[Discuss new design] Banana Pi BPI-R3 Mini board

Banana Pi team products in the Pipeline, BPI-R3 Mini board ,any one like this or have any good suggestion???




Hy Nice Idea :slight_smile: Witch one sfp+ cage will be more interesting think ^^

Imho a router with only 2 interfaces does not make much sense. You Have only 1 wan and one lan and need external switch to handle multiple lan-clients. With lte/5g there is maybe a second wan,but lan still 1 interface.

If someone wants a dedicated hw firewall or dial-in gateway than this board may be useful,but a router is more like r3.

Maybe make an own category for r3 mini and w3,which is similar and no “complete” router in my eyes.

And yes,using the gmacs for sfp and maybe make them available via usb3 (usb2ethernet-bridge if possible) makes it more usable.

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i see , BPI-R3 Mini maybe a SBC ,not a router

Expose the leftover USB2.0 at least as pins for some additional device, besides the fan header. For example some internal USB storage for overlay expansion.

CPU has spare UARTS. Zigbee module, the one RPI uses? It is such a weird device, just like recent BRUME2, but that is even more weird. I2s for some oled to display LTE/5G signal strength modes if the modem is used.

I see it as some sort of smart IoT hub device. DIYHUE + good wifi networking, thing raspberry types suck at.

While I understand the VPN idea and usage… not sure it has to be small and mobile… and HOT and hard to cool.

Why include a WiFi Chip and antenna ports when you only have 1 Network port?

If you wan’t to use it as Pi-Hole, (addblocker, VPN server, Firewall) with a Backup Network via SIM / 4G network for a normal standard Modem/Router from your ISP, then just remove WiFi Altogether.

Then you need an additional WiFi/Switch device locally well centered and you can plug this one right next to your modem.

But i do like the Type-C power.

There are two ethernet ports. There are hardly ever any hardwired devices plugged into routers in North American homes. Even I only have one device hardwired in my whole house. That part doesn’t bother me.

@sinovoip: Questions:

  • Is that part labelled “eMMC” a chip or is it a micro sd slot? The coloring on the graphic makes it unclear. If we can’t have both, I would much prefer micro SD over a soldered-on chip. ​
  • Having only USB 2.0 to the outside is disappointing. The small size makes external connectivity very important. USB 2.0 is not good for NAS, not really good enough for anything any more. The 7986 only has one USB 3 line? So then question: can a USB 3.0 line be put through a multiplexer first and also used in m.2? I’d much rather see the USB 3.0 line multiplexed and used for both the external connection and also internally on the m.2 slot than to have only USB 2.0 to the outside world.


  • Would much rather see MT7976A (WiFi 6E 4T4R 5/6GHz) than MT7976C (WiFi 6 2T2R 2g4 and 3T3R 5g). Reason: Better to be excellent and forward looking in WiFi 6E 5/6GHz than to be mediocre in both 2G4 and 5Ghz.

Overall thoughts: The horsepower of the 7986 needs a use. As it stands, this board is mediocre in too many other areas for me to bother with. No USB 3.0 to the outside. No 4T4R. I hope it has micro SD, but think probably not. That wonderful SoC is trapped inside a body that can’t do anything with it that is worth using that kind of chip on. Like having a Porche engine inside a VW beetle.

Hy. I think more interesting is a bpi r3 with more ram and at least one sfp+. I find the bpi r3’s size very good.

One m.2 on top side and one m.2 on the bottom side?

Like the rock5b, the nvme ssd can mount on the bottom.

Or Why not a board d with only m.2 slots, skip the additional ethernet ports. Fully configuratie board. I believe this soc has a much better pcie controller which can support much more m.2 cards.

I like this board in many ways, it will be a great for a 3G/4G/5G gateway with dbdc wifi and 2x 2.5G PHY is nice too.

  • I agree with @VA1DER that you should use MT7976A with WiFi 6E to make this board more interesting as wifi access point and mesh platform.

  • PoE would be nice on one of the RJ-45 ports

  • Most important is to have all features of the M.2/NGFF Key-B slot connected for best support of 5G modems (USB 3.0 and PCIe would be the best, having PCM and :slight_smile: And can both M.2 slots be used at the same time?

  • eMMC and NAND doesn’t make much sense imho: better combine eMMC with SPI-NOR. Or use SPI-NAND and micro SD slot. Will there be jumper/switch for bootstrap pin selecting boot from SPIM or MMC?

  • I assume that Key-M slot has PCIe x2 connected, right?

  • Is this going to be with Airoha PHYs (like on the BPi-R3 with PoE option)? Or RealTek?