By Jeff Child
FriendlyElec has released an upgraded version of its Rockchip RK3399 based SBC, the NanoPi-M4. Called NanoPi M4V2, the new $70 board is mostly identical to its predecessor, but offers 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, along with two user buttons for power and recovery.
A little over a year ago, FriendlyElec rolled out its third RK3399 based SBC of 2018, the NanoPi-M4. The board seemed to hit on a sweet spot tradeoff in terms of an affordable SBC with a decent amount of RAM. Now the company has launched an upgraded version, the NanoPi-M4 that has 4GB or RAM while moving to the more advanced LPDDR4, in contrast to the NanoPi M4’s LPDDR3. While the NanoPi-M4 costs $75 in its 4GB version ($50 for 2GB), the new NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB costs only $70. The new board adds two new users buttons—for power and recovery—that were not on the original NanoPi-M4. Other differences on the new NanoPi M4V2 include 2×2 MIMO support and an inconsequential heavier weight of 50.62 grams (versus 47.70g).
NanoPi M4V2, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
Some power management features are listed in the specs of the new NanoPi M4V2 that aren’t in the NanoPi M4’s specs. On the new board, the RK808-D power management chip in cooperation with the DC/DC converter provides support for enabling DVFS, software power-down, RTC wake-up and system sleep mode.
NanoPi M4V2, with and without optional heatsink
(click images to enlarge)
Like its predecessor, the NanoPi M4V2 has the same form factor as the Raspberry Pi B3+ and has ports and interfaces that are compatible with the RPi B3+. The compact 85 x 58mm board, has an onboard 2.4G & 5G dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth module, 4x USB 3.0 Type A host ports, 1x Gigabit Ehternet port, 1x HDMI 2.0 port, 1x 3.5mm audio jack and 1x Type-C port. You also get a Raspberry Pi compatible 40-pin connector, dual MIPI-CSI camera interface, PCIe x2, USB 2.0, eMMC socket and an RTC. The NanoPi M4V2 can be booted from either an SD card or an external eMMC module.
NanoPi M4V2 layout and interface details
(click image to enlarge)
The NanoPi M4V2 supports Ubuntu Desktop 19.04 (64-bit), Lubuntu 16.04 (32-bit), Ubuntu Core (64-bit), Android 8.1 and Lubuntu Desktop with GPU and VPU acceleration. According to the company, the NanoPi M4V3 is designed for applications including machine learning, AI, deep learning, robots, industrial control, industrial cameras, advertisement machines, game machines, and blockchain.
Specifications listed for the NanoPi M4 include:
- Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
- 4GB LPDDR4 RAM (dual-channel)
- eMMC socket
- MicroSD slot for up to 128GB
- Wireless — 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) with Bluetooth 4.1; 2x IPX antenna connectors
- Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
- HDMI 2.0a port (with audio and HDCP 1.4/2.2) for up to 4K at 60Hz
- MIPI-DSI (4-lane) with MIPI-CSI co-lay
- 1x or 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI (up to 13MP) with dual ISP support; (2nd CSI available via DSI)
- 3.5mm analog audio I/O jack
- Mic interface
- Other I/O:
- 4x USB 3.0 host ports
- USB 3.0 Type-C port (USB 2.0 OTG or power input)
- Serial debug 4-pin header
- 40-pin RPi compatible header — 3x 3V/1.8V I2C, 3V UART, 3V SPI, SPDIF_TX, up to 8x 3V GPIOs, 1.8V 8-ch. I2S
- 24-pin header – 2x USB 2.0, 2x PCIe, PWM, PowerKey
- Other features — RTC; 2x LEDs; optional heatsink, LCD, cameras, power button and recovery button
- Power — DC 5V/3A input or USB Type-C
- Operating temperature — -20 to 70℃
- Weight — 50.62 g
- Dimensions — 85 x 56mm; 8-layer PCB
- Operating system — Android 7.1.2; Lubuntu 16.04 (32-bit); FriendlyCore 18.04 (64-bit), FriendlyDesktop 18.04 (64-bit)
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