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The makers of the Banana Pi line of single-board computers clearly draw a bit of inspiration from the Raspberry Pi Foundation when it comes to naming their products. Some of their designs are also rather obviously Raspberry Pi inspired.

Case in point: the new Banana Pi BPI-CM4 compute module doesn’t just look like a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, it also features the same connection pins, which means that it should work with carrier boards designed for the Raspberry Pi CM4. But that doesn’t mean the two compute modules are identical. First introduced in May, the Banana Pi BPI-CM4 is now available for $95.

While the Raspberry Pi CM4 is powered by a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, the Banana Pi BPI-CM4 features an Amlogic A311D chip, which features:

  • 4 x ARM Cortex-A73 CPU cores
  • 2 x ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores
  • ARM Mali-G52 MP4 graphics
  • Neural Processing Unit with 5 TOPS performance.

The first version of the BPI-CM4 to go on sale features 4GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage and WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5 wireless connections. But the board may eventually be available with as little as 2GB of RAM, as much as 128GB of storage and support for WiFi 6.

Other features include a PCIe expansion interface, support for Gigabit Ethernet, and an HDMI interface with support for up to a single 4K display (a Raspberry Pi CM4, by comparison, supports up to two displays). There are also CSI and DSI connectors for cameras and displays.

On its own the module lacks full-sized ports, but features two 100-pin, Raspberry Pi CM4-compatible connectors that should allow 55 x 40mm module to work with most carrier boards designed for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

You can also pick up a BPI-CM4 + carrier board bundle for $110 from AliExpress to get an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet jack, USB-C port, two USB .0 Type-A ports, a microSD card reader, mPCIe connector, and 26-pin GPIO header, among other connections.

via Tom’s Hardware and CNX Software

This article was first published May 24, 2022 and most recently updated January 6, 2023. 

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