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EDNE JAN 2017

LATE NEWS Raspberry Pi 3, now in Compute Module format Targeting embedded systems designers developing industrial applications, the Raspberry Pi organisation has taken the core compute elements of the 3rd generation Pi (with quad-core processing power), and put that into the SO-DIMM card footprint pioneered by the original Compute Module. Distributor RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics, (Electrocomponents) are building the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) based based on the Raspberry Pi 3 architecture. Designed for professional engineers to develop embedded systems, the new Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module (CM3) fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM socket. RS’ Rob Maycroft, product manager for Raspberry Pi, comments on the continuing “huge” growth of the Pi product line, and relates it to the wider trend to open-source software, plus off-the-shelf hardware; “80% of new embedded designs in the immediate future will start with a modular board-level product.” In common with the Raspberry Pi 3, CM3 incorporates a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 application processor, built around an ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor running at up to 1.2 GHz, and 1 GB of LPDDR2 RAM. It provides 4 GB of on-board eMMC Flash storage, and retains an identical pin-out to the original Compute Module (CM1). It has almost the same profile, with an identical footprint that is 1 mm deeper (thicker) than the original CM. RS and Allied are stocking the new low-cost Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module Lite (CM3L). This includes the BCM2837 application processor and 1 GB RAM, but has no on-board Flash storage. Developers can provide an eMMC device or SD card socket on their application-specific base board. Raspberry Pi Founder Eben Upton adds that there is considerable demand for the nonflash version from industrial users. The Lite version trims $5 from the $30 cost of the CM3. With the intention to penetrate the industrial design sector, and asked if the intellectual property in the CM3 might be available to license, Upton commented that it would not be ruled out, however, “People tend to underestimate the benefits to be had from the modular approach,” referring to the detail design work and many iterations that have gone into optimising the layout, performance and manufacturability of the module. “In a real cost/benefit analysis, the switch from module to integrating the IP would be at a much higher volume point than many people would expect. Even if you take the Gerber files etc. there is still a lot of complexity... in the SO-DIMM module, a lot of the high-tech part is taken care of.” Running a full workload with all cores loaded, the CM3 can consume up to 4W, Upton says. The Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module can also be obtained from RS and Allied as part of a development kit, bundled together with the Compute Module IO Board. This simple, open-source, development board brings out all of the IO connectivity of CM1, CM3 or CM3L to pin headers and flexi connectors, and allows the developer to program on-board eMMC Flash over USB. More at; www.edn-europe. com/news/raspberry-pi-3-nowcompute module-format 35 EDN Europe January 2017 www.edn-europe.com


EDNE JAN 2017
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