The Raspberry Pi Foundation has introduced a new version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module designed for embedded applications.
Priced at $25 and up, the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 has the same processor and memory options as last year’s Raspberry Pi 4, but in a smaller package that lakes full-sized ports, but which includes optional support for onboard eMMC storage.
While its big sibling is a general purpose computer designed for use in classrooms, homes, businesses, or just about any other application, the Compute Module is aimed at developers who are looking for a compact solution that can serve as the brains of anything from a DIY digital camera to a commercial digital signage system.
And this year’s Raspberry Pi 4 is the most capable Compute Module to date. It’s also the smallest.
While earlier models were about the size of a stick of DDR2 laptop memory and used the same interface, the Compute Module 4 have two high-density connectors that allows for I/O in a smaller package: the tiny computer board measures just 55mm x 40mm (2.2″ x 1.6″).
If you need full-sized ports, you can connect to an optional IO Board that gives you a Gigabit Ethernet jack, dual full-sized HDMI ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader, PCIe Gen 2 x1 connector, and 40-pin GPIO connector.
Or you could use adapter boards from third-party companies like Gumstix.
Here are the key specs for the new Compute Module 4:
|Processor||1.5 GHz Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor|
|RAM||1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4-3200|
|Storage||(Optional) 8GB, 16GB, 32GB eMMC|
|Wireless||(Optional) WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet support|
|Video I/O||2 x HDMI interfaces (up to 4K)|
2 x MIPI DSI display interfaces
2 x MIPI CSI-2 camera interfaces
|PCIe||PCI Express 2.0 interface|
|Price||$25 – $90|
There are a lot of options that go into determining the price, but in a nutshell what you get for $25 is a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Lite featuring 1GB of RAM, no onboard storage, and no support for wireless.
A top-of-the-line 8GB RAM, 32GB storage, WiFi & Bluetooth model will set you back $90.
And you want a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with 2GB RAM, 8GB storage, and wireless support, that will set you back $40 – basically those upgrades (double the RAM, add storage, and add WiFi and Bluetooth) costs $5 each
You can find a complete breakdown of hte pricing near the end of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module product brief.