It’s a Pi Jim, but not as we know it

April 13, 2014 | 18:58
It’s a Pi Jim, but not as we know it
It’s a Pi Jim, but not as we know it

The new board called the Compute Module is expected to be available after June 2014 and is specifically aimed at business and industrial applications for the RPi architecture. It contains the Pi’s BCM2835 processor, 512Mbyte of RAM and a 4Gbyte eMMC Flash memory all mounted on a 67.6 x 30 mm board that plugs into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector.

The foundation said that they were aware of the increasing number of users embedding RPi’s into complete systems and even commercial products. This new Compute Module allows them to use the same technology but in a more flexible slim form factor (its weighs in at around 7 g). Gone are all the bulky connectors, instead we get raw processing together with many more low-level GPIOs compared to the standard RPi’s. For program development they are also releasing an IO board which the Compute Module plugs into. This is a simple, open-source breakout board to power the module and allow you to program the module’s Flash memory. It brings out the processor interfaces onto rows of pin headers for easier access to the signals and also has the HDMI and USB connectors so that the entire system can boot Raspbian (or your chosen OS).

The board provides both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module, and a quick way to start experimenting with the hardware and testing a system before going to the expense of fabricating a PCB. Initially, the Compute Module and IO Board will be available to buy together as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit. The price for the new Compute Module Pi will be $30 when buying in quantities of 100 and slightly more for one-off purchases. Element14 and RS components will be stocking them.

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