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The latest member of the Banana Pi line of single-board computers is a tiny model designed for networking applications. The Banana Pi BPI-R3 Mini has two 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports, two M.2 connectors, and support for WiFi 6E, but there’s no video output.

So you could use the board as a router, wireless repeater, gateway, or firewall, but it’s probably not your best choice for general-purpose computing. First unveiled in March, the BPI-R3 Mini is now available for purchase for $79 plus shipping.

The router board features a MediaTek Filogic processor that’s optimized for wireless networking devices like routers, repeaters, and gateways.

  • MediaTek MT7986 (Filogic 830) processor
    • 4 x ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
  • 2GB DDR4 memory
  • 8GB eMMC flash
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-C port
  • 2 x 2.5 GbE Ethernet ports
  • MT7976C chip with support for WiFi 6
  • M.2 B-Key socket (M.2 2230 with support for a PCIe NVMe SSD)
  • M.2 M-Key socket (M.2 3052 USB 3.0 connector with support for 5G NR module)
  • DC power input
  • UART pins for debugging
  • Antenna connection points
  • Nano SIM card slot

The board is so small that it doesn’t look like you could use both M.2 connectors at the same time, but the ability to add an SSD or 5G cellular modem to a router board this small is still pretty impressive.


The company has also posted a short video demonstrating OpenWrt booting on the board.

via CNX Software, LinuxGizmos, and Banana Pi Forum

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  1. Also,

    M.2 M-Key socket (M.2 3052 USB 3.0 connector with support for 5G NR module)

    That doesn’t sound quite right; M-Key sockets don’t have any USB according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2 and I don’t see any mention of USB 3.0 on the Ali Express page. (I looked it up because I was wondering if it would be compatible with M.2 Wifi cards, but they’re mostly A- and E-Key.)

  2. The board is so small that it doesn’t look like you could use both M.2 connectors at the same time

    I’m pretty sure they can be stacked. If you look at the last picture on Ali Express, that outer m.2 connector is pretty tall.

  3. ideal router:
    1. mainline linux
    2. no blobs
    3. more than 2 fast ethernet
    4. power: solar panel, offgrid 365 day
    5. hardware disk array: raid 10 for 3-5 disc

    I still waiting

  4. If it’s intended as a router, there needs to be some performance metric for the function. Typically for routers, this is the number of 64-byte (minimum length TCP/IP) packets that can be routed per second. For example, the Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite 3 can route 1 million 64-byte pps.

  5. Correction: The new board is the “Banana Pi BPI-R3 Mini”, the non-mini Banana Pi BPI-R3 is the previously existing larger version.