July 11, 2020 updateThe NanoPi NEO3 is now available for purchase for $20 and up.

The upcoming NanoPi NEO3 is a tiny PC that measures just about 1.9″ x 1.9″ and  which features a 1.5 GHz Rockchip RK3328 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, support for up to 2GB of RAM, and a microSD card for storage.

With Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 Type-A ports, the little system could power a homemade router, file server, or other applications that don’t require plugging in a display — because this little single-board computer doesn’t have a video out port.

Discovered by CNX-Software, the NanoPi NEO3 will likely sell for around $25 or less when it goes on sale in the not-too-distant future.

Despite the number three in the name, the little computer will actually be the fourth member of FriendlyELEC’s NanoPI NEO lineup.

The first model was introduced in 2017, priced at just $7 and up, and designed for DIY network-attached storage solutions, among other things. It was followed by a slightly more powerful NanoPi NEO2 and then the even more powerful (and even pricier) NanoPi NEO4.

Wondering where the new model fits into the lineup? Unlike the NEO2, the NEO3 has a USB 3.0 port, which should allow for faster data transfer speeds. But it has a processor that should be a little slower than the NEO2’s 2 GHz Allwinner H5 quad-core Cortex-A53 chip and much slower than the NEO4’s RK3399 hexa-core chip (with two Cortex-A72 CPU cores and four Cortex-A53 cores).

So it’s likely that the new model will have a NEO2-like price tag in the $20 range.

Here’s a run-down of some of the NanoPi NEO3’s key specs:

CPU Rockchip RK3328
RAM 1GB or 2GB DDR4
Storage microSD card slot
Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet
USB 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB Type-C (for power)
Expansion 26-pin header with I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, GPIO
Debugging 3-pin header for serial console
Other 2-pin header for 5V fan, user key, power & system LED lights
Power Supply 5V/1A (USB-C or GPIO pin)
Dimensions 48mm x 48mm (1.9″ x 1.9″)
Weight 22 grams (0.8 ounces)

This article was first published on June 29, 2020 and last updated on July 11, 2020. 

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