Build Yourself a Cool NAS Storage With $25 4x SATA HAT for NanoPi M4

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Last updated on September 12th, 2019 at 06:26 pm

NanoPi M4 SATA HAT Extension Board

The NanoPi M4 is FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM) latest Rockchip RK3399 boards. This SBC (Single board computer) has a small form factor as the popular Raspberry Pi Board. It features 2 / 4 GB RAM, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, A good massive heatsink unit (Optional).

Because the M4 has almost all the needed features any user will need but lacks hard drive interface support through SATA, FriendlyElec specially designed an expansion board with a total of 4x SATA ports, along with power supply powered by a Marvell 88SE9215 chip.

As a final personal note, this add-on board is a nice step in upgrading the functionality of the existing NanoPi M4 board to a more powerful machine that can be used as a low-cost NAS storage device. It would be also nice and interesting to see newer boards with built-in SATA ports. Having said that, If you feel this board provides great value, you are welcome to read more information about it in FriendlyElec official website/store (link posted below):

Buy It Now from FriendlyElec Store

4x SATA HAT for NanoPi M4 Specifications:

  • PCIe to SATA Chipset – Marvell 88SE9215 four-port 6Gbps SATA I/O controller.
  • USB – 2x 4-pin USB 2.0 host connectors
  • Expansion – NanoPi M4 40-pin header exposed
  • Misc:
  • Power key, unpopulated power key jumper
  • Power LED, 4x SATA LEDs
  • Heat dissipation – 2x PCB nuts for mounting a heatsink on top of Marvell chipset; 2-pin header for a fan, PWM modulation for 12V output
  • Power Supply
  • 12V DC input via power barrel jack or 4-pin header; 2A needed for one 3.5″ hard drive or four 2.5″ hard drives; 5A needed for four 3.5″ hard drives
  • 4-pin power connector with 12V and 5V output
  • Dimensions – 65 x 56 mm

 

SATA

  • Use Marvell 88SE9215 Four-Port 6 Gbps SATA I/O Controller
  • Four SATA Ports. It supports three communication rates: 6 Gbps, 3 Gbps, and 1.5 Gbps
  • One 4-Pin power connector. It includes a 12V and a 5V outputs and is able to carry large currents
  • Four LEDs for indicating the status of each SATA port

 

Power

  • Two 12V Power Input options. It includes a 5.5*2.1mm DC-Jack and a 5566-04A connector
  • The output current of the 12V to 5V DC/DC regulator is up to 8A
  • One PowerKey button and PowerKey jumper

 

USB

  • Two 4-PIN PH2.0 USB 2.0 host connectors.

 

Heat dissipation

  • Two PCB nuts for mounting a heatsink above the PCIe to SATA bridge
  • One 2-PIN PH2.0 connector for the fan. The 12V output is modulated by PWM1.

GPIO

  • ALL the signals of the NanoPi M4’s 40-PIN connector are populated

 

Benchmarking 

FriendlyElec team performed a series of benchmarking tests under Ubuntu 18.04.x using a Crucial MX300 SSD (750GB). On paper, the results look very promising and clearly show that the SATA HAT can provide SATA3 read/write speeds.

 

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