Tag Archives: Banana Pi

Banana Pi M2 Magic, Smallest Banana Pi Board

Sinovoip had announced its new board Banana Pi M2 Magic. At first, it is an ARM SoC development board that features a high computing performance in a 51mm square portable design. In addition to onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, M2 Magic offers 8GB eMMc storage and DDR3 SDRAM of 512 MB. There is also an SD card slot for more storage, to install an OS for example.

Banana Pi M2 Magic

Banana Pi M2 Magic specifications:

  • SoC: Allwinner R16 or Allwinner A33, quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory: 512MB DDR3
  • Storage: 8 GB eMMC flash (option: 16, 32 or 64GB) + micro SD slot
  • Display Interface: 4-lane MIPI DSI connector
  • Camera Interface: CSI connector supporting up to 5MP sensor, 1080p30 H.265 video capture
  • Video Decoder: Multi-format FHD video decoding, including Mpeg1/2, Mpeg4, H.263, H.264, etc H.264 high profile 1080p@60fps
  • Audio: Onboard microphone
  • Connectivity: Wifi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (AP6212)
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0 host, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Expansion: 40-pin header with GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM…
  • Misc: Reset & power buttons, RGB LEDs,
  • Power Supply:
    • 5V @ 2A via DC power barrel
    • 3.7V Lithium battery support
  • Dimensions: 51 x 51 mm
  • Weight: 40 grams

Alongside the processor and the memory at the front side of the board, you will find a 40-pin GPIO header, a DSI display slot, an Antenna connector, a CSI camera slot, a USB OTG adapter, a USB2.0 port, a microphone and a DC power jack. On the rear side, there is an antenna, a PMIC AXP223, a battery interface and a microSD card slot.

Front and rear sides

This board is oriented for IoT applications in general. Since there is no HDMI interface, M2 Magic is suitable for headless use, or you can use the MIPI DSI display interface to connect a screen. It also doesn’t have an Ethernet interface, so you will have to use WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The board will run Tina IoT Linux, which is a lightweight Linux distribution optimized for Allwinner R-Series processor.

Tina IoT Linux

Both A33 and R16 versions are available in the market. A33 version is for $23, while R16 is for $28. You can get it from any global distributor or cooperative partner of Banana Pi products. Finally, you can reach more information and data at the official wiki.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry, A Quad Core Single-Board Computer

Raspberry Pi is a powerful on-board computer series launched few years ago. Many similar boards appeared providing cheaper price or more features. The Chinese company “SinoVoIP” is manufacturing its own board “Banana Pi“, and recently they unveiled a new board that is similar to Raspberry Pi 3 and called “BPI-M2 Berry“.

The BPi Berry features the Allwinner R40 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU giving it the same power of Raspberry Pi 2 version 1.0. It is similar to the BPi M2 Ultra that was released a few months back, but with 1 GB DDR3 SRAM instead of 2 GB and without eMMC Flash Memory. BPi Berry has a different size of other BPi boards, making it the first RPi size-compatible BPi with the same size and connector placement as the RPi3.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner V40 quad Core ARM Cortex A7 processor with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1G DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – micro SD slot, SATA interface
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212 module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port up to 1080p60, 4-lane MIPI DSI display connector
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – CSI camera connector
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, ID EEPROM, 5V, 3.3V, GND signals.
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART for serial console
  • Misc – Reset, power, and u-boot buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; AXP221s PMIC
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 56mm

Compared with RPi3, BPi Berry adds a SATA port that allows the connection of an external hard disk or DVD/CDROM drive, which is convenient for applications that require lots of storage or faster throughput compared to USB memory sticks. Also there are differences in camera and display connectors, they are in the same place but with different sizes and the SD card slot is wider too.

BPi M2 Berry is available for about $45. For more details about the board visit the official announcement and take a look at this review on elektor.