Here is our review of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3. A new day is upon us, and it is glorious. After all, it’s not often that a new Raspberry Pi board is released. As you’re probably aware, the current iteration of the popular Raspberry Pi microcomputer is the Raspberry Pi 3. It has a Broadcom BCM2837 System-on-Chip (SoC) which features a quad-core processor clocking in at 1.2GHz and is supported by 1GB of RAM. Pretty impressive given the size and cost of the device, not to mention the enormous software stack and community resources that are behind it. As we said, you’re probably already aware of this, but what you may not know is the Pi 3’s little brother; the Raspberry Pi Compute Module.

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Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

Compute Module 3 Lite

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Development Kit

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Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) aims to consumer products

Sort of announced in July 2016, the recent Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) is considered to hit the market in the near future. Last Oct PC equipment manufacturer NEC already announced a new spread of professional P and V Series large format displays that seamlessly embed the RPi CM3 module. The new module, obtainable in two flavors – CM3 and CM3L (lite) – will complement the CM1 module launched in past times.

Specifications for the CM1, CM3 and CM3L SODIMM modules can be found in the data sheet found on the RPi web page
. Where the CM1 was based upon a BCM2835 processor chip (as used on the original RPi and RPi B+ models), the CM3 has a quad core 1.2 GHz BCM2837 processor chip, like the RPi 3. It provides 1 Gigabyte of LPDDR2 RAM and 4 Gigabyte eMMC Flash. The ‘L’ version is a CM3 without eMMC Flash, allowing the individual to link up his/her individual SD/eMMC device. The pinout of the CM1 and CM3 modules are exactly the same but the CM3 module is one mm higher (31 mm).


The buying price of the new modules isn’t known yet, but since a CM1 retails at around £20, a equivalent price may very well be predicted for the CM3.

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The CM3 is based upon the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware and is ideal for industrial use in order to give a economical approach for individuals to make printed products based upon the Pi software and hardware system. The Compute Module line is smaller and has less capabilities and ports than a regular Raspberry Pi, allowing it to be appropriate for Internet of Things (IoT) products.

“The module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, sockets for which are made by several manufacturers, are comfortably obtainable, and also are inexpensive,” Raspberry Pi COO and hardware lead James Adams mentioned in a post.

There are 2 variants of the CM3. Below are the specs for both of them:

Standard Variant:

BCM2837 processor chip at up to 1.2GHz
4GB of on-module eMMC flash

Lite Variant:

BCM2837 processor at up to 1.2GHz
Sdcard interface on Module pins and so a customer can wire it up to an eMMC or Sdcard of their choice

Both models can be slotted into a newly released Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3) which helps you to complete the following:

Presents needed power to the CM3
Lets you program the CM3 Standard’s flash memory or to work with an Sdcard on the Lite version.
Access the processor interfaces in a slightly more friendly fashion (pin headers and flexi connectors, much like the Pi)
Supplies the essential HDMI and USB connectors to ensure you have an full system which can boot Raspbian (or perhaps the Operating-system of your preference).
“This board features both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module, and a fast way to begin with tinkering with the hardware, and building and testing a system, before you go to the expense of fabricating a tailor-made board,” Adam said.

The older Compute Module model will continue to be presented, for those who do not require the CM3’s performance boost. Depending on Raspberry Pi official mag The MagPi:

“With a couple of caveats, the CM3 can be utilized a drop-in replacement for the CM1 considering they are pin compatible; the CM3 is 1mm taller, nonetheless, while the CPU can pull considerably more current from the VBAT power line and will eventually lead to a whole lot more heat under heavy load.”