NanoPi NEO3 is a Cheap Raspberry Pi Alternative From FriendlyELEC

NanoPi NEO3 is a tiny Single Board Computer powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor and made for headless applications and networked storage.

Firstly, NanoPi NEO3 is the cheaper Raspberry Pi Alternative developed by company FriendlyElec. As a result their latest board the NanoPi NEO3 seems to be a small device that measures just about 1.9″ x 1.9″.

It is an Open Source Single Board Computer with which for example you can build network storage applications. NanoPi NEO3 features a 1.5 GHz Rockchip RK3328 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, support for up to 2GB of RAM, and of course a microSD card for storage.

At the moment the board was still been finalized, but the company has now started to take orders for $20 and up depending on options which include a cute white enclosure.

NanoPi NEO3

NanoPi NEO3 Specifications

SoCRockChip RK3328, Quad-core 64-bit high-performance Cortex A53
LAN10/100/1000M Ethernet with unique MAC
USB Host1x USB3.0 Type A and 2x USB2.0 on 2.54mm pin header
MicroSDMicroSD x 1 for system boot and storage
Fan2Pin JST ZH 1.5mm Connector for 5V Fan
GPIO2.54mm pitch 26 pin-header, include I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, GPIO
Power5V/1A, via Type-C or GPIO
PCB Dimensions48 x 48mm (1.89 inch x 1.89 inch)
Working Temperature-20℃ to 70℃

The RockChip RK3328 System on Chip (SoC) however is quite an old SoC. In addition it is released in 2016, but it is still a powerful chip for such a small board. NanoPi NEO3 providing a quad core Arm Cortex A53 and MAli-450MP4 GPU, add in 1GB or 2GB of DDR4, USB 3 and USB C power.

So, we have an interesting board, as long as it is cost effective. Network connectivity is limited to a single Gigabit Ethernet port (RTL8211E). In addition to, there is no HDMI or other video outputs on the board, which means all control is via a remote terminal.

Storage is available via a microSD card slot, because there is no space for any SATA or NVME storage options. GPIO access is provided via a 26 pin interface, which features I2C, UART, SPI and I2S. Operating system support is currently an unknown quantity, but it is a good bet that operating systems for other RockChip boards will be compatible.

Finally, the $20 NanoPi NEO3 price tag is for the version with 1GB RAM, and you’ll need to add $5 to get 2GB RAM and an extra $2 for the enclosure.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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