Banana Pi, the new Raspberry Pi competitor with HDMI 2.1 is now available

Banana Pi, the new Raspberry Pi competitor with HDMI 2.1 is now available

Banana Pi

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Banana Pi has announced that its BPI-M2 Pro single board computer, announced last March, is now available worldwide for $ 61. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the card is fully mature, as colleagues at CNX Software have found that the manufacturer hasn't released its firmware yet.

Banana Pi said the BPI-M2 Pro is equipped of an Amlogic S905X3 SoC equipped with a Cortex-A55 quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. On board there are also 2GB of LPDDR4 memory, 16GB of integrated eMMC and a microSD slot. BPI-M2 Pro also offers an HDMI 2.1 port, which can theoretically support video output up to 8K resolution. However, according to the Banana Pi wiki, the maximum output will be in 4K with a refresh rate of 60Hz.

The device also has 40 GPIO pins, numerous USB ports and network chips that offer support to Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5. More information on the specifications of the BPI-M2 Pro can be found on the Banana Pi wiki. The BPI-M2 Pro is expected to support Android and various Linux distributions, but there are currently no official ISO images available. It is unclear if this is because the card supports files made for Banana Pi BPI-M5 or if they will be released in the near future.

If the lack of official firmware doesn't put you off, the Banana Pi BPI -M2 Pro is now available on AliExpress. However, in order to get your hands on the product it will be necessary to wait some time, given that the retailer has stated that orders placed in these days will be delivered by 20 July.

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Tiny Radxa Zero SBC runs Armbian on Amlogic S905Y2

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Radxa’s Raspberry Pi Zero-like “Radxa Zero” SBC runs on Amlogic’s quad -A53 S905Y2 and sells for $15 (512MB LPDDR4) to $45 (4GB with 16GB eMMC). Features include WiFi/BT, 4K-ready micro-HDMI, 40-pin GPIO, and 2x USB Type-C.The Raspberry Pi Compute Module series has followed mainstream Pi SBCs into Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A72 territory with the RPi CM3/CM3+ and CM4. Yet, the slightly larger and more SBC-like Raspberry Pi Zero and WiFi/BT enabled Raspberry Pi Zero W are still stuck with a 1GHz, ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2836. They nevertheless remain popular due to their $5 price, 65 x 30mm dimensions, and support for Raspberry Pi HATs and most Pi software.

Radxa has now introduced limited quantities of an early developer version of a Radxa Zero SBC with roughly the same form factor, but rocking Amlogic’s 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 S905Y2 (see farther below). Other Raspberry Pi Zero W pseudo-clones include SinoVoip’s Allwinner H2+ based Banana Pi M2 Zero and Trenz’s Xilinx Zynq-7010 based ZynqBerryZero.

The first Radxa Zero models are available in the following configurations (Note: WiFi 4 is 802.11n and WiFi 5 is 802.11ac):

  • 512MB LPDDR4, WiFi4/BT4 — 15$
  • 1GB LPDDR4, WiFi4/BT4 — 20$
  • 2GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, WiFi5/BT5 — 30$
  • 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, WiFi5/BT5 — 45$
  • The eMMC is expandable to 128GB and there is a microSD slot. Aside from the faster processor and greater memory capacity, one of the key enhancements is the switch from an HD-ready mini-HDMI port to a micro-HDMI 2.1 with [email protected] HDR and [email protected] H265/VP9 decode.

    In place of the Pi Zero’s dual micro-USB ports, one of which is dedicated to power input, you get dual Type-C ports. The USB 2.0 Type C is an OTG port that supports 5V input and the USB 3.0 Type-C is a host port. Like the Pi Zero, the 66 x 30mm SBC has a 40-pin GPIO header and supports ADC, UART, SPI, and PWM. There is also a crypto chip, an antenna mount, and a user button.

    Amlogic’s 1.8GHz, quad-core, -A53 S905Y2 has a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. This is one of Amlogic’s 12nm fabricated 12th generation SoCs along with a similar S905X2, which adds GbE and 10/100 PHYs, among other changes. (The S905Y2 lacks Ethernet.) These two “g12a” architecture SoCs were announced in 2018 along with the more powerful, g12b architecture S922X, a quad -A73 SoC that powers the Odroid-N2 SBC.


    The Radxa Zero supports Android 9, but the official support OS is Armbian. The Radxa Zero will almost certainly offer open-specs and community support like other Radxa SBCs, such as the recent, RK3399 OP1 based Rock Pi 4 Plus. We do not yet see a wiki page, however.

    Speaking of Armbian, Khadas just announced Armbian support for its high-end, Amlogic A311D based Khadas Vim3 SBC. Khadas also announced VIM3 support for Google AOSP and the non-Linux Google Fuchsia. Fuchsia recently appeared as an option on Google’s first-gen Nest Hub.

     Further information

    Limited quantities of the Radxa Zero are available starting at $15 to early developers (see pricing above). A shopping page should follow when full production starts in mid-August. More information may be found in the Radxa Forum announcement.