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Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 with PCie/NVMe support next year

In recent interview with Eben Upton, the CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading, we finally had Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 release confirmation, probably in 2021. He shared some details about the upcoming CM4 features, such as single-lane NVMe support.

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module, CM4, we will support NVMe to some degree on that,  because of course, it [Raspberry Pi 4] has a PCI Express channel. (…) We have a single lane Gen 2 which is used to supply USB 3.0 on the Raspberry Pi [4]. On the [Compute] Module that would be exposed to the edge connector and we’re likely to support NVMe over that.

Eben Upton, CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading

First Rasbperry Pi 1B model had it’s analogy in industrial Compute Module 1 after almost 2 years from it’s premiere. Compute Module 2 was probably omitted because the change from RPi1 to RPI2 mainly involved a minor change of the processor (Cortex-A7 900MHz), which was almost immediately replaced with Cortex-A53 1.2GHz in Raspberry Pi 3.

The premiere of Compute Module 3 occured a year after RPI 3 announcement, providing a significant boost of industrial market solutions. Since Raspberry Pi 4 was a great success in 2019, we might see it’s equivalent in industrial series of Raspberry Pi – Compute Module 4. A possible release date of Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 is somewhere inbetween 2020/2021.

Raspberry Pi is gaining recognition in Industry

Almost a year ago, in the beginning of 2019, Raspberry Pi Foundation presented Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+, a successor to previous CM3 version of development board, aimed at businesses and industrial users. The Compute Module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) form factor. GPIO and other I/O functions are routed through the 200 pins on the board.

Only a few months later, in June 2019, came big premiere of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, the long-awaited successor of customer RPi3+. With new processor, larger RAM options and PCIe/NVMe support, CM4 might be a black horse of industrial automation in 2021.

It seems a matter of time before the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ will get its own successor, called Compute Module 4, a new milestone of professional embedded IoT module. What might be the specification of this highly expected development board?

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 probable specification

Compute Module 4 specifications probably will look like these:

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5GHz will highly plausible replace previous Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC @ 1.2GHz,
  • 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM will become a standard options, instead of fixed 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM,
  • PCIe/NVMe support via single lane
  • Current flash memory (eMMC) options: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB from CM3+ will probably stay the same,
  • weight and factor will stay the same, to provide a possibility to upgrade current IoT applications of CM3 and CM3+

With much higher performance, the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 will, for sure, support Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 expansions with PCIe/NVMe single lane. We might even see wider working temperature range, if Raspberry Pi Foundation decides to make some hardware changes, to follow, for example, ESP32 – used in end-point IoT automation.

Industrial use of Compute Module

With Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series. Upcoming Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 will be fully compatible with TECHBASE’s ModBerry 500/9500 controllers, oferring extended features.

 ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+
ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+

Higher performance of ModBerry 500/9500 with extended eMMC flash memory, up to 32GB , powered by quad-core Cortex A53 processor allows the device to smoothly run Windows 10 IoT Core system, opening up many possibilities for data management, remote control and visualisation.

Raspberry Pi 4 use in Industrial IoT solutions

Every fan of new technologies has heard of small single-board computers (SBC) in the form of Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry debuted on the market in many different versions, and the current model is Model 4B. A lot of people got infected with it for DIY, programming or Linux. But new board comes with variety of pros and cons, as compared to previous RPi3 versions.

Industrial use of market Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4

ModBerry M500 also utilizes many more SBC platforms, such as Orange Pi, NanoPi and Intel-based UpBoard. Find more information here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/

ModBerry M500 series with SSD/M.2 support and next level configurability

In 2017, TECHBASE Group introduced an industrial-grade automation controller, based on popular Raspberry Pi 3 board. The device called ModBerry M500 incorporated latest Raspberry Pi SBC and TECHBASE’s standard industrial board to enhance the capabilities of market RPi3.

ModBerry M500 added wide range of I/Os to the board, including RS232/485 serial ports, digital and analog I/Os, 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, USB, 1-Wire and optional CAN. ModBerry series also offers additional wired interfaces and wireless communication modules with their proprietary modules called ExCard. The range of wireless modules include 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT), Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, LoRa, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many more.

Rasbperry Pi 4 upgrade of ModBerry M500

In 2019, with the premiere of Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry M500 device with the latest revision of this popular SBC, further enhancing the performance of their device. New 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). ModBerry M500 can now be configured from 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Revised ModBerry M500 features Gigabit Ethernet, USB3.0, two microHDMI ports supporting OpenGL ES 3.x and 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. The device is fully compatible with previous versions of Rasbperry Pi based Industrial IoT devices and accessories from TECHBASE.

M.2 SSD support for ModBerry M500

Latest software update for Raspberrry Pi 4, now available in beta, makes it possible to boot directly from USB 3.0 connected drive, without the need for an SD card. With a possibility to run the OS directly from SSD is a massive breakthrough, allowing users to improve the performance of the system and data access speed.

ModBerry M500 offers now a feature to include M.2 SSD drive in industrial-grade device. The merge of industrial interfaces and SSD-boosted Raspberry Pi 4 is a perfect solution for on-site data management and gateway application.

ModBerry M500 roadmap for 2020+

Difficult times of coronavirus outbreak in early 2020 changed the expectations for new Industrial IoT devices. Slowed market needed some adjustments to overly expanded devices with reserve of not quite necessary features for different applications – often raising the price of the device.

New addition to ModBerry M series and Industrial IoT Ecosystem offered by TECHBASE Group is the revised ModBerry M500 Lite device, to ensure the full configurability of device’s resources.

ModBerry M500 Lite features:

  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 1.5GHz processor
  • 2/4GB and new 8GB LPDDR4 RAM option
  • SSD M.2 support for mass storage boot
  • Industrial-grade enclosure with DIN-rail mount
  • RTC

ModBerry M500 Lite optional resources:

  • Serial RS232/422/485 ports
  • Digital and Analog I/Os
  • Relays
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • CAN, 1-Wire
  • M-Bus Master / Slave
  • TPM Security chip
  • OLED 0.96” screen
  • SuperCap UPS

New ModBerry M500 Lite not only is a versatile device with wide array of available optional resources, but also incredible fast with quad 1.5GHz processor, up to 8GB RAM and last but not least, M.2 SSD bootable drive for system, applications and rapid data availability, without the need to bootstrap an SD card. RTC with watchdog option and additional TPM Security chip ensures data safety and breach protection.

Pricing and availability of ModBerry M500 Lite

Price of the device is yet to be specified, but it will be significantly lower than standard ModBerry M500, which can be configured here. Preliminary devices are available to order – please contact our sales department via contact form or Live Chat at https://iiot-shop.com/ to receive a quotation for the configuration needed.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 coming soon? Check possible specification.

It seems a matter of time before the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ will get its own successor, probably called Compute Module 4, a new milestone of professional embedded IoT module

Possible Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 specification

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5GHz will highly plausible replace previous Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC @ 1.2GHz,
  • 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM will become a standard options, instead of fixed 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM,
  • Current flash memory (eMMC) options: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB from CM3+ will probably stay the same,
  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode) might replace outdated H.264 (1080p30),
  • and OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics will replace 1.1, 2.0 versions,
  • weight and factor will stay the same, to provide a possibility to upgrade current IoT applications of CM3 and CM3+

A Lite 4 version of Compute Module is to be expected too, without eMMC and probably limited SDRAM options.

Rasbperry Pi Compute Module 3+

ModBerry, the first Industrial Raspberry Pi application

With Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, TECHBASE upgraded our ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

Updated M500 Industrial IoT device with latest Raspberry Pi 4

The newest addition to TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem is an updated ModBerry M500 with latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). ModBerry M500 can be configured from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Gigabit Ethernet & USB 3.0 on-board

Another new and appreciated feature is an upgrade to full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet for fast network connection and 2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0 for additional I/O, data storage extension and fast wireless modem support. ModBerry M500 with Rasbperry Pi 4 has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 on-board. For additional wireless networks expansions, you can choose from variety of Industrial IoT modems from TECHBASE offer, incl. 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT), Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, LoRa, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many more.

Enhanced Video support for RPi4

The full HDMI port has been replaced with two microHDMI ports with dual monitor support, at resolutions up to 4K, VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x and 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. The device is fully compatible with previous versions of Rasbperry Pi based Industrial IoT devices and accessories from TECHBASE.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Modberry M500

Raspberry Pi 4 based ModBerry M500 availability

New ModBerry M500 with three variants of Raspberry Pi 4 based devices is available for pre-orders via https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/ For specific delivery time please contact us via e-mail or Live Chat, directly at Industrial IoT Shop.