Maybe you missed it? Banana Pi R2 Router Board Review
Banana Pi BPI-R3 Router board
Sinovoip Co., Ltd the company behind the famous Banana Pi brand, just announced a brand new open-source router with two SFP ports named Banana Pi BPI-R3. This is probably amongst the first open-source routers on the market with built-in optical interfaces.
This pretty awesome product can be especially beneficial for users connected to a fast fiber internet that want to use higher throughput internet speeds above the standard 1Gbps limit which was very commonly used in recent years. As we move into a new year (2022), the 1Gbps standard becomes outdated when used with IoT devices as well as single-board computers that require higher Internet speeds.
Banana Pi BPI-R3
Extra Cooling System
According to the photo, The R3 will come with a massive aluminum Heatsink and a fan that will cover most of the board’s main components that need continuous cooling. They include the main SoC chip, eMMC, and memory chips.
A Quick Demo
- Soc: MediaTek MT7986(Filogic 830) Quad-core ARM Cortex A53+MT7531 chip design
- Connectivity: Wifi 6/6E 4x4 2.4G Wifi (MT7975N) +4x4 5G Wifi (MT7975P)
- 2G DDR RAM
- Internal storage: 8GB eMMC NAND FLASH
- x2 SFP (2.5 GbE)
- x1 5 GbE network port
- Mini PCIe via USB
- M.2 KEY-E PCIe interface
- MicroSD card interface
- 26 PIN GPIO
Banana Pi BPI-R3 Board Layout
Powered by a MediaTek MT7986 Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. You can expect decent software support as well as a good performance at a lower cost. The BPI-R3 comes with 2GB DDR RAM, 4GB would be nicer to have but we can’t complain. These hardware specifications should cover most open-source projects running Linux-based distributions like Debian without any trouble.
The Banana Pi BPI-R3 features plenty of interfaces at your disposal. It offers external two storage options via PCIe sockets. On top of that, you have a MINI PCIe socket (slot) and an M.2 KEY-E PCIe interface located on the back of the board. An 8GB EMMC flash chip and a MicroSD card slot are also included if you wise to load OS boot files through them. The BPI-R3 comes with one USB V3.0 host port with additional pair of onboard extension USB V2.0 Host interfaces.
For connectivity, you also have plenty of options. Kiss 1Gbps speeds goodbye. The BPI-R3 card is equipped with two SFP optical ports. Next to them, you have a 2.5 Gbps WAN port along with x4 2.5 Gbps LAN ports. According to the board photo, you also have a series of onboard Ipx sockets to connect with external WiFi antennas, which is a good thing to have.
Having said that, If you need complete wireless connectivity, especially in environments without available, Wifi networks a Micro Sim card slot is also added, but keep in mind that you have to buy a supported 5G PCIe expansion card.
Misc & Other Interfaces
Sinovoip Co., Ltd included standard interfaces you might see in most of the banana pi board series. You have your 26 PIN Header, WPS button, power button, Fan socket, boot switch, and a debug UART. Also, another important highlight worth mentioning is regarding Heatsink mounting. The company’s design team included four mounting holes for Heatsink that covers most of the major chips: Main SoC Chip, memory, and DDR memory chips.
Price & Availability
Currently, there is no official final price for the BPI-R3 board. We will update this post section as soon as we have additional updates including a review sample.