NanoPi NEO3 is a tiny SBC (Single Board Computer) powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor and made for headless applications and networked storage thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports, as well as a 26-pin GPIO header.
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 Specifications
|SoC||RockChip RK3328, Quad-core 64-bit high-performance Cortex A53|
|LAN||10/100/1000M Ethernet with unique MAC|
|USB Host||1x USB3.0 Type A and 2x USB2.0 on 2.54mm pin header|
|MicroSD||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|
|PCB Dimensions||48 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.