Today, in the mail, I had the great surprise to find a package coming from Lemaker.
Inside the package is their new Banana Pro. Let’s have a first look at it.
Great packaging, good job Lemaker ! They even added a « First start » booklet, with instructions and hardware specifications.
First, the complete features list :
Hardware Specification of Banana ProTM
|Soc||Allwinner® A20(sun 7i)|
|CPU||ARM® Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core1GHz (ARM v7 instruction set)|
|GPU||Mali400MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1 (hardware acceleration support)|
|SDRAM||1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)|
|Power||5V @ 2A via MicroUSB (DC in Only) and/or MicroUSB (OTG)|
|Low-level perpherials||40 Pins Header,28×GPIO, some of which can be used for specific functions including UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, CAN, I2S, SPDIF, LRADC, ADC, LINE-IN, FM-IN, HP-IN.|
|On board Network||10/100/1000Mbps ethernet (Realtek RTL8211E/D)|
|Wifi Module||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (AP6181, datasheet)|
|On board Storage||MicroSD (TF) card，SATA 2.0|
|Display||Supports multi-channel HD display : HDMI 1.4 (Type A – full)LVDS / RGB / CPU display interface (DSI) for raw LCD panelsComposite video (PAL and NTSC) (via 3.5 mm TRRS jack shared with audio out)11 HDMI resolutions from 640×480 to 1920×1080 plus various PAL and NTSC standards|
|Video||HD H.264 2160p video decoding Mutil-format FHD video decoding, including Mpeg1/2, Mpeg4, H.263, H.264, etc H.264 high profile 1080p@30fps or 720p@60fps encoding|
|Audio outputs||HDMI,analog audio (via 3.5 mm TRRS jack shared with composite video out), I2S audio (also potentially for audio input)|
|Camera||Parallel 8-bit camera interface|
|Audio input||On board microphone|
|USB||2 USB 2.0 host, 1 USB 2.0 OTG (all direct from A20 chip)|
|Buttons||Reset buttonPower buttonU-boot button|
|Leds||Power status led (red)Ethernet status led (blue)User defined led (green)|
Dimensions / Weight
|Sizes||92 mm × 60mm|
|Banana ProTM and Banana PiTM are trademarks of LeMaker|
Changes since Banana Pi A-20
|Banana Pi A-20||Banana Pro|
|GPIO||26 Pin, Raspberry Pi A/B compatible||40 Pin, Raspberry Pi A+/B+ compatible|
|Onboard Storage||SD (Max. 64GB) / MMC onboard, SATA 2.0||MicroSD (TF) card，SATA 2.0|
|WiFi||None||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (AP6181, datasheet)|
|Display / Audio||Composite video (PAL and NTSC) via RCA plugAnalog audio via 3.5 mm TRRS jack||Composite video (PAL and NTSC) and Analog audio via a common 3.5 mm TRRS jack|
So, we now have a Raspberry Pi A+/B+ compatible 40 pins GPIO header, MicroSD slot, onboard WiFi, and audio/composite video output now share a common 4 pins 3.5mm jack.
Of course, Banana Pro still have a Allwinner A20 DualCore 1GHz CPU, HD capable Mali 2 GPU, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, 2xUSB2.0, 1xUSB OTG, SATA 2.0, HDMI 1.4, onboard microphone and IR receiver, CSI camera and LVDS connectors, 3 LEDs and 2 buttons.
Overall, the build quality looks great. Compared with the original Banana Pi A-20, the Banana Pro PCB is thicker : 1.5mm vs 1mm.
The main improvements over the previous version are the 40 pin GPIO header and of course onboard WiFi. Worth noting, I don’t see any PCB antenna and AP6181 chip doesn’t seem to have one, so wifi external antenna is very important. It’s great Lemaker added one to the package, I will test it later. It’s also possible to use a SMA to U.FL cable and a « real » wifi antenna.
I don’t have any details about the GPIO new functions, but I will try to find them and update this blog article.
The video / audio common output reduces the board footprint, let’s hope it shares the Raspberry Pi pinout.
LEDs are now grouped in the same spot and well aligned. The blue LED now shows mmc activity (it was a network activity indicator on the Banana Pi, redondant with the ethernet socket LEDs). I bet this blue LED is now user definable, like the green one. These LEDs are aligned behind the GPIO header, so they may be blocked by a daughter card, but it’s still an improvement.
The battery solder pads are also still present on the Banana Pro, but are way smaller.
Next time, I will install the operating system and conduct some tests on it.
Banana Pro is available via Lemaker approved shop : http://www.lenovator.com/
It’s also possible to get an almost free board via Lemaker STEAM program : http://www.lemaker.org/news/10-61/apply_for_banana_pi.html