Turing Pi 2 mini-ITX cluster board takes four Raspberry Pi Compute Modules 4

Can you remember Turing Pi mini-ITX cluster board taking up to 7 Raspberry Pi Compute Modules launched last year? Honestly, I had forgotten about it until I was asked this morning is Gumstix CM4 to CM3 adapter could be used to replace Compute Modules 3 with Compute Modules 4 in the cluster board.

When I went to Turing Pi website to have a look at the board, I discovered the company had made an announcement about Turing Pi 2 cluster board specifically designed to take up to four Raspberry Pi CM4 modules.

We only have the layout for the cluster board because it’s still under development. Since board-to-board connectors – as found in Raspberry Pi Computer Module 4 – are not ideal for density, the company went with a design including 260-pin SO-DIMM connectors plus CM4 adapter boards. But more on that a little later.

Turing Pi 2 preliminary specifications:

  • SoM interface – 4x 260-pin SO-DIMM slot for up to four Raspberry Pi CM4 modules for a total of up to 16 Cortex-A72 cores, 32GB RAM, 128GB flash storage
  • Storage – 2x SATA III ports via a PCIe controller connected to one CM4 module
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI port, 1x MIPI DSI header
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI
  • Network connectivity
    • 2x  Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports
    • Layer-2 managed switch with VLAN support
  • USB – 4x USB ports, USB header
  • Expansion
    • 2x mPCIe sockets, each connected to a specific RPi CM4 module
    • I2C header for cluster management
  • Misc – fan header and 40-pin GPIO header for each Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, RTC + coincell battery holder
  • Power Supply – ATX header
  • Dimensions – 170 x 170 mm (Mini-ITX form factor)

There are some positive developments with support for mPCIe ports and dual SATA via a PCIe to SATA controller, but the number supported modules decreased from 7 to 4. They wanted to keep the costs in check, and the photo below may also explain it…

Each module will be quite thicker because of the need to stack the Raspberry Pi CM4 module on a 260-pin module, and the thick heatsink required to keep the quad-core Cortex-A72 processor cool.

Some of the use cases for Turing Pi 2 include edge infrastructure for self-hosted applications & services, designing an Arm Workstation for developers, building images for AWS instances for Amazon Graviton 1/2 processors, Kubernetes, etc…

The Turing Pi 2 cluster board is expected to launch next year, with the company expected it to be cheaper to manufacture, and offering a 25% discount to existing Turing Pi v1 customers.

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