Comparison reviews

NanoPi R2C: Deceptively Small, Yet Powerful Mini-Router

FriendlyELEC has announced a new version of its dual gigabit ethernet mini-router, the NanoPi R2C, as spotted by CNX Software. This deceptively tiny SBC is much smaller than a Raspberry Pi and houses plenty of power to act as a soft router and as a miniature file server, all be it with only USB2.0 for drives.

(Image credit: FriendlyELEC)

Based on the Rockchip RK3328 SOC, and with a USB 2.0 port and GPIO pins for expansion, the NanoPi R2C comes in a metal case measuring just 2.4 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches (60 x 60 x 27.5 mm). Alongside the SOC, which runs a quad-core Cortex-A53 at 1.5 GHz with a Mali-450MP2 GPU and 1GB of DDR4, you get a bootable Micro SD slot, a single USB 2.0 port for expansion, and a USB-C port for power. Ethernet is taken care of by a MotorComm YT8521S Gigabit Ethernet transceiver on the way in (replacing the Realtek RTL8211E from the previous model, the NanoPi R2S), and a Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller on the way out, giving 941Mbps each way. There’s a footprint for an SPI flash chip too, along with a three-pin serial header for debugging and a ten-pin GPIO that breaks out I2C, UART, IR_Rx, 5V, 3.3V and GND.

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