The Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive, tiny computer that’s about the size of a deck of cards. Now the group behind the mini-computer are going even smaller with the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module.
It looks like a stick of laptop memory, and actually uses the same connector as a DDR2 SODIMM. But it’s got all the important bits of a Raspberry Pi computer, including a processor, storage, and memory.
So what’s this little guy good for? Designing your own Pi-powered PC.
The idea is that designers can create their own printed circuit boards to work with the Raspberry Pi Compute module. So if you want to build a laptop, desktop, or developer board that has more functionality than an off-the-shelf Raspberry Pi, you can make one yourself… (assuming you can read the schematics and have access to a PCB fabricator).
Or you can buy a Compute Module IO Board, which is an open-source breakout board that connects to the Compute Module and provides HDMI and USB connectors, among other things. When you add the Compute Module to the IO Board, you’ve basically got a full computer.
When the Compute Module launches in June, it’ll be available as a bundle with the IO Boardfrom Raspberry Pi partners RS Components and Premiere Farnell. Eventually the goal is to sell the Compute Module as a standalone device. 100 units will cost about $30 each, while individual units will be available for a “higher” price.
Like the standalone Raspberry Pi, the new Compute Module features a 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor and 512MB of RAM. Instead of a removable microSD card, it features 4 gigabytes of eMMC flash storage attached to the motherboard.