/2A; PMIC (Cortex-M0) reset and power keys
  • Dimensions — 100 x 64 x 11.8mm; 6-layer PCB
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 80℃
  • Operating system — Android; Debian; FriendlyCore FriendlyCore (based on UbuntuCore 16.04 with Qt-5.9 and OpenGL ES1.1/2.0)

Further information

The NanoPC-T3 Plus, also called the NanoPC-T3 2GB, is now available for $75 plus shipping. More information may be found on the NanoPC-T3 Plus product page and a currently unpopulated wiki.

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