Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 for 25$

Hurray!

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is launched today starting for only 25$. Many of us have been waiting and asking for the new version of compute module with an improved specifications. Finally, we see it.

There are quite a lot of changes with respect to Raspberry Pi Computer Module 4 compared to the earlier versions. I have explained below in some detail, so keep reading.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 for 25$ 1
Image Credit: Raspberry Pi Org

Highlights as mentioned on their website:

  • 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU
  • VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x
  • 4Kp60 hardware decode of H.265 (HEVC) video
  • 1080p60 hardware decode, and 1080p30 hardware encode of H.264 (AVC) video
  • Dual HDMI interfaces, at resolutions up to 4K
  • Single-lane PCI Express 2.0 interface
  • Dual MIPI DSI display, and dual MIPI CSI-2 camera interfaces
  • 1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
  • Optional 8GB, 16GB or 32GB eMMC Flash storage
  • Optional 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet PHY with IEEE 1588 support
  • 28 GPIO pins, with up to 6 × UART, 6 × I2C and 5 × SPI
  • 5V powered
  • 0-80 Degree C operating range temperature

First thing first, have a very quick overview from this introduction video:

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Features

1. New Formfactor

It is a compact 55mmx 40mm board with two 100-Pin board-to-board connectors on the bottom side of the module.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 for 25$ 2
Image Credit: Raspberry Pi Org

2. Better performance

Raspberry Pi compute module 4 uses the same processor as used in Raspberry Pi 4 SBC Board

  • 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU
  • VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x
  • 4Kp60 hardware decode of H.265 (HEVC) video
  • 1080p60 hardware decode, and 1080p30 hardware encode of H.264 (AVC) video

3. Inbuilt WiFi with external Antenna

Wi-Fi wasn’t there on the earlier version modules, Raspberry Pi Computer Module 4 comes with an option to have Wi-Fi module and this time it has external antenna option as well, this helps improve the signal strength, allows you to use a metallic enclosure. This fits well with the industrial use case.

4. Inbuilt Ethernet

Unlike in Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, you don’t need to use external HUB chip to add Ethernet Port, it comes by default from the module itself and on the carrier board you just need to add Ethernet Jack.

5. Single Power Supply Input (5V)

Raspberry Pi Compute module 4 has one thing really good, now you do not need to generate 6 different power supply rails :), you just need single power supply 5V and that’s it. If, you are wondering what I am talking about, see the power supply situation on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 here.

6. Variants (WiFi, eMMC, RAM)

Lots of variants to choose from. This time they have launched a total of 32 variants, with prices ranging from $25 (for the 1GB RAM, Lite, no wireless variant) to $90 (for the 8GB RAM, 32GB Flash, wireless variant).

Wi-FiRAMeMMC
Yes1GBNONE
No2GB8GB
4GB16GB
8GB32GB
Variants available for Raspberry Pi Compute Module

7. Compute Module 4 IO Board

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 for 25$ 3
Image Credit: Raspberry Pi Org

In order to start using the module , you need a carrier board with all interfaces and ports. Raspberry Pi foundation as have you covered, you can use Compute Module 4 IO Board to evaluate the module and the interfaces available easily and its costs only 30$, quote reasonable.

Compute Module 4 IO Board Specification

  • External power connector (+12V, +5V)
  • 2 x full-size HDMI 2.0 connectors
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connectors, with header for two additional connectors
  • Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 with PoE support
  • Micro USB socket for updating Compute Module 4
  • MicroSD card socket for Compute Module 4 Lite (without eMMC) variants
  • PCIe Gen 2 x1 socket
  • 2 x MIPI DSI display FPC connectors (22-pin 0.5 mm pitch cable)
  • 2 x MIPI CSI-2 camera FPC connectors (22-pin 0.5 mm pitch cable)
  • Standard Raspberry Pi HAT connectors
  • Real-time clock with battery socket and ability to wake Compute Module 4
  • Standard fan connector
  • Various jumper settings for configurations

KICAD Project files are also available to ease life of engineers.

See the video where Dominic Plunkett and Eben Upton discussing the creation of the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

That’s all for now.

I am sure you are as excited as I am and can’t wait to get one and start experimenting. Let me know what are you thinking to build?

I will be covering some of the limitations of Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 as those will be important for any engineer to consider before designing a product around Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

If you have any suggestion or comments, let me know here.

Read other articles on embedded system design.

If you need any advice on embedded product development, contact me here.

Happy learning to you!

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