In a recent development two manufacturers have independently announced Raspberry Pi clones offering significantly improved specifications compared to the original.
Firstly the Banana Pi from the OSSUG Company has the same board size together with the 26-way GPIO header and P5 header of the RPi. Its dual-core AllWinner A20 processor together with 1GB RAM provides a welcome performance boost. It also has an on-board SATA connector with 5 V supply for connection of a mass storage device and gigabit Ethernet port, infra-red receiver, three on-board buttons and a microphone.
The HummingBoard (pictured) is from Solid-Run, the company responsible for the tiny CuBox desktop computer. The HummingBoard has the same features, design and layout as the Raspberry Pi including the 26-pin GPIO header to take existing Pi peripherals. When it comes to under-the-hood horsepower, the HummingBoard packs a quad-core 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 chip with 2GB of RAM together with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also includes a gigabit Ethernet port and IR receiver.
Both of these boards have a spec that makes the original RPi look a little dated. The deal breaker is likely to come down to cost; the banana Pi is said to retail at $74 including shipping but Solid-Run have yet to announce the price of the HummingBoard.