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Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry: the Allwinner R40 SBC with SATA support at $32
Banana Pi (BPi) is a series of RPi-similar (not compatible) boards manufactured by the Chinese company Sinovoip. Like the RPi, several versions exist.
SinoVoip’s Banana Pi project has introduced a variation on its $40 Banana Pi M2 Ultra hacker SBC with a smaller, Raspberry Pi 3 like, 85 x 56mm footprint instead of the Ultra’s 92 x 60mm.
The quad-core Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry offers fairly similar features to the Ultra: the main differences being the size of the SRAM (1 GB DDR3 for the Berry, 2 GB DDR3 for the Ultra), the size of the Flash memory (no eMMC for the Berry, 8 GB for the Ultra) and the size of the board.
Compared to the standard M2, the Berry and the Ultra models add SATA support.
However if you don’t need SATA in a smaller RPi-like form factor and price point, there is little reason to choose the Berry for only three dollars less than the faster quad -A53 Raspberry Pi 3.
In fact the BPi M2 Berry is equipped with an Allwinner R40 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU which gives the Berry a similar amount of horsepower as the Raspberry Pi 2 version 1.0.
The graphics side is handled by a MALI-400 GPU. This GPU is the same for all BPi boards, except for the M3.
Like the RPi3 the Berry has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but V4.0 vs V4.1 for the RPi3. Unlike the RPi, the BPi has two push-buttons, Reset and user defined, which may come in handy in some applications.
Specifications listed for the Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry include:
- Processor — Allwinner V40 or R40 (4x Cortex-A7); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU @ 500MHz
- RAM — 1GB DDR3
- MicroSD slot for up to 256GB
- SATA interface
- Wireless — 802.11b/g/n WiFi (AP 6212); Bluetooth 4.0
- Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
- Multimedia I/O:
- HDMI 1.4 out with audio, TV out
- 4-lane MIPI-DSI out
- 3.5mm audio jack with mic support
- Other I/O:
- 4x USB 2.0 host ports
- Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port for power
- 40-pin, RPi-compatible expansion header with GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, I2S, etc.
- Other features — 2x LEDs; reset, power, U-Boot buttons
- Power — 5V/2A via micro-USB OTG
- Weight — 40 g
- Dimensions — 85 x56mm
- Operating system — Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian Linux; Android