Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module due this year

July 15, 2016 // 1:31 p.m.

Tags: #com #compute-module #computer-on-module #eben-upton #raspberry-pi #raspberry-pi-3 #raspberry-pi-foundation #sbc #single-board-computer

Raspberry Pi Foundation co-founder Eben Upton has confirmed that the diminutive Compute Module is finally getting an upgrade, bringing its specifications more-or-less in-line with the Raspberry Pi 3.

Launched as an industrial equivalent to the Raspberry Pi Model A, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module looks very different to its predecessors. All ports, including the 40-pin GPIO header, are entirely absent; instead, the Module features a SODIMM-layout edge connector which is designed to mate with a motherboard containing any and all extra hardware and ports a design requires. For experimentation and prototyping purposes, an official breakout board offers the same connectivity as the full-size Raspberry Pi models.

Where the original Raspberry Pi design has been upgraded over the years - the Raspberry Pi Model B+ and A+ upgraded to the now-standard 40-pin GPIO header, while the Pi 2 and Pi 3 switched to increasingly powerful new system-on-chip (SoC) parts with the latter also adding Wi-Fi and two flavours of Bluetooth connectivity - the Compute Module has been largely ignored. That, though, looks set to change with project co-founder Eben Upton telling IDG, via PC World, that a Pi 3 Compute Module is due in the coming months.

Like the original Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module won't include any additional hardware beyond the SoC and RAM - so if you want Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity or more than one USB port, you'll be needing to add hardware to your motherboard design. It will, however, be powered by the same BCM2837 64-bit quad-core SoC as the Pi 3, representing a significant boost in performance over the original design.

Pricing for the Compute Module has yet to be confirmed, but the Foundation is likely to aim for releasing it at the same price as the original model as a drop-in replacement.

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