Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched the Compute Module 3, a slimmed-down Raspberry Pi 3 for developing customized hardware, such as TV displays, industrial control systems and home media players.
Unveiled today, the Compute Module 3 delivers double the RAM and a 10-times boost to CPU performance over the first iteration released in 2014.
The new Compute Module contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi 3, featuring a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 processor at up to 1.2GHz with 1GB RAM, and 4GB flash storage. By removing a number of ports, it offers a smaller design to make it more suitable than the Raspberry Pi for industrial applications.
The device also fits the DDR2 SODIMM sockets and has the same pin-out as the first Pi compute module. One notable change is that the Compute Module 3, at 31mm high, is one mm taller than the original Compute Module.
Along with the standard Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched Compute Module 3 Lite, which has the same processor and 1GB RAM, minus the flash storage. Builders can add an eMMC device or SD card socket on the base board.
Finally, it’s releasing an updated version of the Compute Module IO Board 3, a component that provides HDMI and USB connectors, powers the module and enables programming of its flash memory.
The standard Compute Module 3 costs $30 while the Lite version costs $25, excluding shipping and tax. The original Compute Module has been reduced to $25. They’re available from distributors RS Components, element 14 and Farnell UK.
Showing off its commercial applications, Raspberry Pi Foundation highlights that the European arm of Japanese tech firm NEC has already integrated the module into a line of new large-format displays.
The Compute Module is being used to power signage software and presentations on the displays. The module is also being used by UK researchers for CubeSats, or mini-satellites made with off-the-shelf technology.
“The idea of the Compute Module was to provide an easy and cost-effective route to producing customized products based on the Pi hardware and software platform,” writes Raspberry Pi Foundation’s COO, James Adams.
“The thought was to provide the ‘team in a garage’ with easy access to the same technology as the big guys. The Module takes care of the complexity of routing out the processor pins, the high-speed RAM interface, and core power supply, and allows a simple carrier board to provide just what is needed in terms of external interfaces and form factor.
“The module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, sockets for which are made by several manufacturers, are easily available, and are inexpensive.”
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) focuses on gadgets
Sort of announced in July 2016, the most up to date Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) is known to go to the market fastly. Last Oct computer equipment producer NEC previously announced a new array of professional P and V Series large format displays that effortlessly include the RPi CM3 module. The new module, for sale in 2 options – CM3 and CM3L (lite) – will complement the CM1 module introduced some years ago.
Specifications for the CM1, CM3 and CM3L SODIMM modules come in the data sheet offered on the RPi web site https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/computemodule/RPI-CM-DATASHEET-V1_0.pdf
. Where the CM1 was driven by a BCM2835 processor chip (as employed on the original RPi and RPi B+ models), the CM3 contains a quad-core 1.2 GHz BCM2837 chip, like the RPi 3. It consists of 1 GB of LPDDR2 RAM and 4 GB eMMC Flash. The ‘L’ version is a CM3 devoid of eMMC Flash, empowering the consumer to add his/her individual SD/eMMC unit. The pinout of the CM1 and CM3 modules are identical but the CM3 module is one mm higher (31 mm).
The money necessary for the new modules is not known yet, but since a CM1 retails at approx . ￡20, a similar price can be expected for the CM3.
The CM3 is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware and is intended for industrial use to provide a cost effective way for folks to make printed products based on the Pi software and hardware platform. The Compute Module products is more compact and has less functions and ports than a regular Raspberry Pi, which makes it perfect for Internet of Things (IoT) products.
“The module utilizes a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, sockets for which are made by several manufacturers, are comfortably accessible, and also are easily affordable,” Raspberry Pi COO and hardware lead James Adams explained in a blog post.
There are two versions of the CM3. The following are the specifications for both of them:
BCM2837 chip at as high as 1.2Gigahertz
4Gigabyte of on-module eMMC flash
BCM2837 processor at as high as 1.2GHz
Sdcard interface on Module pins so an end user can wire it up to an eMMC or Sdcard that they choose
Both variants can be slotted into a newly released Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3) which helps you to conduct the following:
Offers needed power to the CM3
Permits you to program the CM3 Standard’s flash memory or to work with an Sdcard on the Lite version.
Connect to the processor interfaces in a a little more friendly fashion (pin headers and flexi connectors, just like the Pi)
Supplies the needed HDMI and USB connectors so that you have an whole system which can boot Raspbian (or maybe the OS of your choice).
“This board offers both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module, and a fast way to get started on tinkering with the hardware, and building and testing a system, before you go to the expense of making a tailor made board,” Adam said.
The older Compute Module model will still be provided, for people who wouldn’t like the CM3’s performance enhancement. Based on the Raspberry Pi official mag The MagPi:
“With some caveats, the CM3 can be used a drop-in replacement for the CM1 since they are pin compatible; the CM3 is 1mm taller, even so, while the CPU can pull a great deal more current from the VBAT power line and will deliver a whole lot more heat under heavy load.”