The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new version of its mini programmable PC designed for enterprise use.
The Raspberry Pi Compute Module shrinks down the already compact Pi to the form of a So-Dimm memory module.
Unlike the original Pi, the Compute Module cannot operate alone, and has to be integrated into a suitable I/O board.
Set for release in June, the Compute Module will initially be available with a custom-built I/O board, which adds features such as HDMI, USB and other connectivity, before becoming available as a standalone chip for use in existing projects and industrial systems.
Alongside the Pi’s Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC) and 512MB RAM, the Compute Module adds 4GB of integrated eMMC flash memory – as the original Pi’s SD card slot for storage is too large to fit on the newly-shrunk hardware.
"You get the full flexibility of the BCM2835 SoC (which means that many more GPIOs [general purpose I/O] and interfaces are available, as compared to the Raspberry Pi), and designing the module into a custom system should be relatively straightforward as we've put all the tricky bits onto the module itself," said James Adams, director of hardware for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, on the appeal of the new chip for enthusiasts.
“We are aware that there are a very significant number of users out there who are embedding the Raspberry Pi into systems and even commercial products.
“We think there needs to be a better way to allow people to get their hands on this great technology in a more flexible form factor, but still keep things at a sensible price.”
The Compute Module and I/O board bundle will go on sale in June as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit.
Shortly after, the standalone Raspberry Pi Compute Module will be available to buy either individually or in batches of 100, with the price per unit in the latter case ringing up at around $30 (£18).