Raspberry Pi alternative FRIENDLYELEC have released their latest board, the NanoPi NEO3 which provides a cost effective device for use in networked storage via USB 3. From just $20 we have Raspberry Pi 3 levels of performance in a board smaller than a Raspberry Pi Zero W.
|SoC:||RockChip RK3328, Quad-core 64-bit high-performance Cortex A53|
|LAN:||Gigabit Ethernet with unique MAC|
|USB:||1x USB3.0 Type A and 2x USB2.0 on 2.54mm pin header|
|MicroSD Slot:||MicroSD x 1 for system boot and storage|
|Fan:||2Pin JST ZH 1.5mm Connector for 5V Fan|
|GPIO:||2.54mm pitch 26 pin-header, include I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, GPIO|
|Power:||5V/1A, via Type-C or GPIO|
|Dimensions:||48 x 48mm (1.89 inch x 1.89 inch)|
According to CNX Software the $20 model comes with 1GB of DDR4 RAM, and for an additional $5 a 2GB model is available. They both share the same RockChip RK3328 System on Chip (SoC) featuring an ARM Cortex A53 CPU and MAli-450MP2 GPU.
Storage is available via a microSD card slot, or via the single USB 3 port. A USB C port for power and a Gigabit Ethernet port are the only other ports on this tiny board. It is clear that this board is made for networked storage, it just would’ve been great to have an onboard storage media option. That said by providing USB there is ample opportunity for expansion.
The FriendlyElec Wiki provides extra information on operating system support, currently only Ubuntu Core 18.04 and OpenWRT, but it won’t be long until more operating systems are supported.