Update 10/19/2020 02:21 PT: We’ve added information about the PCIe interface and GPIO for the Compute Module 4 IO Board.
October 19, and the Raspberry Pi team have announced another version of their Compute Module range of boards. Powered by the same System on Chip (SoC) as the Raspberry Pi 4 and introducing a new form factor, the Compute Module 4 comes in a whopping 32 variants. The Compute Module 4 now becomes the most powerful Compute Module in their range and starting from just $25.
The Compute Module 4 does away with the SODIMM form factor found in previous models in favor of a smaller board measuring just 2.1 x 1.5 inches (55 x 40 mm).
There are 32 variants of the Compute Module, ranging from $25 for a Lite version with no onboard storage and just 1GB of RAM to $90 for 32GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. The Compute Module 4 is the first time ever there are versions of the Compute Module with WiFi (2.4 and 5GHz) and Bluetooth. An external antenna kit is also available for projects encased in a metal case, or where extra help is needed to obtain a connection.
In order to develop using the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 we need a carrier board, which breaks out all of the GPIO access and enables the module to talk to external components. Using a high density connector, another change to the design used in previous models, the module connects to the Compute Module IO Board enabling developers to use the hardware ready for embedding in their own bespoke PCB project. the Compute Module IO Board is $35 or available in a package from $60.
Another departure from previous models is the GPIO layout. Previous models have broken out every GPIO available, many more than the typical 40 found on most Raspberry Pi boards. With the Compute Module 4 IO Board we see a HAT compatible 40 pin GPIO along with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) header. A coin cell battery holder indicated that the Compute Module IO Board also features a Real Time Clock (RTC) used to save the time and date when there is no network connection in use. An RTC does not feature in other models of Raspberry Pi, rather it relies on a network connection and the use of NTP to ensure that the date / time is correct.
The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted the PCIe Gen 2 x1 socket. This is the first « official » breakout of PCIe on a Raspberry Pi. Previously enthusiasts have taken to hacking the Raspberry Pi 4 PCIe interface for use with the VL805 USB 3.0 controller. With the Compute Module 4 we have official and easy access to the PCIe interface, enabling add on cards to be used with the board.
Right now the boards are available for pre-order, starting from $25 for the 1GB Lite version, up to $90 for 8GB RAM and 32GB flash storage. Add to this $35 for the IO board and a top spec kit will retail for approximately $125.
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World news – GB – Surprise Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Announced (Update)