Banana Pi BPI-M6 SBC Showcased Raspberry Alternative

Banana Pi BPI-M6 SBC Showcased: Banana Pi has unveiled its next-gen board, the BPI-M6, which contains an NPU in addition to a quad-core CPU, an M.2 socket, and an HDMI connector and continues the same design trend as the Raspberry Pi.

There’s a lot going on here, despite the fact that it looks like just another tiny blue SBC. The BPI-M6’s central processing unit (CPU) consists of four 2.1 GHz, 64-bit Cortex-A73 cores, and a 32-bit Cortex M3 core, the likes of which can be found in microcontrollers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and even the iPhone 6S, where it served as the motion co-processor.

Banana Pi BPI-M6 SBC
Banana Pi BPI-M6 SBC

This faster and more capable CPU should be a good upgrade, albeit it may need cooling, given the surprising amount of work you can get out of the Raspberry Pi 4 1.5GHz Cortex A-72 cores. Banana Pi’s choice of GPU for this board, the Imagination GE9920, is included in the VideoSmart VS680 package together with the CPU and a 6.75 TOPS NPU.

There is also a Micro SD card slot, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash (which can be specced as high as 64GB), and an M.2 socket that can hold Key E devices like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards. Video output can reach 4K60, and it can power both a 4K display connected through the micro-HDMI port and a 1080p display connected through the MIPI DSI connector.

DIY set-top boxes and other video processing and IoT applications could benefit from the input-only nature of the second micro-HDMI connector. The remaining four USB ports (all 3.0), one Gigabit Ethernet socket, and forty general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has used a Raspberry Pi.

A USB-C port is used for power, and a PoE header is also included. Even though Banana Pi SBCs like the BPI-M5 have had Android, Ubuntu, Debian, and even Raspbian images available for them in the past, we currently know nothing regarding software support for the new board. A wiki article describes the hardware, but no prices or release dates have been revealed.

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