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The Banana Pi BPI-W3 is a single-board computer featuring a Rockchip RK3588 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC flash storage. Designed as a board for developing routers or other applications, the board also has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and three HDMI ports (two outputs and one input).

It’s the latest in a line of Banana Pi router boards, but it’s by far the most powerful to date. May 5, 2023 update: The BPI-W3 underwent a redesign ahead of launch, and is now available for $162. But it’s less of a router board now that it has a single 2.5 GbE Ethernet port instead of two Gigabit Ethernet jacks. 

Rockchip’s RK3588 processor features four ARM Cortex-A76 CPU cores, four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, Mali-G610 MP4 graphics, and a neural processing unit with up to 6 TOPS of performance. It’s the same processor at the heart of other recent single-board PCs including the Orange Pi 5, Pine64 QuartzPro64, and Firefly ROC-RK3588S-PC. And Banana Pi unveiled a compute module with the processor earlier this year.

The RK3588 a significant step up from the RK3568 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 chip at the heart of the Banani Pi BPI-R2 Pro that was launched earlier this year.

The new BPI-W3 also has four times as much memory, twice as much storage, and… fewer Ethernet ports. With just two Ethernet jacks, it’s interesting that Banana Pi is positioning the BPI-W3 as a router board.

The company hasn’t announced pricing or a release date yet, but specs are listed at the company’s Wiki, which describe the board as measuring 148mm x 101mm (5.8″ x 4″) and featuring a 40-pin GPU header, a SATA interface for an optional hard drive or SSD, and support for operating systems including Android, Linux, and OpenWrt.

More details should be announced closer to launch, but developers interested in ordering a sample can contact Banana Pi now.

via @sinovoip

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10 replies on “Banana Pi BPI-W3 is an RK3588-based single-board computer designed for use as a router”

  1. That’s gonna be for a wifi card. That’s an E-key’d slot which is for bt/wifi.

  2. These boards are aimed at more markets than just headless. They get used for a wide variety of uses.

  3. 32GB of (soldered down) eMMC flash storage is a deal killer. Too small and zero upgrade options. Why is it so hard to put an M.2 slot on the board?

    1. You are really right mate!
      I only want a board with a eth (maybe multigig), m.2 and maybe a sata to attach a second disk for storage. They put all the bullsht as possible like 2 eth, Bluetooth, wifi and finally: 3 HDMI! Most of people that use SBC never attached the board to the monitor! Actually the best place for a sbc is behind the router connected with a very short cable. XD

      1. Yup. The M.2 hosts the OS, SATA allows a couple SSD/HDDs, GB Ethernet, voila – fast enuf cheap NAS. It’s like the sweet spot almost all manufacturers ignore. Why?

    2. I’m pretty sure there is a 2230 M.2 slot, clearly visible in the picture. Not sure why it isn’t in the specs.

  4. I gather that the RK3588 can drive three displays, though I never need more than one per computer, but at least one more ethernet port on an ostensible router than two would seem to be essential.

    1. Well, how many people have multiple LAN’s or multiple WAN’s at home? Most routers will do just fine with one WAN and one LAN port 🙂

    2. Unless you’re doing vlans or separate lans with dedicated DHCP, you’re better off using ASIC based switches (all of them are this) than CPU managed switching. I’ve got my home office network behind a 16 port gigabit unmanaged switch from like 2010, adds zero latency and zero bloat. Connecting my secondary wifi directly to the router added lots of latency due to CPU usage. These router boards don’t have CPUs with dedicated routing network logic, so you’re basically either way overloading the NICs or relying on the CPU to do all the work. 2 ports is all you need on a router/gateway, put your switch and vlans and such behind that.

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