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Banana Pi BPI-R3 Router board
Sinovoip Co., Ltd, The company behind the famous Banana Pi brand, just announced a new open-source router with two SFP ports named Banana Pi BPI-R3. It’s probably amongst the first single-board routers on the market with built-in optical interfaces.
This excellent 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 As we move into a new year (2022), the 1Gbps standard becomes outdated when used with IoT devices and single-board computers requiring higher Internet speeds.
Banana Pi BPI-R3
HardWare Specification of Banana Pi BPI-R3
MediaTek MT7986 (Filogic 830)
Quad-core ARM Cortex A53+M17531 chip
On Board Storage
26 Pin GPIO,some of which can be used for specific functions including DART, I2C, SPI, PWM, 12S.
26 Pin GPIO, some of which can be used for specific functions including DART, I2C, SPI, PWM, and 12S.
On board Network
x5 Port 10/100/1000Mbps
x2 2.5GbE SFP cages
2.4GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 (MT7975N)
5GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 (MT7975P)
u.FL antenna connectors
Mini PCIe via USB M.2
M.2 KEY-M PCIe interface
x1 USB 3.0 host ,x2 USB interface with slot
x1 Debug UART header for serial console
Reset button,WPS botton, boot switch
Power status Led and R145 Led
100.5 x 148mm
- MediaTek MT7986(Filogic 830) Quad-core ARM Cortex A53+MT7531 chip design.
- Wi-Fi 6: 4×4 2.4G Wi-Fi(MT7975N) +4×4 5G Wi-Fi(MT7975P).
- 2G DDR RAM.
- 8G eMMC flash.
- x2 SFP 2.5GbE.
- x5 GbE network port.
- POE support (optional).
- Mini PCIe via USB.
- M.2 KEY-E PCIe interface.
- Micro SD card interface.
- 26-PIN GPIO.
According to the photo, The R3 will come with a massive aluminum Heatsink and a fan covering most of the board’s main components that need continuous cooling. They include the main SoC chip, eMMC, and memory chips.
A Quick Demo
Banana Pi BPI-R3 Board Layout
The BPI-R3 comes with 2GB DDR RAM, 4GB would be nicer to have, but we expect it will become available shortly, so we can’t complain. Under the hood, you will find a MediaTek MT7986 Quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. You can expect decent software support and good performance at a lower cost.
These hardware specifications should cover most open-source projects running Linux-based distributions like Debian / Ubuntu without trouble.
The Banana Pi BPI-R3 features plenty of interfaces at your disposal. It offers two external storage options via PCIe sockets. On top of that, you have a MINI PCIe socket (slot) and an M.2 KEY-E PCIe interface on the back of the board. An 8GB EMMC flash chip and MicroSD card slots are included if you wise to load OS boot files through them. The BPI-R3 comes with one USB V3.0 host port and additional onboard extension USB V2.0 Host interfaces.
Kiss 1Gbps speeds goodbye. For connectivity, you also have plenty of options. The BPI-R3 comes with two 2.5Gbps SFP optical ports, one GbE WAN port, and x4 GbE 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.
A Micro Sim card slot also exists if you need wireless connectivity, especially in environments without Wi-Fi networks. Remember that you must buy a supported 5G PCIe expansion card to make it work.
Wi-Fi 6 Ready
MediaTek FastPath™ technology offers low-latency performance for games and AR/VR applications using the 6GHz spectrum. Wi-Fi 6 provides many advantages over previous generations, including lower latency, greater bandwidth capacity, and faster transfer rates. You are getting a feature that currently only exists in more expensive high-end routers selling at $300 and higher.
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 vital highlight worth mentioning is regarding Heatsink mounting. The company’s design team included four mounting holes for Heatsink that covers most of the significant chips: Main SoC Chip, memory, and DDR memory chips.
Banana Pi BPI-R3 Router Board (Interfaces)