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Nora Lee

Banana Pi M4

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Banana Pi BPI-M4 use Realtek RTD1395 chp design ,it is a 64-bit quad-core A53 mini single board computer. It features 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB eMMC. It also has onboard WiFi for b/g/n/ac and BT 4.2. On the ports side, the BPI-M4 has 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB TYPE C port, 1 HDMI port, 1 audio jack. support M.2 Key E PCIE 2.0 interface.

The RTD1395 is equipped with a high-performance quad-core CPU,ARM cortex-A53,with 512K L2 cache embedded. the RTD1395 also integrates and efficient ARM Mali-470 Graphic Processing Unit(GPU) to accelerate 2D and 3D graphics processing. For acceleration of this OSD and 2K user interface,the built-in Streaming Engine of the RTD1395 provides commonly used drawing functions.the CPU is dedicated to applications ,while most of the functions of the RTD1395 is dedicated to manipulating,decoding video streams in vaious formats.e.g. decoding 4K2K H.265,Full HD MPEG1/2/4/H.264/H.264 MVC,AVC/VC-1,VP8,VP9,AVS,AVS plus,HD JPEG,etc. Video DSP can also handle encoding of up to Full HD with H.264 format.Video decoding and encoding can run simultaneously.

 

Key Features

Realtek RTD1395 ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-Core 64 Bit

Mali 470 MP4 GPU OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 H.264 H.265,2K4K

Onboard1 GB DDR4 (option 2 GB)

8G eMMC flash (max 64 GB)

10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet and RTL8821 module support Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/AC + Bluetooth 4.2

USB 2.0 TYPE C

M.2 Key E slot PCIE 2.0 and USB 2.0

PoE function support

 

http://wiki.banana-pi.org/Banana_Pi_BPI-M4

http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/bpi-m4-sbc-bench-test/9469?fbclid=IwAR153yOkjt6t6Dn-eB7zPBoT19erB-i_3hcSRDbegQgTc4BpOKHGaNJO-KM

Banana_Pi_BPI-M4_interface.jpg

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Hi @Nora Lee
Very weird choice of board to call the BPi M4.

I don't have the M3, but isn't the M3 a lot more powerful and more feature rich?
Could you explain more about why Sinovoip chooses this as successor?
I don't really understand it. 100Mbps ethernet(while using a realtek SoC), all USB2, no SATA, ...
I don't know why or who this board is for.  I would liked to have seen it with HDMI-in. 

Many people would want a cheaper SBC with HDMI-in.

What will the price be? When is it available?
I'm always willing to review it.

Greetings.

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On 7/10/2019 at 1:57 PM, Lion Wang said:

just BPI-W2 support HDMI-in  , this is limited by chip .

 

BPI-M4 with M.2 interface and 8G eMMC flash on board.

Isn't there a simular SoC with HDMI-in? I thought I red somewere this was the cheaper version of that SoC.  Here-> https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/02/13/banana-pi-bpi-m4-rtd1395-board-raspberry-pi/
A small, cheap SBC with HDMI-in and Linux support for encoding it. That I'd buy and many of my viewers.


Then I wouldn't mind having 100Mbit/s ethernet and USB2.
Having an SBC for this would make life easier compared to the HDMI-capture box I'm using now. I never know what it is recording until I see it afterwards.

The W2 looks great, but it's too expensive not knowing if it'll work well for my goal.
Keep on making great stuff. I love all SBC's.
Greetings.

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Mini-PCIe is good a thing, you've got this one right!

-But the specs need to be better on a SBC today. RockPro64 is doing things the right way; they pack the SBC with good specs while keeping the price as low as they can, resulting in a board with great specs, for a slightly higher price than the average boards (but it'll pay for the end-user to get this board rather than the lower priced ones).

 

My personal priority list:

PCIe2.0 or PCIe3.0 (x4 or more if possible).

CPU-native 6G SATA (at least one port, but 3 ports would be very attractive)

Low power consumption.

GbE or faster (2.5GbE, 5GbE or even 10GbE)

Choice of 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3 or LPDDR4.

Cortex-A57 or Cortex-A72 (or higher).

HDMI 2.0a output (or better).

 

Most casual users would expect to be able to use a SBC to play back video in very good quality.

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The world's most cost-effective database cluster node:

 

Best multi-core A72 or A73

4GB fastest & widest RAM possible

M.2, physical 2280 slot, PCI3 x4 for NVMe

Gigabit Ethernet

Power via barrel jack

"Big Metal Block" heat sink

 

For node maintenance, a serial console on micro USB port, USB3 type A for backup media/emergency boot

 

Headless - No HDMI.

 

RK3399 would suit.  Marvell Armada 8040 is far too expensive.  Amlogic S922x has one measly PCIe.

 

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We have concern RK3399 overheat issue, we'll evaluate cortex a72 for next project.

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On 7/17/2019 at 5:09 PM, richardk said:

The world's most cost-effective database cluster node:

Please add native SATA to the list. :)

-I think it would not hurt to change the x4 PCIe3 to a four x1 PCIe3 or even four x1 PCIe2.

-That way you can easily add cheap SATA host controllers or GbE adapters (with four GbE connectors per card).

The 8040 is expensive, but I'd rather purchase one working board with extreme specs than 3 or 4 almost-working boards.

-So for me, it takes time to save up for the MacchiatoBIN, but it's definitely worth it; and I want two DoubleShot boards!

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:08 AM, Nora Lee said:

We have concern RK3399 overheat issue, we'll evaluate cortex a72 for next project.

Fairly understandable.

Cortex-A73 is by design (eg. ARM) using lower power and produces lower heat than Cortex-A72.

Cortex-A75 even lower power and quicker than Cortex-A73.

-So it will likely pay to choose the latter implementation over the former, even if the price of the CPU is higher.

 

For build-farms and quick data-processing, it's interesting having high-speed CPU cores and high speed network (this can be spread out on several GbE ports or just a single 10GbE port). 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 would also be attractive for this kind of configuration. Native 6G SATA would be a huge advantage here as well.

 

For storage (eg. NAS), one could likely go with the old Cortex-A7, native 6G SATA support and 1GB to 2GB RAM (still 4GB will be interesting when you're using RAID configurations a'la FreeNAS, where each 1TB storage space requires 1GB RAM). Again as many (independent, full speed) GbE ports will be attractive for this configuration.

 

If the CPU you choose have PCIe, you can basically do anything you want; just please don't waste the PCIe on USB3. Adding PCIe switches would be interesting too.

 

As I've mentioned earlier, it's not easy to find an affordable board that has both native 6G SATA, GbE network and PCIe. I picked the EspressoBIN due to the low price and that it "technically" would cover my needs, but I've had many problems with it for several years. It still has problems when I make software-reboots (sometimes hangs), so that's a board I will not recommend. Some boards also have problems with the RAM being affected by EMI due to bad board design. The EspressoBIN was an empty promise; it can't be used as a router/firewall unless you add an external USB3-to-Ethernet adapter. The speed on the 3 ports is limited to 1Gbit for all three [eg. they share 1Gbps!], so I fail to see why they even bothered making the board more expensive by adding the Topaz switch.

(Perhaps so that other board designers, such  as you, can learn from their mistakes?)

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