The PC/104 consortium maintains various standards for embedded computer defining both the buses to use and form factors. PC/104 SBCs/boards are mainly used in rugged industrial computers, and stackable through ISA and PCIe buses. The standards were mostly designed for x86 processors, but in Q1 2015, the consortium added the OneBank option to PCI/104-Express & PCIe/104 Specification, Revision 3.0 in order to enable lower cost solutions and processors with PCIe and USB interfaces.
This brought some lower powered Intel and ARM+FPGA based PC/104 compliant boards to the market such as Winsystems PX1-C415 based on Intel Apollo Lake E3900 SoC, or Sundance EMC²-Z7030 powered by Xilinx Zynq-7030 ARM+FPGA SoC. Adam Parker (Parker Microsystems) has decided to bring the PC/104 OneBank industrial standard to the Raspberry Pi world, by creating Pi/104 a carrier board for the RPi compute modules that (mostly) complies with PC/104 OneBank for factor, and exposes the required USB interfaces (but obviously not PCIe).
- Support for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, CM3, and CM3L.
- Video Output / Display Interface – 1x HDMI, 1x DSI display interface
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
- USB – 2x USB type A ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Camera – 1x CSI camera connector
- 2x IDE style connectors with 59x GPIOs
- OneBank stackable connector with 2x USB and 5/3.3 V
- Power Supply – 8 to 36 VDC via terminal block
- Dimensions – 96 x 90 mm
- Temperature Range – With Pi Compute Module: -25° C to 85° C; without: -40° C to 85° C
While Broadcom BCM2835/37 processors lack PCIe interface, there are many mPCIe cards that only use USB interfaces, for example connectivity modules (WiFi, LTE, etc…), and Connect Tech provides a PCIe/104 to mini PCIe card adapter that would be compatible with Pi/104, and allow users to leverage compatible mPCIe cards.
The carrier board is said to be especially suited for industrial automation, hydroponics/aquaponics, IoT/IIoT gateways, outdoor advertising displays, HVAC equipment, ruggedized off-road equipment, and others project were wide temperature range and/or variable power input may be required.
The project has launched on CrowdSupply, where Adam aims to raise at least $13,000 to mass produce the board. A pledge of $130 is asked for the carrier board with shipping free to the US, and $20 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for the end of January 2018. You’d have to procure the Compute Modules from your own supplier.
Via Linux Gizmos
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.