Banana Pi Launches BPI-M4 Zero as Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Alternative
Banana Pi has introduced the BPI-M4 Zero, a new single-board computer that emerges as an alternative to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. Equipped with an Allwinner H618 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, this board is designed for users seeking a balance of power and affordability.
Enhanced Features and Specifications
- The BPI-M4 Zero is powered by a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with a 1.5GHz clock speed and a 1MB L2 cache.
- It features 2GB LPDDR4 system memory and 8GB eMMC flash storage, along with a microSD card slot for additional storage needs.
- For video and audio, it offers a mini HDMI 2.0a output supporting up to 4Kp60 resolution.
- Connectivity options include dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 with an external antenna connector.
- Two USB 2.0 Type-C ports, including one OTG capable, enhance its versatility.
- It includes a 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO header and a 24-pin Misc FPC connector with various I/O capabilities.
Comparison with the BPI-M2 Zero
The BPI-M4 Zero succeeds the BPI-M2 Zero launched in 2017 but offers a more powerful 64-bit Arm processor, increased memory, built-in eMMC flash, dual-band WiFi 5, and a versatile “Misc” connector, replacing the MIPI CSI connector.
Unique Selling Points
With its compact dimensions of 65 x 30 mm and a power supply requirement of 5V/3A via USB Type-C, the BPI-M4 Zero is ideal for projects requiring a small footprint and efficient power usage. It also features debugging options with a 3-pin debug UART and includes Power and Act LEDs, along with FEL and Reset buttons.
Operating System Support and Compatibility
Banana Pi plans to provide a Ubuntu Desktop image for the BPI-M4 Zero. The board’s similarity to the Orange Pi Zero 2W suggests that software designed for the Orange Pi, such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Android TV, should be compatible with the BPI-M4 Zero with minimal adjustments.
Market Positioning and Potential Uses
The BPI-M4 Zero positions itself as a versatile and affordable option in the single-board computer market, suitable for a range of applications from hobbyist projects to more demanding computing tasks. Its balance of performance, connectivity, and compact design make it a strong contender for users seeking an alternative to the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W and similar devices.