What is the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
In 2014 Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the first version of your Raspberry Pi Compute Module. A device that was surprising due to its form factor, identical to that of a RAM module for laptops, and which had the same power as the Raspberry Pi at that time.
Later came the Compute Module 3 and 3+ that kept the same form factor and improved in performance. Well, now comes a new version where there is not only a jump in power level but also in design issues.
This new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 now offers a format more similar to that of a credit card and includes a connector at the bottom that replaces the previous method of connection to the boards. In this way, the advantages it offers at the level of integration in different projects increase considerably, by being able to create much more compact devices.
Of course, before talking about all that, let’s see important aspects that you should know about the new plate. So let’s start by telling what it offers at the hardware level.
- 1.5 Ghz 64-bit ARM Cortex A72 processor
- VideoCore VI graphics processor with OpenGL ES 3.x support
- Support for H.265 video at 4K and 60p resolution
- H.264 video support at 1080p and 60p
- Dual HDMI output at 4K resolution
- Support for one PCI Express 2.0 lane
- Dual MIPI DSI Display and Dual MIPI CSI-2 support for cameras
- 1, 2, 4 and 8 GB of RAM LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
- 8, 16 or 32 GB eMMC Flash storage
- Option of WiFi connectivity to 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz networks as well as Bluetooth 5.0 connection
- Gigabit Ethernet support
- GPIO connector support
As you can see by looking at the list of technical characteristics, the hardware is basically the same as that of the Raspberry Pi 4. The only big difference is that no port is included. That is, because there is not even a connector to power the board.
Therefore, it is as if we only had the brain and the rest of the basic components for its operation. But everything related to the USB ports, video outputs, etc., would come from the IO Board that can be created for joint use. And that’s where that form factor advantage comes in.
A form factor that breaks the mold
The new form factor of this Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is the first thing that catches your eye and one of its great values. On the one hand, due to their absence of ports, when creating new boards they could be customized as much as the user needed. That is, if you don’t require HDMI output, then you don’t include it. And the same with the rest of the ports.
Of course, there will always be a board, like the new one also presented with this Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, which offers everything that the device is capable of managing. Thus, even if the total size increases, you are not limited if you do not have a great need to reduce the dimensions of the set as much as possible.
Therefore, this form factor and the possibilities offered by Raspberry Pi Foundation so that everyone can create their own board thanks to the release of its design as Open Hardware in KiCAD format). And all this without giving up the power that we have already seen offered by the Raspberry Pi 4, with which it shares a processor and RAM and storage configurations.
Accessories for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
Right now, with the newly introduced Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 the only accessories that exist are the IO Board and an antenna kit which adds wireless connectivity options.
The plate IO Board It comes equipped with a wide variety of ports that offer a little more options compared to the Raspberry Pi 4 at the cost of a larger size.
- Two full-size HDMI outputs
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- MicroSD card slot
- One PCI Express Gen 2 connector
- 40-pin GPIO connector
- 12V input for power (support up to 26V if PCIe is not in use)
- Connectors for FPC cameras and displays
- Real-time clock with battery for its own power
He Antenna kit for its part, it is basically an antenna that is connected directly to the plate itself and that would give options to add both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Uses of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4
As you may already be imagining, this new Raspberry Pi Foundation device is aimed at a very specific audience. It is true that anyone could take advantage of it in the same way as a Raspberry Pi 4, but it would not make sense if you do not require or need to take advantage of its advantages.
So what can you use it for? Well, from any already known use to areas where it makes much more sense due to the need to personalize the device. Thus, in the industry it makes a lot of sense to use it to automate other devices, perform measurements or calculations through accessories and sensors connected to its GPIO port, etc.
That is, it is really the most advanced users and engineers who are going to be able to squeeze the most out of each of the processor, RAM and storage combinations that this model offers. And all this playing with the advantages of the form factor and the manufacture of custom PCB boards.
Price and availability
The new one Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 it will have a very economical price, although everything will depend on the configuration of it. With all the options previously seen, we can configure up to thirty-two different models of Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The most basic model will cost only 25 dollars while the one that includes 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage will go to 90 dollars.
Regarding the plate IO Board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, it will be priced at $ 35. And the new Compute Module 4 Antenna Kit will cost $ 5.