Sweet Banana Pi Render Details A Powerful, Tasty 6-Core Recipe To Rival Raspberry Pi

Banana Pi render on a gray background
There are plenty of delicious (not edible, trust us on that one) solutions in the single board computer (SBC) space, and while Raspberry Pi is the one most people probably think of right way, it's not the only contender. ASUS tinkers with SBCs, as do a spattering of other companies. Among them is Banana Pi, which shared a handful of renders and specifications for its upcoming BPI-CM4 board.

This is essentially a pin-compatible alternative to the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4), as suggested in the model name. There are some pros and cons to going that route, depending on what you're looking to do. As for things that work in the Banana Pi board's favor, it's rocking a better CPU and more storage than the Raspberry Pi CM4.

Banana Pi SBC render (top view) on a gray background
The BPI-CM4 is built around an Amilogic A311D, which contains a hexacore CPU featuring four Arm Cortex-A73 cores and two Cortex-A53 cores. It also features an Arm G52 MP4(6EE) GPU, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and 16GB to 128GB of eMMC storage.

For comparison, the Raspberry Pi CM4 sports a BCM2711 SoC with a quad-core Cortex-A72 CPU, Broadcom VideoCore VI GPU, 1GB to 8GB of RAM, and 8GB to 32GB of eMMC storage. So it supports more memory, but the Banana Pi has the edge in CPU and storage.

The Banana Pi also supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) an Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ac) where as the Raspberry Pi CM4 is Wi-Fi 5 only. Both offer up GbE LAN connectivity and a single PCIe interface expansion.

Banana Pi SBC render (bottom view) on a gray background
Additionally, the Banana Pi can be inserted into a Raspberry Pi CM4 baseboard, though it doesn't support the full range of interfaces. Whereas the Raspberry Pi CM4 offers up support for 2x HDMI, 2x MIPI CSI, and 2x MIPI DSI, Banana Pi supports one of each.

There's also the software side to consider. You can only run Raspberry Pi OS on Raspberry Pi boards, except for Debian with Raspberry Pi Desktop, which is for older PCs. Expect Banana Pi to release Android and Linux images for its upcoming SBC.