Sinovoip banana pi m3 – linux-sunxi. org

Despite its name the M3 is incompatible to Banana Pi/M1/M1+/Pro/M2/M2+ due to a different SoC – requiring different boot loaders and drivers.

It’s another attempt to cash-in on the Banana Pi’s popularity with a SBC sharing only Brand-name, form factor and GPIO header.

Info to Nora Lee: Please stop doing the marketing spam and join #linux-sunxi on freenode ( IRC) to talk about why this edit was reversed the second time.

The best banana bread If you keep changing info to untrue facts, your account will get blocked.

DC 5V @ 2A DC-IN via µUSB or barrel jack, solder pads for LiPo battery

BT4.0/WiFi 802.11 b/g/n ( Ampak AP6212), 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet ( Realtek RTL8211E)

µSD (max 64GB), eMMC, SATA 2.0 (via GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge, +5V power on JST XH 2.5mm connector)

1 µUSB 2.0 OTG and an internal Terminus Technology Inc. Receipt for banana bread 4-Port HUB feeds 2x USB 2.0 Type-A ports and the SATA bridge

This page needs to be properly filled according to the New Device Howto and the New Device Page guide.

• 3.7 Sudden shut offs / maximum consumption / cooling vs. Best banana nut bread recipe consumption

It’s an SBC with blue PCB silkscreened “BPI-M3” in white where you can easily recognise A83T/AXP813 on the PCB’s top side.

All OS images the manufacturer provides are based on Allwinner’s 3.4.39 kernel. Eggless banana bread Mainlining efforts for the M3’s A83T SoC just started so things won’t improve that soon.

• Official download page with M3 section containing various Linux images based on kernel 3.4.39

All the OS images are based on u-boot 2011.09 and kernel 3.4.39 using an initrd and do not provide script.bin/uEnv.txt support.

3 Months after releasing the first OS images the situation still hasn’t improved. Peanut butter banana bread SinoVoip fixed some stuff in their Github repo but still doesn’t provide a way to apply these updates to existing OS images. Banana loaf bread As the result of a quick try to let Armbian support the M3 (nope) here is an archive (md5sum 360a32fe9d470296abebc4af0825acc9) containing boot-resource.fex, boot.img, env.fex, u-boot.fex and 3.4.42-BPI-M3-Kernel.tar. Good banana bread recipe It can be used to cure all available OS images for Banana Pi M3 (and for other A83T/H8 devices also I would suspect). Make banana bread It contains all BSP fixes for the M3 up to Feb 2016 and also a higher kernel version. Super moist banana bread recipe To use it unpack the archive, choose an OS image $image as target and then do

Mount afterwards the 2nd partition of the image and unpack 3.4.42-BPI-M3-Kernel.tar below /lib/modules. Simple recipe for banana bread You should then be able to create uEnv.txt and script.bin on the 1st partition (a weird howto available in the official Banana Pi forum)

No support in the community maintained sunxi-3.4 kernel is planned. Recipe banana nut bread Allwinner’s kernel sources for the A83T can be found now here.

The manufacturer uses an u-boot.2011-something version without support for script.bin

Since the M3’s bsp uses an aging u-boot from 2011 no script.bin support exists therefore you’ve to adjust display settings in the fex file. How make banana bread Some can be found in SinoVoip’s M3 repo.

The BPi-M3 features 3 LEDs located between IR receiver and microphone: A red one indicating power that can’t be turned off and a green and blue one accessible through sysfs after latest fixes are applied to kernel sources and hardware initialisation.

Both green and blue LED can then be controlled through sysfs and appear below /sys/class/leds/. Quick banana bread recipe To show the available triggers do a cat /sys/class/leds/green_led/trigger and set this to none if the default heartbeat blinking annoys you. Recipe for easy banana bread Since the timer trigger also exists BananaLEDd should be useable to show disk activity and average load (to be confirmed) since BananaLEDd supports LEDs accessible through sysfs starting with version 1.2

Be aware that the A83T SoC used on the M3 isn’t SATA capable and therefore the SATA port is provided by a cheap USB-to-SATA-bridge. 2 banana bread recipe This means you can neither expect SATA performance nor full SATA functionality and the used chip is also known to be buggy and reporting the disk size wrong. A recipe for banana bread While the used GL830 bridge supports S.M.A.R.T. How to make banana nut bread attributes it does not support S.M.A.R.T. Best recipe for banana bread status notification (overall health indicator of the disk – instead of PASSED or FAILED you will only get SMART Status not supported: Incomplete response, ATA output registers missing). How to make easy banana bread Fortunately the GL830 seems to have no 2TB limitation.

Expected SATA performance is even worse compared to Orange Pi Plus that relies on the same old GL830 chip since on the M3 all externally available USB host ports and the SATA bridge are connected through the internal hub to one single USB port and therefore have to share bandwidth. Low calorie banana bread First tests don’t look that promising: tests done with a fast SSD/ext4 at two different clockspeeds: 13/23 MB/s @ 480 MHz vs 15/30 MB/s @1800 MHz write/read. Basic banana bread Using an external Micron JMS567 that is known to get close to 40 MB/s sequential transfer speeds @ 1800 MHz exceeded 35/34 MB/s write/read with same SSD/ext4. Banana walnut bread recipe It seems the GL830 wasn’t the best choice to provide a SATA port on the M3.

Allwinner’s kernel for H3 and A83T seem to implement identical thermal throttling strategies depending on fex settings that can be read out through sysfs: /sys/devices/virtual/thermal/thermal_zone0/trip_point*. Old fashioned banana bread If these values are set in incremented order first throttling will occur and only if this still doesn’t help CPU cores will dropped. Banana bread easy By tuning these settings you might get the opposite of what’s intended: a slower system due to less available CPU cores.

With Allwinner’s kernel there’s also something like fan control implemented. Best moist banana bread recipe Below /sys/devices/virtual/thermal/cooling_device0/ you can read out cur_state that will be adjusted depending on fex settings between 0 and max_state.

Without a heatsink you won’t exceed 1.2GHz when running CPU intensive tasks, when choosing a good one and enough airflow you might get up to 1.6 GHz and everything above needs an annoying fan. Banana loaf bread recipe The good news: This is still no overvolting/overclocking since it’s just about better heat dissipation to avoid throttling. Light banana bread The bad news: You need to solder a sane way to provide more than 5V/2A to the board — see below.

In opposite to CubieBoard5, the M3s hardware design does not make use of all USB connections offered by the SoC (A83T).

The HSIC port is connected to the Terminus Technology Inc. Best banana bread ever 4-Port USB hub. Easy moist banana bread recipe On this hub is attached

the USB-to-SATA bridge and the 2x available USB Type-A ports. World’s best banana bread recipe Therefore these 3 connectors have to share the bandwidth

It seems that the hub’s fourth port is routed to solder pads located between onboard microphone and GPIO header.

The pre-production samples of this board had the usual 4.0/1.7mm barrel jack for DC-IN BPi M2/M2+ also use. Best banana bread recipe moist This has been replaced by a Micro USB jack on the first production batch in Dec 2015 leading to the usual sorts of problems forums are full of (see also next paragraph for some reasons). Vegan banana bread recipe Starting in May 2016 Micro USB has been replaced by the 4.0/1.7mm barrel jack again so powering is possible more reliable now. Banana nut bread recipe easy The Micro USB receptacle on the longer board side is USB OTG, also connected to the board’s PMIC and while looking like an alternative way to power the board that’s not recommended unless you love underpowering situations, reboot loops and the like.

In case you’re unlucky enough to own an M3 from the first production batch have a look at the gallery below where to measure / fix undervoltage/undercurrent problems you’ll run into sooner or later.

Sudden shut offs / maximum consumption / cooling vs. Homemade banana bread recipe consumption

In case you experience shut offs when connecting peripherals or operating the device under high load have a look at the gallery below where to measure and where to solder a fix. Very moist banana bread This is especially recommended when you want to make use of the promised performance (octacore @ 2.0GHz according to the manufacturer). Banana nut bread recipe moist If you use the device without heatsink consumption through CPU cores will seldom being able to exceed 4W-5W since thermal throttling will decrease clockspeeds automagically and dynamic voltage frequency scaling (dvfs) will then also reduce Vcore.

With an applied small heatsink and outside of an enclosure under constant full load the A83T will jump between 1008 MHz and 1200 MHz due to thermal throttling. Diabetic banana bread At the latter cpufreq Vcore will be already set to 920mV while being set to 840mV at 1008 MHz:

Under these conditions CPU activity is responsible for the board consuming between 5.5W-6W. Banana bread loaf If you improve heat dissipation by using a large heatsink or even a fan you will let thermal throttling jump in later with drastical consequences.

Due to the dvfs settings Vcore will be increased to 1000mV or even 1080mV when reaching 1800 MHz. Easy to make banana bread And then CPU activity alone is responsible for a whopping 8W consumption. Banana bread moist And while this might work in a test environment with just a serial console attached it can’t work in a normal environment with a connected display, a few USB peripherals and a connected disk needing another 4-5W exceeding 12W easily. Delicious banana bread Micro USB is rated 5V/1.8A max: 9W or maybe 10W under best conditions (most likely due to crappy USB cables the board’s PMU will diagnose undervoltage way earlier and shuts down).

In case you improve heat dissipation be prepared for shut-offs unless you solder a sane DC-IN solution and use 5V/3A at least (won’t help with micro USB due to the tiny contacts)

Using the BSP and the OS images SinoVoip provides it’s only possible to boot from /dev/mmcblk0p2 (compare with /proc/cmdline). Banana bread from scratch To change that you’ve to grab the BSP and adjust sunxi-pack/chips/sun8iw6p1/configs/*/env.cfg to be able to boot using NFS or USB (please remember: the M3 has no SATA any more, just an ultra-slow onboard USB-to-SATA bridge). Quick and easy banana bread recipe If you try to adjust root= to point to any USB location always keep in mind that device nodes might not be persistent across reboots therefore always use the partition UUID instead. Great banana bread recipe In case you want to boot from a partition that’s currently mounted as /dev/sda1 do a gdisk -l /dev/sda1 and use the UUID it prints, eg.: root=PARTUUID=1A40C346-C1F0-4613-B3AB-1FA3C6B6F343. Amazing banana bread recipe Don’t use the output of blkid, these aren’t the partition UUIDs!

Please always keep in mind that booting from a connected SATA disk behind the GL830 is the worst idea ever since every BPi M3 ships with 8GB onboard eMMC which is more than twice as fast as any disk behind the slow GL830 bridge.

When trying to use HDMI to DVI converters with Allwinner’s 3.4.39 kernel a small fix has to be applied. Banana nut bread easy The contents of sysconfig.fex have to be adjusted (and the whole BSP has to be rebuilt since there’s no support for script.bin) so that the following has been added to the [hdmi_para] section:

Since the A83T/R58/H8 has only support for MIPI/DSI to drive LCD displays none of the available LVDS/RGB LCDs sold for older incompatible Banana Pi variants can be used. Easy moist banana bread SinoVoip sold a 7″ TS LCD panel since summer 2015 with just 800×480 pixels that’s also incompatible to the Banana Pi M3 since it’s also using LVDS/RGB as interface. 4 banana bread recipe In the meantime SinoVoip provides a new variant of this 7″ LCD with a controller board featuring both MIPI/DSI for the M3 and LVDS/RGB for M1/M1+/M2. Easy quick banana bread Of course they re-used the same article in their aliexpress shop so be prepared that reviews/ratings found there are for the older variant and not the current one.

In case WiFi isn’t working (reliably) with an external antenna that’s an intentional feature of this board. How to make banana bread from scratch Don’t try to fix it in software unless you desoldered a small resistor on the PCB (that’s not a bad joke but an official suggestion obviously not taking into account that different PCB revisions exist)

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