Banana Pi : unboxing, first impressions people were kind enough to send me a sample of their Banana Pi board. It arrived today in my mailbox, so let’s have a first look at it…

The packaging is standard nowadays. My last Raspberry Pi, ordered a month ago, was packaged exactly the same.

That’s really a lot of components on a small board. The finition is nice, everythings looks robust and well made.

Banana / Raspberry Pies minor size differences

Putting it side by side with a Raspberry Pi reveals some small size and position differences,.

A Raspberry Pi is 85,60 mm × 53,98 mm. It won’t fit in a standard Pi case.

Lets have some closer looks :

Here is the AllWinner A20. This is an ARM Cortex-A7 Dual-Core CPU, with a Mali-400 GPU (same GPU as a Samsung Galaxy S3). It also has 1GB DDR3 SDRAM. Kind of powerfull !

The IR receiver, so usefull for domotic or multimedia applications !
Also, a Gigabit ethernet and 2xUSB 2.0.

Datasheet says this is the display DSI connector. This is the place for the camera module, on a Raspberry.

A close-up of the GPIO connector. Datasheet doesn’t say anything about the pinout, but a forum post (very rare ^^) suggests it shares the Raspberry pinout. We’ll see.
The connector seems to be for the [to be released] camera module.
There are also 2 keys : power and reset.

Here are the SATA and SATA power (white one) connectors. This feature will be a life changer, really missing on my Raspberries.
Between those 2 connectors sits the mini-usb main power connector (5v, 2A). We’ll see how this behaves, powering is one of the Raspberry Pi’s largest flaws, in my opinion.
The micro-usb on the left is the USB-OTG. So cool !!

Here is the uboot key… I really don’t know what it is. Yet…

Hopefully tomorrow, I will try to power it on… So stay tuned…

Update : here is the next article…