Banana Pi's BPI-M2S Is A Ripe Raspberry Pi Rival With Dual GbE And 6-Core SoC

banana pi BPI M2S
It seems as though there is no shortage of alternatives to Raspberry Pi when it comes to single-board computers. A new entry makes its presence known every few months, but Raspberry Pi still has the most mindshare with the enthusiast/DIY community.

Banana Pi is looking to change this with its latest fruity "Pi" offering: the BPI-M2S. The BPI-M2S is an impressive little device that fits into a compact 2.6" x 2.6" footprint. At the heart of the machine is a hexa-core Amlogic A311D SoC that features four Arm Cortex-A73 performance cores and two Cortex-A53 efficiency cores. Graphics duties are handled by an integrated Arm Mali-G52 MP4 GPU. The SoC is paired with 4GB of LPDDR4x memory, while 16GB of eMMC storage is onboard. If you need to expand your available storage, a microSD slot is provided (128GB max supported). In addition, Banana Pi says that the device includes a neural processing unit (NPU) capable of 5 TOPS.

The BPI-M2S comes configured with dual Gigabyte Ethernet ports, which is a nice touch, along with a USB 2.0 Type-A port, a USB 3.0 Type-C port, and an HDMI port. We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention the inclusion of DSI and CSI connectors (for cameras and displays) along with a 40-pin GPIO header.

At this point, additional details on the Banana Pi BPI-M2S are relatively sparse. We don't know anything about clock speeds, optional memory/storage configurations, or how much the device will cost when it launches. However, for comparison, the less powerful Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro is currently available for $61.00 (before a $2 coupon) at AliExpress. So we'd imagine that the BPI-M2S will be slightly more expensive when it launches.

However, given that the lag time between the announcement of the BPI-M2 Pro and its available was a few months, the BPI-M2S might not be available until later this year.