Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 shrinks form factor, increases memory options

Designed for embedded applications, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is a versatile system on module (SoM), launched by Farnell, an Avnet company.

The distributor says the Compute Module 4 (CM4) from Raspberry Pi  brings the power of the Raspberry Pi 4 to the compute module family. There are also two accessories available, the Compute Module 4 I/O (CM4IO) board and the Compute Module 4 antenna kit.

CM4 is a faster and more powerful SoM than previous models, offering a greater range of connectivity and memory options. Key features include a small form factor, greater power efficiency, PCle support and a variety of multimedia interfaces. Its power and versatility make it suitable for artificial intelligence (AI), the IoT as well as embedded design for home and industrial automation applications.

CM4 is based on the Raspberry Pi Model 4B single board computer (SBC). The updated form factor has new interfaces such as dual HDMI, PCIe and Gigabit Ethernet, in a reduced footprint. Access to the processor interfaces and general purpose I/O (GPIO) pins is provided via dual 100 pin high density connectors.

The CM4 is available with different eMMC flash and DRAM density options, and with optional dual-band wireless connectivity. There is also a variant available without the eMMC fitted, for cost-sensitive applications.

The CM4 includes a Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 64-bit processor clocked at 1.5GHz and 1Gbyte to 8Gbyte of LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM and up to 32GB of eMMC Flash memory, depending on the model.

For multimedia applications, there is hardware codec support for H.265 (up to 4kp60 decode) and H.264 (up to 1080p60 decode and 1080p30 encode).

An optional, certified radio module supports dual-band IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless networking and Bluetooth 5.0. An on-board electronic switch is used to select an external or PCB antenna.

The CM4IO board is suitable for the evaluation and prototyping of new products. It serves as both a reference design to interface external devices to the CM4 and can also be embedded directly into end products.

The CM4IO board features Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with PoE support (requires separate Raspberry Pi PoE HAT), two full-size HDMI connectors, two USB 2 sockets, with a header for two more sockets, a micro-USB socket for updating the CM4 and a micro SD Card socket for CM4Lite modules and a PCIe Gen 2 x1 socket.

An on-board wireless module, the Compute Module Antenna Kit, is also available. It includes an external antenna which has been pre-certified for use with the CM4. This reduces additional compliance requirements when an external antenna is required, notes Farnell. It is supplied with a bulkhead fixture and a cable with a U.FL connector.

Raspberry Pi products are increasingly being used in product design with an estimated 40 to 50 per cent of Raspberry Pi boards now being sold to industrial customers and OEMs. As the highest volume manufacturing partner of Raspberry Pi, Farnell has heavily invested in stock to ensure availability for volume orders, meaning that design engineers can integrate CM4 and other Raspberry Pi Compute modules with confidence.


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