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NanoPi 2 Fire Raspberry Pi 2 Competitor

Product Introduction

The NanoPi 2 Fire is a high performance ARM Board for Hobbyists, Makers and Hackers for IOT projects, developed by FriendlyARM company. It features Samsung’s Cortex-A9 Quad Core S5P4418  1. 4GHz SoC and 1G 32bit DDR3 RAM. It has a built-in  Gigabit Ethernet port. You can load Android and Debian system images from a TF card. The board integrates both HDMI and LCD interfaces along with 40 pin GPIO pin header, compatible with Raspberry Pi’s external GPIO modules including Arduino’s shield boards.

The board is very compact in size measuring 75 x 40 mm and it’s a lot Cheaper and with a faster processor compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model BThe being said, The NanoPi 2 Fire is currently sold for $23 (including shipping). For more detailed information you are welcome to visit FirendlyARM website listed in the link below.

Buy It on FriendlyARM.com

NanoPi_2_Fire

NanoPi 2 Fire | Back View

NanoPi_2_Fire_back

 

NanoPi 2 Fire Review Focus:

  1. Product Introduction
  2. Specifications
  3. Product Package
  4. Hardware platform
  5. Power usage
  6. CPU Temperature
  7. Software
  8. Video Review
  9. Final Words
  10. Pros / Cons
ItemDetails
ProcessorSamsung S5P4418 Quad Core Cortex-A9, 400Mhz ~ 1.4GHz
PMU Power ManagementAXP228, support software power-off, sleep and makeup functions
System Memory1GB 32bit DDR3 RAM
ConnectivityGbps Ethernet Port (RTL8211E)
USB1 x USB Host 2.0 Type A, 1 x Micro USB for data transmission and power input
Storage1 x Micro SD Slot
LCD0.5 mm pitch 45 pin FPC seat, full color TFT LCD(RGB:8-8-8)
HDMI1 x HDMI 1.4A Type A, 1080P
Camera0.5 mm pitch 24 pin DVP FPC seat
GPIO40 pin, 2.54 mm pitch pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi 2’s GPIO pin header
OTG1 x Micro USB for power input
Debug Serial Port2.54 mm pitch 4 pin header
User KeyK1(power key), Reset
PCB Dimension75 x 40 mm, Six-layers PCB
Power:DC 5V/2A
OS/Softwareu-boot, Android 5.1, Debian Jessie 8
NanoPi_2_Fire_Raspberry_Pi_2_Compare

Optional Accessories

FirendlyARM offers few optional accessories for their NanoPi M3 that are not included in default package that only contains the development board. The White 3D Printed Housing (Case) comes in handy if you need to mount the unit with a set of 4 screws. My experience in assembling the two part of the case wasn’t so great to say the lest. The upper part where the processor sockets is located was smaller in dimensions which made it almost impossible to close the two parts together, even with provided screws and excessive force the parts didn’t fit well.

NanoPi 2 Fire 3D Printed Housing

     

    1. Reset
    2. USB Host
    3. LCD
    4. Power
    5. Camera
    6. TF Card (Back)
    7. Micro USB
    8. Debug UART
    9. AXP228
    10. 1GB RAM
    11. GPIO
    12. SP4418
    13. RTL8211E
    14. HDMI
    15. 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet

    NanoPi- 2-Fire-Layout

    Hardware Platform

    The NanoPi 2 Fire Hardware is powered with a Quad-core 5P4418 32 bit Samsung Cortex-A9 Processor. FirendlyARM redesigned the board with on-board Gigabit Ethernet port at the expense of the on-board WiFi Chip, making the product more cost effective vs. the previous Nano Pi2 model.

    Do to the compact size of this board, only 40 x 75 mm unit doesn’t have built in WiFi module and comes with only one USB V2.0 Host that could be a bit limiting if you are not using a mini USB Hub. If you still need WiFi support you can do it by buying a USB WiFi Adapter and installing provided vendor drivers.

    The Board comes with AXP228 PMU advanced power software power-off, sleep and wake-up features. Although in normal standard operation (depending on CPU load) Processor heats up but still works well it’s very recommend investing few dollars and buying a aluminum / copper heat-sink.

    NanoPi 2 Fire | Full View

    • NanoPi 2 Fire | TOP View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Back View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Closer View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Full View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Rear View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Right View
    • NanoPi 2 Fire | Left View

     

    NanoPi 2 Fire dimensions | 40 x 75 mm

    NanoPi-2-Fire-size

    CPU Temperature

    On moderate usage, depending on CPU workload. I was still able to run and operate Ubuntu MATE system without any crashes at relative high temperatures ranging between ~72 – 85C.

     

    Software

    You can find few Linux distributions for the NanoPI 2 Fire such as Kali Linux, Ubuntu MATE, and Arabian Linux at friendlyARM Wiki pages. From my personal impression FirendlyARM has much to improve and offer wider image support for more Operating systems.

    NanoPi 2 Fire Hands-on Review

    Final Words

    excluding my bad experience dealing in trying to assemble the 3D printed housing (case) parts the NanoPi 2 Fire board performed well and stable. Software support was less great and needs further improvements, but the good news is that FriendlyARM are currently working on developing new images such as Arabian Linux distribution and maybe others. Bottom line, if you are looking for a very compact board for running Linux distributions, then this product does the job well for a retail price of $23 (including shipping).

     

    Pros / Cons

     

    Pros

    • Small in Size : 40 x 75 mm
    • External interfaces : LCD , GPIO
    • On-board Gigabit Ethernet LAN Port.
    • Good Performance
    • Cost effective.
    • Good Stability.

     

    Cons

    • Limited software support / Availability  (Images).
    • No WiFi module on-board.
    • No eMMC.
    • Only one USB port.

     

     

    Company Links:

     

    friendlyarm_contact

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