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FriendlyELEC NanoPi NEO3: A tiny Raspberry Pi competitor that packs plenty of features

The NanoPi NEO3 measures just 48 x 48 mm. (Image source: FriendlyELEC)
The NanoPi NEO3 measures just 48 x 48 mm. (Image source: FriendlyELEC)
The NanoPi NEO3 is another small single-board computer (SBC) produced by FriendlyELEC. The NEO3 includes a quad-core ARM processor, up to 2 GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet and a microSD card reader.

FriendlyELEC may have already released the NanoPi NEO4, but it now plans to release the NEO3. Brought to our attention by CNX Software via Liliputing, the SBC measures 48 x 48 mm, making it slightly smaller than the NanoPi R2S. The NEO3 is based on a Rockchip RK3328 SoC, which integrates four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and an ARM Mali-450 MP2 GPU. The board will be offered with 1 GB or 2 GB of DDR4 RAM.

There is no onboard storage, but FriendlyELEC has included a microSD card reader for use as a boot drive. There is also a 26-pin header that supports GPIO, I2C, I2S, UART and SPI, along with a 3-pin header for a serial console. The NEO3 runs off 5V/1A over USB Type-C or a GPIO pin and has a 2-pin header for a 5V fan. FriendlyELEC has included power and system LEDs too.

Additionally, the NEO3 has Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.0 Type-A port and two USB 2.0 8-pin headers that have a 2.54 mm pitch. FriendlyELEC has published a wiki for the SBC, but the company is yet to announce pricing or availability. CNX Software posits that the unit will cost around US$18-US$19 for the 1 GB model and an additional US$4 for the 2 GB model. The website also expects the NEO3 to support Debian 10 Buster with Linux 5.4.xx, FriendlyWrt (OpenWrt), FriendlyCore (Ubuntu 18.04 Core) and Armbian-built Ubuntu 20.04 Focal.

(Image source: FriendlyELEC via CNX Software)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 07 > FriendlyELEC NanoPi NEO3: A tiny Raspberry Pi competitor that packs plenty of features
Alex Alderson, 2020-07- 1 (Update: 2021-09-28)