The Banana Pi: Upgraded Alternative to the Raspberry Pi

Banana Pi
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As the name implies, the Banana Pi is a clone of the Raspberry Pi. Just like its predecessor it has 2 USB ports, 26 GPIO pins and draws a tiny amount of power. However, with Dual Core 1GHz A20 CPU, 1GB Ram, Gigabit Ethernet, Infrared receiver and SATA adapter, it packs a powerful punch.

Banana Pi

It’s an open-source single-board computer (SBC). It can run Android 4.2, Android 4.4*, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspbian, ArchLinux, openSUSE, OpenWrt, Bananian, and other Linux OS systems (also known as distros) such as Gentoo and Fedora. It uses the AllWinner A20 SoC, and has 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, with wired Gigabit ethernet (RJ45 socket) and a SATA port.

The Banana Pi is open source and backwards compatible with the Raspberry Pi, your only limitation will be your imagination!

The Banana Pi was developed to address the commonly encountered limitations of the Raspberry Pi, while retaining the value and flexibility of the original product.

As you would expect, it has 2 USB2.0 ports, 26 GPIO pins, 5v micro USB power In, 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI, Composite and LVDS (RGB) video out, a 1080p capable GPU and a CSI camera connector.

However, it also includes an Gigabit Ethernet Port, an IR Receiver, SATA Data and Power connectors, an onboard Microphone, Power and Reset buttons, and USB OTG connector.

Hardware specification
CPU A20 ARM® Cortex™-A7 Dual-Core
GPU ARM Mali400MP2 Complies with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
Memory (SDRAM) 1GB DDR3 (shared with GPU)
Onboard Storage SD (Max. 64GB) / MMC card slot UP to 2T on SATA disk
Onboard Network 10/100/1000 Ethernet RJ45 (optional USB WIFI Dongle)
Camera Input A CSI input connector allows for the connection of a designed camera module
Sound Input Mic
Video Outputs HDMI, CVBS , LVDS/RGB
Audio Output 3.5 mm Jack and HDMI
Power Source 5 volt via MicroUSB(DC In Only) and/or MicroUSB (OTG)
USB 2.0 Ports 2 (direct from Allwinner A20 chip)
Buttons Reset button: Next to MicroUSB connectorPower button: Next to Reset buttonUBoot button (optional): Behind HDMI connector
GPIO(2X13) pin GPIO,UART,I2C bus,SPI bus with two chip selects,CAN bus,ADC,PWM,+3.3v,+5v,ground.
LED Power Status LED (Red)Ethernet Status LED (Blue)User Define LED (Green)
Remote IR
Supported OS
Android Android 4.4 Debian Ubuntu
 
Raspbian
Supported Apps
Scratch
Interface definition
Product size 92 mm × 60mm
Weight 48g
Android is a trademark of Google Inc.
Debian trademark is a registered United States trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
Ubuntu is a registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd.
Raspberry Pi is a registered trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Due to limited power source from computer USB , suggest powered by 5V2A adapter directly for system power stability concern.

Banana Pi Details

 

Banana Pi 26-pin GPIO

The Banana Pi has a 26-pin GPIO header that matches that of the Model A and Model B Raspberry Pi. Following is the Banana Pi GPIO Pinout:

Banana Pi GIPO

 

CSI Camera Connector

The CSI Camera Connector is a 40-pin FPC connector which can connect external camera module with proper signal pin mappings.  The pin definitions of the CSI interface are shown as below. This is marked on the Banana Pi board as “CON1″.

CSI Pin Pin Name GPIO
CON1 P01 LINEINL  
CON1 P02 LINEINR  
CON1 P03 VCC-CSI  
CON1 P04 ADC_X1  
CON1 P05 GND  
CON1 P06 ADC_X2  
CON1 P07 FMINL  
CON1 P08 ADC_Y1  
CON1 P09 FMINR  
CON1 P10 ADC_Y2  
CON1 P11 GND  
CON1 P12 CSI-FLASH PH17
CON1 P13 LRADC0  
CON1 P14 TWI1-SDA PB19
CON1 P15 LRADC1  
CON1 P16 TWI1-SCK PB18
CON1 P17 CSI-D0 PE4
CON1 P18 CSI0-STBY-EN PH19
CON1 P19 CSI0-D1 PE5
CON1 P20 CSI-PCLK PE0
CON1 P21 CSI-D2 PE6
CON1 P22 CSI0-PWR-EN PH16
CON1 P23 CSI-D3 PE7
CON1 P24 CSI0-MCLK PE1
CON1 P25 CSI-D4 PE8
CON1 P26 CSI0-RESET# PH14
CON1 P27 CSI-D5 PE9
CON1 P28 CSI-VSYNC PE3
CON1 P29 CSI-D6 PE10
CON1 P30 CSI-HSYNC PE2
CON1 P31 CSI-D7 PE11
CON1 P32 CSI1-STBY-EN PH18
CON1 P33 RESET#  
CON1 P34 CSI1-RESET# PH13
CON1 P35 CSI-IO0 PH11
CON1 P36 HPR  
CON1 P37 HPL  
CON1 P38 IPSOUT  
CON1 P39 GND  
CON1 P40 IPSOUT  

 

LVDS (LCD display interface)

The LVDS Connector is a 40-pin FPC connector which can connect external LCD panel (LVDS) and touch screen (I2C) module as well.  The pin definitions of this connector are shown as below. This is marked on the Banana Pi board as “CON2″.

LVDS Pin Pin Name Multiplex Function Select GPIO
Multi 1 Multi 2
CON2 P01 IPSOUT(5V output)    
CON2 P02 TWI3-SDA   PI1
CON2 P03 IPSOUT(5V output)    
CON2 P04 TWI3-SCK   PI0
CON2 P05 GND    
CON2 P06 LCD0-IO0   PH7
CON2 P07 LCDIO-03   PH12
CON2 P08 LCD0-IO1   PH8
CON2 P09 LCD0-D0 LVDS0-VP0 PD0
CON2 P10 PWM0   PB2
CON2 P11 LCD0-D1 LVDS0-VN0 PD1
CON2 P12 LCD0-IO2   PH9
CON2 P13 LCD0-D2 LVDS0-VP1 PD2
CON2 P14 LCD0-DE   PD25
CON2 P15 LCD0-D3 LVDS0-VN1 PD3
CON2 P16 LCD0-VSYNC   PD27
CON2 P17 LCD0-D4 LVDS0-VP2 PD4
CON2 P18 LCD0-HSYNC   PD26
CON2 P19 LCD0-D5 LVDS0-VN2 PD5
CON2 P20 LCD0-CS   PH6
CON2 P21 LCD0-D6 LVDS0-VPC PD6
CON2 P22 LCD0-CLK   PD24
CON2 P23 LCD0-D7 LVDS0-VNC PD7
CON2 P24 GND    
CON2 P25 LCD0-D8 LVDS0-VP3 PD8
CON2 P26 LCD0-D23   PD23
CON2 P27 LCD0-D9 LVDS0-VN3 PD9
CON2 P28 LCD0-D22   PD22
CON2 P29 LCD0-D10   PD10
CON2 P30 LCD0-D21   PD21
CON2 P31 LCD0-D11   PD11
CON2 P32 LCD0-D20   PD20
CON2 P33 LCD0-D12   PD12
CON2 P34 LCD0-D19   PD19
CON2 P35 LCD0-D13   PD13
CON2 P36 LCD0-D18   PD18
CON2 P37 LCD0-D14   PD14
CON2 P38 LCD0-D17   PD17
CON2 P39 LCD0-D15   PD15
CON2 P40 LCD0-D16   PD16

 

UART specification

The Banana Pi‘s jumper J11 is the UART interface.  For developers of Banana Pi, this is an easy way to get the UART console output to check the system status and log message.

J11 Pin Pin Name Multiplex Function Select GPIO
Multi 1 Multi 2
J11 Pin1 TXD UART0-TX PB22
J11 Pin2 RXD UART0-RX PB23

The Banana Pi‘s jumper J12 provides the power source including 3.3V and 5V.  There is a pair of UART TX/RX signals output here.

J12 Pin Pin Name Multiplex Function Select GPIO
Multi 1 Multi 2
J12 Pin 1 5V    
J12 Pin2 3.3V    
J12 Pin3 NC IO-7 PH5
J12 Pin4 RXD UART7_RX PI21
J12 Pin5 NC IO-8 Ph5
J12 Pin6 TXD UART7_TX PI20
J12 Pin7 GND    
J12 Pin8 GND    

 

 

Introducing My New Banana Pi – Pocket Rocket of a PC
 
“After a little wait, my new Banana Pi, the Chinese Raspberry Pi “competitor” arrived yesterday. The first thing that struck me was that the Banana Pi is much, much faster due to its dual-core, Cortex-A7-based Allwinner A20 system-on-chip running at 1GHz, which definitely beats the Raspberry’s “well-known” 700MHz, ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2835 processor. The Banana Pi is also equipped with 1GB of RAM and built-in Ethernet that can handle up to 1Gbps, which is approximately ten-times as fast as the Raspberry Pi’s.”
[/update]

Update 1

Banana Pro, Allwinner A20 CPU with WiFiNow Available!
 
“The Banana Pro is an update version of Banana Pi, designed by LeMaker Team and it has more enhanced features. Banana Pro has a 40-Pin GPIO Port Compatibility with the Raspberry Pi B+ mini PC, allowing you to use many existing hardware add-ons designed for the Raspberry Pi.”

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