Banana Pi has revealed (opens in new tab) its next-generation board, known as the BPI-M6, which follows the same design trend as the Raspberry Pi (opens in new tab) and features an NPU alongside a quad-core CPU, an M.2 socket, and an HDMI input.
While it may look like yet another small blue SBC, there's a lot going on here. The BPI-M6 has a CPU made up of four 64bit Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.1 GHz, with an additional Cortex M3 core, a 32bit processor often seen in microcontrollers (opens in new tab)IoT devices, and which acted as the motion co-processor in Apple M9 devices, such as the iPhone 6S. Given the remarkable amount of work you can get out of the Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab)’s 1.5GHz Cortex A-72 cores, this faster and more capable CPU should be a nice upgrade, though it may require cooling.
The Imagination GE9920 is Banana Pi’s GPU of choice for this board, and is bundled with the CPU and a 6.75 TOPS NPU into a package known as the VideoSmart VS680. There's also 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash (which can be specced as high as 64GB) and a Micro SD slot, while as the back edge of the board is an M.2 socket capable of holding Key E devices, which include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards – useful, as there's no on-board wireless capability. Video output is as high as 4K60, and it can run a 4K screen through a micro-HDMI port as well as a 1080p screen connected via MIPI DSI.
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