Raspberry Pi Compute Module

New embedded boards seem to be coming all the time. The newest in the news is from developers of Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi foundation has a solution for the odd layout of the normal, consumer Pi:  The Raspberry Pi compute module, a Raspi and 4GB flash drive, sans connectors, on an industry standard DDR2 SODIMM module. A small(er) form factor pi with integrated memory looks like a nice path to many embedded Raspberry Pi applications. The Raspberry Pi foundation hopes to take the diminutive computer beyond “builder” projects and into actual industrial and embedded applications that drive up demand for Raspberry Pi hardware, helping the foundation to raise more money to support the open source projects and educational initiatives it funds. The compute module should cost about $30/piece in quantity 100, which is an attractive price point.  The Raspberry Pi compute module should be available in June.

The compute module (left on the picture) contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi (the BCM2835 processor and 512Mbyte of RAM) as well as a 4Gbyte eMMC Flash device (which is the equivalent of the SD card in the Pi). This is all integrated on to a small 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector. There are many more GPIOs and interfaces are available as compared to the Raspberry Pi. The Compute Module is primarily designed for those who are going to create their own PCB. However, there will also be a the Compute Module IO Board, that is a simple open-source breakout board that you can plug a Compute Module into and get easy access to the signals (part of Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit). You get access to USB, HDMI, two camera interfaces etc. The board design will be open sourced so you can develop your own devices using the BCM2835 processor.

One note is that compute module and Compute Module IO Board provide no network connectivity as such. To get Ethernet connectivity, you will need to use a suitable USB-Ethernet adapter (same approach as original Raspberry Pi used integrated to motherboard). If you need wireless connectivity, you need to use other suitable communications module that connects to USB connector (WiFi, GPRS, 3G etc.)

12 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi’s Eben Upton: How We’re Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/04/09/1916214/raspberry-pis-eben-upton-how-were-turning-everyone-into-diy-hackers

    “Eben Upton is the CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s trading company, where he oversees production and sales of the Raspberry Pi. In a lengthy interview with ReadWrite, Upton shares how he invented Raspberry Pi, and what’s coming next for the $35 microcomputer.”

    Raspberry Pi’s Eben Upton: How We’re Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers
    Inside the mind that prototyped a $35 computer for tinkerers.
    http://readwrite.com/2014/04/08/raspberry-pi-eben-upton-builders#awesm=~oAYz0nHS6hRM6w

    Eben Upton, cofounder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is generally credited as the magician behind this incredible machine. While working on his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge’s computer laboratory, Upton painstakingly put together Raspberry Pi prototypes by hand.

    Today, Upton is CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s trading company, where he oversees production and sales of the Raspberry Pi. The foundation has now sold more than 2.5 million units.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi powers the Sherlybox personal cloud server
    It is serious. And do call it Shirly.
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2349015/raspberry-pi-powers-the-sherlybox-personal-cloud-server

    RASPBERRY PI, the barebones single chip computer, is being used as the basis of a secure personal cloud server.

    The Sherlybox uses peer-to-peer (P2P) networking to enable filesharing between computers and networks on a per folder basis, using a protocol known as Gateless Virtual-private Networking (GVN).

    Unlike commercial cloud services, which run from a central server, GVN has no traffic or storage limitations and transfers are, the company claims, 20 times the speed of CIFS and SMB. All files are fully encrypted end-to-end so only the people you’ve authorised to see your documents can.

    The Sherlybox runs on a Raspberry Pi module C with 4GB of RAM and support for 2.5in hard drives, which are available included or separately.

    Sherlybox’s GVN software is already available in beta and is initially available for Windows, Linux and Mac, with mobile apps to follow.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Real Raspberry Pi Clone (Not ‘Inspired By’)
    http://hackaday.com/2014/07/30/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

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stereo Vision and Depth Mapping with Two Raspi Camera Modules
    http://hackaday.com/2014/11/03/stereo-vision-and-depth-mapping-with-two-raspi-camera-modules/

    The Raspberry Pi has a port for a camera connector, allowing it to capture 1080p video and stream it to a network without having to deal with the craziness of webcams and the improbability of capturing 1080p video over USB. The Raspberry Pi compute module is a little more advanced; it breaks out two camera connectors, theoretically giving the Raspberry Pi stereo vision and depth mapping. [David Barker] put a compute module and two cameras together making this build a reality.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OpenPi: wireless computer for inventors, makers and coders
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wirelessthings/openpi-wireless-computer-for-inventors-makers-and

    Open source design lowers cost by 2/3rds of building Raspberry Pi Compute 1&2 powered cool stuff.

    OpenPi is an open source project, and a neat alternative to the Rasberry Pi Compute development kit. The holistic approach for non-embedded engineers, guides people who love to write software, through the problematic stages of getting small scale products to market. On offer are reference PCB’s, a customisable ABS case, open-source design files and collaborative design support. When it’s as easy to get up and running as a games console, and affordable enough for cottage industry inventors to profit from, OpenPi is forging a new way of bringing cool ideas to the masses.

    Inside the injection moulded enclosure a is tiny 32 bit ARM based computer running Linux, 512Mb Ram, 4Gb eMMCstorage and lots of wireless connectivity. The design has 2 internal USB sockets, one spare, one used for WiFi and integrated: Infra RED receiver, Bluetooth LE module and an SRF sub Ghz transceiver for communicating with long range low power nodes, such as the XRF or Arduino compatible RFu.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Win For The Raspberry Pi Compute Module
    http://hackaday.com/2016/10/19/a-win-for-the-raspberry-pi-compute-module/

    News comes from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, of something of a coup for their Compute Module product. Support for it is to be integrated into NEC’s line of commercial displays, and the electronics giant has lined up a list of software partners to provide integrated signage solutions for the platform.

    It is interesting to note how NEC have done this, while it’s being spun by the Foundation as a coup for them the compute module sits on a daughter board in a slot on the back of the display rather than on the display PCB itself. They are likely hedging their bets with this move, future daughter boards could be created to provide support for other platforms should the Compute Module board fail to gain traction.

    The Compute Module – now in an NEC display near you
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/compute-module-nec-display-near-you/

    Back in April 2014, we launched the Compute Module to provide hardware developers with a way to incorporate Raspberry Pi technology into their own products. Since then, we’ve seen it used to build home media players, industrial control systems, and everything in between.

    Earlier this week, NEC announced that they would be adding Compute Module support to their next-generation large-format displays, starting with 40″, 48″, and 55″ models in January 2017, and eventually scaling all the way up to a monstrous 98″ (!!) by the end of the year. These are commercial-grade displays designed for use in brightly lit public spaces such as schools, offices, shops, and railway stations.

    NEC have already lined up a range of software partners in retail, airport information systems, education, and corporate to provide presentation and signage software which runs on the Compute Module platform. You’ll be seeing these roll out in a lot of locations that you visit frequently.

    Each display has an internal bay which accepts an adapter board loaded with either the existing Compute Module or the upcoming Compute Module 3, which incorporates the BCM2837 application processor and 1GB of LPDDR2 memory found on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. We’re expecting to do a wider release of Compute Module 3 to everybody around the end of the year.

    Comments:

    This is fantastic. Does it have Ethernet connectivity built in? It could be perfect for my application.

    “Somebody spotted what they think is a LAN 9514 chip on the carrier board. So, assuming the display brings out the 9514 connections, it would have an Ethernet jack. If it just has some USB ports, a USB to Ethernet adapter would work.”

    Hi Mark,
    Ethernet is provided via the RJ45 connection of the display. The RPi gets a separate IP address.

    The NEC version of the compute module will come with 16GB eMMC on board. The first displays will all provide FHD resolution. And yes compute modules will be available stand-alone (via NEC sales partners). Both CM and IO board /mezzanine board will come either fully integrated or as options for our displays.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Launches Compute Module 3
    http://hackaday.com/2017/01/16/raspberry-pi-launches-compute-module-3/

    The forgotten child of the Raspberry Pi family finally has an update. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 has been launched.

    The Pi 3 Compute Module was teased all the way back in July, and what we knew then is just about what we know now. The new Compute Module is based on the BCM2837 processor – the same as found in the Raspberry Pi 3 – running at 1.2 GHz with 1 gigabyte of RAM. The basic form factor SODIMM form factor remains the same between the old and new Compute Modules, although the new version is 1 mm taller.

    The Compute Module 3 comes with four gigabytes of eMMC Flash and sells for $30 on element14 and RS Components. There’s also a cost-reduced version called the Compute Module 3 Light
    The CM3 Lite version sells for $25.

    The Compute Module was always the black sheep of the Raspberry Pi family, although it did find a few applications in its desired use case. The Raspberry Pi Foundation heralded NEC’s announcement of a line of large-format displays using the Compute Module recently. The OTTO, from Next Thing Co., makers of the C.H.I.P. single board computer, also had a Pi Compute Module shoved in its brain.

    Compute Module 3 Launch!
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/compute-module-3-launch/

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Raspberry Pi Upgrades Compute Module With 10 Times the CPU Performance
    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/01/16/2011244/raspberry-pi-upgrades-compute-module-with-10-times-the-cpu-performance

    The Raspberry Pi Compute Module is getting a big upgrade, with the same processor used in the recently released Raspberry Pi 3.

    The upgrade announced today has 1GB of RAM and a Broadcom BCM2837 processor that can run at up to 1.2GHz. “This means it provides twice the RAM and roughly ten times the CPU performance of the original Compute Module,”

    The core module is tiny so that it can fit into other hardware, but for development purposes there is a separate I/O board with GPIO, USB and MicroUSB, CSI and DSI ports for camera and display boards, HDMI, and MicroSD. The Compute Module 3 and the lite version cost $30 and $25, respectively.

    Raspberry Pi upgrades Compute Module with 10 times the CPU performance
    Compute Module for embedded computing gets first big upgrade since 2014.
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/01/raspberry-pi-upgrades-compute-module-with-10-times-the-cpu-performance/

    The upgrade announced today has 1GB of RAM and a Broadcom BCM2837 processor that can run at up to 1.2GHz. “This means it provides twice the RAM and roughly ten times the CPU performance of the original Compute Module,” the Raspberry Pi Foundation announcement said.

    This is the second major version of the Compute Module, but it’s being called the “Compute Module 3″ to match the last flagship Pi’s version number.

    it fits into a standard SODIMM connector. The latest version is being used by NEC in displays intended for digital signs, streaming, and presentations. The new Compute Module can run Windows IoT Core and supports Linux.

    two versions of the [Compute Module 3] are being released: one with 4GB eMMC on-board and a ‘Lite’ model which requires the user to add their own SD card socket or eMMC flash

    In most cases, the new Compute Module can replace the original in embedded projects because the form factor is nearly identical.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Game Boy Mod Uses Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3
    http://hackaday.com/2017/06/02/game-boy-mod-uses-raspberry-pi-compute-module-3/

    [inches] wanted the power of a Raspberry Pi 3 in a form factor closer to the Pi Zero for a Game Boy mod. This led him to design a custom PCB to interface with one of the less popular items in the Raspberry Pi line: the Compute Module 3.

    https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/compute-module-3/

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Professional NEC displays: you can now integrate Raspberry Pi and Ubuntu Core
    https://www.open-electronics.org/professional-nec-displays-you-can-now-integrate-raspberry-pi-and-ubuntu-core/

    NEC Display Solutions Europe has announced a collaboration with Canonical Screenly . The intent will create a synergy between the NEC displays, the Raspberry, the Ubuntu Core OS and the Screenly platform. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) can be integrated with all & NEC Series P and V display, available in 40 “, 48” and 55 “cuts.

    Ubuntu Core is the operating system that was born as a simplified version of Ubuntu for Internet of Things and for integrated devices. To complete the framework is the Screenly platform, used to handle the functions of digital signage (the so-called “digital billboards”).

    The displays can then leverage a media player capable of playing Full HD video, images, and pages.

    Reply

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