The Raspberry Pi Becomes a Form Factor?

Despite the cries for updated hardware, the Raspberry Pi foundation has been playing it cool. The Raspberry Pi Becomes a Form Factor article tells that they’re committed to getting the most out of their engineering investment, and the current board design for the Raspi doesn’t support more than 512Mb of memory, anyway.

It seems that like Arduino there seems to be other products that use the same form factor that one product has made popular. The Raspberry Pi Becomes a Form Factor article tells that the folks at SolidRun are merely using this Raspberry Pi form factor board as a prototyping and development platform for their CuBox-i device. Carrier-one from SolidRun has a system-on-module with a quad core ARM Cortex-A9, 2GB of RAM, 1000 Mbps Ethernet, USB host ports, eSATA, and LVDS display connector, a real time clock, and everything else you get with a Raspberry Pi, header pins included. It’s a newer ARM board that will still work with all your Raspberry Pi hardware.


  1. Agnes says:

    Thanks for finally talking about > The Raspberry Pi Becomes a Form Factor?

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HummingBoard, The Vastly More Powerful Raspi

    The HummingBoard uses a Freescale i.MX6 quad core processor running at 1GHz with a Vivante GC2000 GPU. There’s 2GB of RAM, microSD card slot, mSATA connector, Gigabit Ethernet, a BCM4329 WiFi and Bluetooth module, a real-time clock, and IR receiver. There’s also all the usual Raspberry Pi flair, with a 26 pin GPIO connector, CSI camera connector, DSI LCD connector, stereo out, as well as the usual HDMI and analog video.

    The company behind the HummingBoard, SolidRun, hasn’t put a retail price on the board, nor have they set a launch date.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    I suspect that it will come in at ~$129.99 given it appears to have the same specs as the CuBox-i4Pro which they sell for that price.

    Source: Comment at

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Meet the Banana Pi: A more powerful version of the Raspberry Pi
    Another inexpensive single-board computer named after a fruit, but with better performance

    The Banana Pi is a clone of the Raspberry Pi and provides twice as much memory and a faster processor–while being compatible with most Pi accessories.

    It’s also pretty inexpensive, considering it’s a complete computer system, starting at $57

    Instead of the Raspberry Pi’s 512MB of memory you get 1GB on the Banana Pi, and instead of a single-core 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor, the Banana Pi has a dual-core 1GHz Allwinner ARM A20 Cortex-A7 processor.

    HummingBoard, Banana Pi take on the Raspberry Pi
    Published on 23rd April 2014 by Gareth Halfacree

    The success of the Raspberry Pi project has kick-started interest in low-cost Linux-powered single-board computers, but it has been surprisingly free of clone designs – until now.

    Unlike rival development platforms such as the Olimex OLinuXino family or the popular Arduino microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi is not open hardware.

    First, the HummingBoard. Created by Solid-Run, the company behind the ultra-compact CuBox product line, the HummingBoard boasts the same features, design and layout as the Raspberry Pi – right down to the 26-pin general-purpose input-output (GPIO) header at the top-left of the board, which is pin-compatible with existing Pi accessories. Unlike the underpowered single-core 700MHz ARMv6 processor of the Pi, the HummingBoard boasts a quad-core 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 chip, 2GB of RAM – four times that of the Pi – and integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Additional enhancements over the Pi include an upgrade to gigabit Ethernet, an on-board real-time clock module, and an infra-red receiver.

    The Banana Pi goes a step further. Created by OSSUG Company, The Banana Pi again duplicates the layout and footprint of the Raspberry Pi and includes both the 26-pin GPIO header and the smaller P5 header of its established rival. Although its 1GB of RAM and dual-core AllWinner A20 processor can’t match the performance of the HummingBoard, the Banana Pi boasts an on-board SATA connector with 5V power output for mass storage. The board also includes gigabit Ethernet, an infra-red receiver, three on-board buttons and, interestingly, a microphone

    Banana Pi

    A Brand New Business Card Size PC
    Now, You real can do your daily works on it.
    BananaPi has 1Ghz ARM7 Dual-Core CPU, ARM Mali400MP2 GPU, Gigabits Ethernet, plus 1G DDR3 Memory with SATA Support.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Banana Pi: The New Age of Single-Board Computers

    Having a dual-core processor gives the Banana Pi twice the processing power of the original Raspberry Pi. The dual core gives the operating system the illusion that the computer has two 1GHz processors.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HummingBoard is a Raspberry Pi rival that lets you swap out its processor

    You’d think the world of hobbyist mini computers would be full, considering that you’ve got a choice of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone and even Intel’s NUC. That hasn’t deterred SolidRun, which is releasing the HummingBoard as a more powerful alternative to the Raspberry Pi. Built on the same platform, the HummingBoard promises faster silicon (1GHz ARM v7 vs. 700MHz ARM v6) while fitting into the same third-party cases as its education-centric rival. It also lets you switch out the CPU and memory module, should you need some more grunt further down the road. The base unit with 512MB RAM will set you back $45 plus $10 for a power adapter, while the top-spec model with 1GB RAM and a faster chip is priced at $100.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What are the best SD cards to use in a Raspberry Pi?

    SD cards have a limited life, and the more you read and write to them, the shorter their lifespan. In a Raspberry Pi this makes things a little tricky, the SD card gets a much tougher workout than it normally would in something like a digital camera.

    Up until now, I have always just picked up a SD card that was sold bundled with a Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately these SD cards are often low quality and didn’t last very long, with some failing in as little as a month.

    So now I get SD cards separately, and only ones that feature wear levelling.

    The more expensive cards with wear levelling won’t just keep pummelling the same spot on the disk over and over again. Instead, it will try and spread wear out over the whole disk.

    I also get SD cards that have way more space than I need, at least 8GB.

    However, if you have more than $150 to burn, you can reach to the very top shelf and have a browse around Panasonic’s industrial grade SD cards (some feature RAID for even greater data protection).

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released

    Hardkernel has released a new Raspberry Pi-compatible development board based on the Samsung Exynos SoC. The board is smaller than a typical Pi, keeping basic HDMI, USB and CSI interfaces. It also has a 26-pin expansion board with more GPIO available, though it lacks an Ethernet jack. Initial prices as estimated around $30.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Real Raspberry Pi Clone (Not ‘Inspired By’)

    Recently, Broadcom has started to sell the BCM2835 to anyone who has the cash and from the looks of it, real Raspberry Pi clones are starting to make their way into the marketplace.

    The new board also has the same 26 pin GPIO expansion socket, and runs the same binaries as the Raspberry P;. It is a clone in every sense, with a slightly different form factor geared towards very tiny, portable, and battery-powered use cases.

    Unlike the official Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the Odroid isn’t meant to be used as a system on module, shoved into any product that needs a fast-ish ARM core without needing engineers to actually design a circuit with an ARM. The Odroid is a cut-down, extremely minimalist version of the Raspi, perfect for any project where space is at a premium.

    As far as price goes, you can pick one of these Odroids up for $30 USD, with $9 shipping from South Korea. That’s pretty comparable to the price of a real Raspberry Pi

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Other Raspberry Pi clone boards out there like the Banana Pi and the HummingBoard don’t use the same BCM2835 found in the Raspi and the new Odroid.


  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

    No Odroid W – Broadcom will not supply the SoC to Hardkernel

    it was a completely new form factor inbetween standart RPI and the complicated RPI compute module.
    Due to its small size and advanced power options with battery charger it was perfect for mobile applications and perfect for own PCBs. It uses knowledge gathered in the RPI community: Thats not stealing, its the meaning of Open Source to share its knowledge!

    Unfortunately Broadcom stops supply Hardkernel with the SoC.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Imagination Takes On Raspberry Pi

    Does the electronics industry need another low cost development board? After all, we already have nearly 1.5m Raspberry Pi $25 boards shipped worldwide, as well as a plethora of Arduino and Beagle boards. There’s even the Galileo boards from Intel using the low cost, low power x86 X1000 Quark processor.

    Imagination Technologies has developed its own version of Raspberry Pi, using a MIPS-based processor from Ingenic. The Creator CI20 is the first board that combines Imagination’s MIPS, PowerVR and Ensigma programmable RF technologies and so makes it notable.

    The Raspberry Pi focus may be a little specious. The RioTboard launched earlier this year is perhaps a more relevant comparison, with a 1GHz Freescale I.MX6 Solo ARM-Cortex-A9 that runs Open-CL code and a Freescale.

    Pricing is also an issue. RioTboard retails at $75, Galileo at $65, but the latest Raspberry Pi with accessories ends up at $50 to $60.

    Imagination is also pitching its prpl foundation open-source development community against ARM’s mbed community.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Hummingboard from SolidRun comes in an oddly familiar form factor to anyone who has ever handled a Raspberry Pi. It also has an interesting feature: the CPU is on a small module, allowing anyone to upgrade the chipset to something significantly more powerful

    The HummingBoard allows you to run many open source operating systems – such as Ubuntu, Debian and Arch – as well as Android and XBMC. With its core technology based on SolidRun’s state-of-the-art Micro System on a Module (MicroSOM), it has ready-to-use OS images, and its open hardware comes with full schematics and layout.


  14. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Quad Core Linux computer is now $35.00.
    Don’t put up with the slow single core computer anymore.
    If you are considering a tiny computer for general purpose computing, software development or as a project platform,
    the ODROID-C1 will give you a lot more satisfaction and fun with incredible performance for a very low price.

    * Amlogic ARM® Cortex®-A5(ARMv7) 1.5Ghz quad core CPUs
    * Mali™-450 MP2 GPU (OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1 enabled for Linux and Android)
    * 1Gbyte DDR3 SDRAM
    * Gigabit Ethernet
    * 40pin GPIOs
    * eMMC4.5 HS200 Flash Storage slot / UHS-1 SDR50 MicroSD Card slot
    * USB 2.0 Host x 4, USB OTG x 1,
    * Infrared(IR) Receiver
    * Ubuntu 14.04 or Android KitKat

    You can get more information from ODROID Magazine.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Intel Atom CPU In The Raspi Form Factor

    For years now, people have been trying to stuff an Intel processor on a credit card sized board. An x86 board that can fit in your pocket is an intriguing device – after all, that’s what Gumstix, the forerunner of the Raspberry Pi, were. Efforts to put x86 on a dev board have included the Minnowboard, the Intel Galileo and Edison, and even the Intel Compute Stick. These have not seen the uptake you would expect from a small x86-powered board, but that tide may soon turn. The UP board is exactly what you would expect from a Raspberry Pi-inspired board with a real Intel processor.

    The feature set for the UP board is impressive for a credit card sized board; it’s powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8300 CPU running at 1.84 GHz. The board comes equipped with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC Flash, Gigabit Ethernet, five USB 2.0 ports (one on a pin header) and one USB 3.0 port.

    UP – Intel x5-Z8300 board in a Raspberry Pi2 form factor

    UP, the credit card computer board for makers powered by Intel Quad Core Atom X5-8300 1.84GHz, running Linux, Windows 10, and Android

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Official, Customized Raspberry Pi Versions Coming Soon

    The immensely popular Raspberry Pi will soon be offered in customized versions, through an exclusive arrangement between Raspberry Pi Trading and Element14. According to the companies’ announcement, Element14 will provide design and manufacturing services to OEM customers to create ‘bespoke designs’ based upon the Raspberry Pi technology platform.

    A handful of unsanctioned Raspberry Pi knock-offs have already appeared over the past couple of years, including various Orange Pi and Banana Pi flavors, which certainly didn’t involve any ‘bespeaking.’

    Official, customized Raspberry Pi versions coming soon

    Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd., the commercial subsidiary of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Element14 have signed a global exclusive agreement whereby Element14 will provide “design and manufacturing services to OEM customers to create bespoke designs based upon the Raspberry Pi technology platform,” the companies jointly announced in London today.

    Use of the term, “bespoke” makes it clear that the customized Raspberry Pi SBC development projects will entail substantial up-front commitments to both NRE (non-recurring engineering) payments and volume orders. In particular, “As these will be bespoke designs it is envisaged that order quantities will start in the region of between 3,000 and 5,000 depending upon the nature of the customization,” adds the announcement.

    With the exponential growth in popularity of the Raspberry Pi SBC among educators, hackers, makers, and professional developers alike, it was only a matter of time until the SBC to morph into a de facto standard architecture for use as the embedded platform within a wide range of smart devices. A similar phenomenon occurred in the mid-80s when the IBM PC architecture was began to be incorporated into SBCs like the Ampro Little Board/PC and standardized architectures like PC/104.

    Applications for new, customized versions of the Raspberry Pi are expected to include Internet of Things (IoT) devices, energy management, industrial, and end-consumer devices

    The tweaked Pi’s are expected to include revised board layouts, additional or alternative functions, interfaces, connectors, and memory configurations, and more. Last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation created its own customized version of the Raspberry Pi SBC in the form of the $30 computer-on-module called the Raspberry Pi Compute Module

    Raspberry Pi Customization Service

    Welcome to element14’s exclusive Raspberry Pi customization area

    Gain unique access to design and manufacturing services, specially tailored to those wishing to create custom versions of ANY Raspberry Pi board for mass production purposes.

    We will support you every step of the way during the design process – from concept right through to the manufacture of the final boards; enabling the Raspberry Pi to be optimized to suit your specific applications.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Raspberry Pi In An FPGA

    Somehow or another, the Raspberry Pi has become a standardized form factor for single board computers. There are now Raspberry Pi-shaped objects that can do anything, and between the Odroid and bizarre Intel Atom-powered boards, everything you could ever want is now packaged into something that looks like a Raspberry Pi.

    Except for one thing, of course, and that’s where [antti.lukats]’s entry for the 2016 Hackaday Prize comes in. He’s creating a version of the Raspberry Pi based on a chip that combines a fast ARM processor and an FPGA in one small package. It’s called the ZynqBerry and will, assuredly, become one of the best platforms to learn FPGA trickery on.

    Xilinx’ Zynq comes with a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 running around 1GHZ, and from that fact alone should be about comparable to the original Raspberry Pi.

    Xilinx ZYNQ based RPi

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UP – Intel x5-Z8300 board in a Raspberry Pi2 form factor

    UP, the credit card computer board for makers powered by Intel Quad Core Atom X5-8350 1.92 GHz, running Linux, Windows 10, and Android

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UP in partnership with Pi 2 Design

    UP – Bridge the Gap is delighted to announce a broad range collaboration with Pi 2 Design. This collaboration will include the reselling of each other’s compatible products, cooperative marketing and sales, as well as custom designed add-ons for the Up-Board.

    According to Fabrizio Del Maffeo, Manager Director of AAEON Europe (founders of the UP Board program): “Building on some of the best capabilities of existing maker and industrial boards in the market today, UP bridges the gap between the world of prototypes and the world of high-grade, mass-produced embedded systems solutions. Thanks to the partnership with Pi 2 Design, UP users will gain easy access to a large portfolio of off-the-shelf, high quality industrial expansion boards and to the fast Prototype Design Services of Pi 2 Design.”

    Michael Kelly, Founder and Chief Engineer for Pi 2 Design further expanded on the benefits of the partnership: “The Intel Cherry Trail Atom used on the UP Board brings low cost, high performance, power friendly x86 processing technology to the RPi Form Factor. With 4GB of DDR3L memory, Gigabit Ethernet, 4K Video decoding and more, the UP-Board is an outstanding platform for all kinds of industrial applications when supplemented with our professional I/O Shields. Functionality such as 802.11n Wifi, mSATA SSD, High Power USB, CAN Bus, Ethercat, PoE and Grove IoT all combine to further enhance the outstanding capabilities of the UP Board.”

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ArduCAM Introduces A Third Party Raspberry Pi

    There are hundreds of ARM-based Linux development boards out there, with new ones appearing every week. The bulk of these ARM boards are mostly unsupported, and in the worst case they don’t work at all. There’s a reason the Raspberry Pi is the best-selling tiny ARM computer, and it isn’t because it’s the fastest or most capable. The Raspberry Pi got to where it is today because of a huge amount of work from devs around the globe.

    Try as they might, the newcomer fabricators of these other ARM boards can’t easily glom onto the popularity of the Pi. Doing so would require a Broadcom chipset. Now that the Broadcom BCM2835-based ODROID-W has gone out of production because Broadcom refused to sell the chips, the Raspberry Pi ecosystem has been completely closed.

    Things may be changing. ArduCAM has introduced a tiny Raspberry Pi compatible module based on Broadcom’s BCM2835 chipset, the same chip found in the original Raspberry Pis A, B, B+ and Zero. This module is tiny – just under an inch square – and compatible with all of the supported software that makes the Raspberry Pi so irresistible.

    Although this Raspberry Pi-compatible board is not finalized, the specs are what you would expect from what is essentially a Raspberry Pi Zero cut down to a square inch board.

    There isn’t space on the board for a 2×20 pin header, but a sufficient number of GPIOs are broken out to

    24 x 24mm Coin Size Raspberry Pi Compatible Board

    ArduCAM team now is developing a coin size Raspberry Pi compatible compute module. The total size of the SOM is 24mm x 24mm, compared to the offical Raspberry Pi compute module and new Pi ZERO, it will be the smallest Raspberry Pi compatible module in the world.

    User can run the system on a small 36mm x 36mm adapter mother board with camera support. It is ideal for battery powered portable device lilke smart watch, action camera etc.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘FleaFPGA Ohm’ Development Board

    My own raspi-zero style board, based on the new ECP5 series FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor! ;-)

    FleaFPGA Ohm/Ohm+ are my own attempts at making a powerful FPGA-based development board in a raspi zero form-factor. This time however, I use the new ECP5 FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor! ;-)

    From there on, I decided I wanted to do an all-FPGA variant that was compatible to the pi in terms of GPIO but with ‘a few extras here and there’. I then saw Lattice Semiconductor’s newest ECP5 series FPGA (and far more capable than the MachXO2) became available recently, so I thought what the hey and had a crack at it! :)

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Flea Ohm’ FPGA Project
    My own raspi-zero style board, based on the new ECP5 series FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor! ;-)

    FleaFPGA Ohm/Ohm+ are my own attempts at making a powerful FPGA-based development board in a raspi zero form-factor. This time however, I use the new ECP5 FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor! ;-)

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “The movement towards the Raspberry Pi form factor as a de facto standard for the burgeoning single-board computer market seems to be gathering pace.”

    First Thoughts on “Le Potato,” a Raspberry Pi-Like Single-Board Computer

    The movement towards the Raspberry Pi form factor as a de facto standard for the burgeoning single-board computer market seems to be gathering pace. In recent months we’ve seen the big commercial manufacturers like ASUS with their Tinker Board, as well as smaller manufacturers like Pine64 with their ROCK64, FriendlyARM with the NanoPi K2, and even hobby projects like the Z-Berry, duplicate the form factor.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Drop in replacement for Raspberry Pi 3. Faster 4K SBC with more memory supporting Android 7.1 and all your favorite Linux distros. Kickstart this and get your board in August!

    Libre Computer Board Fastest 4K SBC under $50 for Makers

    What is it?

    Our first Libre Computer Board, code name Le Potato, is designed as a drop in hardware replacement for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and offers faster performance, more memory, lower power, higher IO throughput, 4K capabilities, open market components, improved media acceleration, removal of the vendor locked-in interfaces, and Android 7.1 support.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    For many Pi like boards this applies:

    I think people developing these ‘pi-killers’ are missing the point entirely. The point of a pi is lots of software and good documentation to work with. These alternatives provide little to none of the above.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The VoltaStream ZERO, a Raspberry Pi Zero Lookalike for Digital Audio

    At the end of the early home computing era we saw a dramatic collapse in the number of form factors.

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    Alasdair Allan
    Scientist, Author, Hacker, Maker, and Journalist. Currently freelance, building, breaking, and writing. Former inhabitant of the ivory tower.
    Aug 11
    The VoltaStream ZERO, a Raspberry Pi Zero Lookalike for Digital Audio
    At the end of the early home computing era we saw a dramatic collapse in the number of form factors. Afterwards almost every computer was yet another featureless beige box that lived under, or on top of, your desk.
    After a period where micro-controller boards came in a bewildering number of form factors, we’re now seeing the same sort of thing happen to micro-controllers and single-board computers.
    I’ve talked about this before, and over the last couple of months we’ve seen a growing number of boards — the Tinker Board, ROCK64, NanoPi K2, Le Potato and even hobby boards like the Z-Berry — starting to imitate the Raspberry Pi form factor. However the new VoltaStream ZERO from PolyVection is somewhat different, it copies the Raspberry Pi Zero form factor instead.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    First Thoughts on the Renegade ARM

    There really is no question that the Raspberry Pi form factor has become a de facto standard for the single-board computer market. In recent months, we’ve seen big commercial manufacturers like ASUS with their Tinker Board, as well as smaller manufacturers like Pine64 with their ROCK64, FriendlyARM with the NanoPi K2, and even hobby projects like the Z-Berry, duplicate the form factor.

    In the past, Libre Computer have also used the same form-factor for their “Le Potato” and Tritium boards

    Now Libre is back with another board, this time on Indiegogo, called the Renegade.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tip of the HAT to the RasPi – A Discussion on the Pi HAT Hardware Specification

    When the original Raspberry Pi was release in early 2012, it came with a 26 pin GPIO output. User access to GPIO redefined the usefulness of a single board computer. As the concept evolved, the original 26 pin interface evolved to a 40 pin connector that is now standard on all Raspberry Pi’s.


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