When the Raspberry Pi 5 launched this fall, it was the first member of the Raspberry Pi Model B series to feature a PCIe interface, allowing you to add a speedy, high-capacity SSD to your DIY projects. But you need an add-on to do that.

Now the embedded system enthusiasts behind the Pineberry Pi have delivered just the thing. The team’s HatDrive! Top and HatDrive! Bottom add-on boards provide a hassle-free way to add an M.2 SSD to a Raspberry Pi 5.

HatDrive! kits come with everything you need to mount the HAT and install a drive including screws, spacers, and a PCIe Gen3-capable 16-pin FPC cable (although the Raspberry Pi 5 only supports PCIe 2).

Plug the HatDrive! into the Raspberry Pi 5’s GPIO header and connect the ribbon cable and you’re ready to go.

There’s room on the 65 x 56.5mm HAT for both 30mm (2230) and 42mm (2242) M.2 modules. It can be used for more than just SSDs, too. AI accelerators like Google’s Coral and Aaeon’s Edge Computing Modules are a perfect fit, too. Additional HATs can be added to your project via HatDrive’s 28-pin male to female connector.

If you’d like to be able to add full-length M.2 2280 modules, look no further than the HatDrive! Bottom. It’s a 90 x 56mm board designed to sit under the Raspberry Pi 5 that provides enough room to add the 80mm-long cards. A 5V 4-pin connector allows for up to 2A of redundant power.

Pineberry Pi is getting ready to produce its first batch of 5,000 HatDrive! boards and you can order one from their website for €20 (about $22 at today’s exchange rate). HatDrive! Bottom is listed at €25.99 (about $28).

via CNX Software

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,504 other subscribers

Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. not native and too late.. rpi stay in the same place day after day..
    weak processor (greater efficiency and energy savings) – each powerbank should be able to hold 1 rPi
    GPU and RAM no comment
    m.2 only now and with an extra bed..
    missing usb4 and displayport2.1?
    HDMI should be 1 in case DP2.1 is damaged..
    1 Lan socket? instead of pushing so many ports, it was better to give 2 Lan sockets..

  2. I like the improved SD card performance that the RPi 5 has. I feel no need to move to a SSD. If people want higher performance, they might want to consider a n100 4×4.

    1. Hmm, but sd-cards seem pretty unappealing compared to a drive with a real controller… I have good luck with my RPi-s using the overlay filesystem to avoid writing logs etc. to the sd-card, but before I settled on that they were failing for me rapidly.

      1. I use consumer Sandisk & Samsung SD cards and only once saw file corruption. I run a couple of them 24/7 for years and re-format the cards when a major OS update happens. Media-player, NAS and VPN server are the 24/7 running ones.

      2. Can you please explain how an overlay filesystem reduces sd card usage and consequently corruption