FriendlyELEC Announces the NanoPi R5S, Boasting Twin 2.5-gig-E, Gigabit Ethernet, an NPU, and More

With a total of three Ethernet ports, two supporting 2.5-gig-Ethernet, this compact router board packs in the features.

FriendlyELEC's NanoPi range is receiving a refresh with the launch of the NanoPi R5S, a single-board computer boasting two 2.5-gigabit and one one-gigabit Ethernet ports plus M.2 NVMe storage expansion capabilities.

The new board, brought to our attention by CNX Software, is the latest in FriendlyELEC's NanoPi single-board computer family — specifically, the R-series of router-centric boards, which launched with the original NanoPi R1 featuring a single gigabit Ethernet port alongside a second slower Fast Ethernet (10/100) port. Since then, the range has received a few upgrades — the most recent being the NanoPi R4S, a dual-gigabit design with a Rockchip RK3399 six-core CPU.

The NanoPi R5S, by contrast, features three Ethernet ports, two supporting 2.5-gigabit operation and one offering gigabit connectivity. These are driven by a Rockchip RK3568 system-on-chip with quad-core Arm Cortex-A55 CPU, Mali-G52 GPU, a VPU with 4K60 decode and 1080P60 encode, and a neural network coprocessor offering 0.8 TOPS of performance.

To this, FriendlyELEC has added 2GB of LPDDR4X memory, 8GB of eMMC storage, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and an HDMI port. Storage expansion is available from a microSD slot, or via an M.2 Key M slot on the underside — compatible with NVMe storage or other PCI Express devices.

There's no readily-accessible general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header on the board, but the available pins are brought out to a high-density FPC connector for use with a breakout board and offer a single SPI bus, up to three UART buses, and eight GPIO pins with four supporting pulse-width modulation (PWM). A second connector provides SDIO 3.0 and I2S signals.

The board is designed to be powered by USB Type-C with Power Delivery (PD) support, but exact power draw has not yet been shared — something FriendlyELEC is keeping quiet for now, alongside a launch date and pricing.

More technical information on the NanoPi R5S is available on the FriendlyELEC wiki.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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