Home Assistant Amber – A Raspberry Pi CM4 based automation gateway (Crowdfunding)

The team behind the popular Home Assistant open-source home automation framework has just launched their second hardware with Home Assistant Amber automation gateway based on Raspberry Pi CM4 module.

This follows last year’s ODROID-N2+ based Home Assistant Blue which was a limited edition and has now been discontinued, albeit still supported. The carrier board for Home Assistant Amber is designed from scratch and notably includes Silicon Labs MGM210P Mighty Gecko Module with support for Zigbee 3.0, OpenThread, and Matter (Soon), as well as M.2 socket that can take an NVMe SSD, or an AI accelerator card.

Home Assistant AmberHome Assistant Amber specifications:

  • Supported SoM – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) with Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72 processor @ 1.5 GHz, up to 8GB RAM, up to 32GB storage. (Note: optional WiFI 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity not covered by regulatory approval)
  • Storage – Support for NVMe SSD via M.2 socket, bootable for example for RPi CM4 Lite). See Expansion section for details
  • Audio –  “High-quality stereo audio DAC” with 106dB SNR, 3.5 mm Line Out audio jack
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port with optional PoE support
    • Silicon Labs MGM210P Mighty Gecko Module with support for Zigbee 3.0, OpenThread, and Matter;  2.4 GHz radio with Tx power up to +20 dBm; 1024 KB flash program memory, 96 KB RAM data memory; preloaded with Zigbee 3.0 firmware (EZSP)
    • Optional WiFi & Bluetooth on Raspberry Pi CM4 module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 Type-A host ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-C port usable in either UART mode for serial console access or USB mode for recovery
  • Expansion
    • M.2 M-Key socket with support for 2230, 2242, 2260, and 2280 modules, PCIe x1 interface. Work with NVMe SSD or Google Coral AI accelerator
  • Misc – 2x Push buttons for factory reset or user, RTC backed by a CR2032 battery, 3x status LEDs (that can be powered off)
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/2A through barrel DC power jack (5.5 mm x 2.1 mm)
    • PoE+ IEEE 802.3at-2009 Class 3 or 4 (selectable via jumper)
    • Power consumption
      • Idle ~1.5 W
      • Idle with NVMe ~2.5 W
      • Load ~5-9 W
  • Dimensions – 123 x 123 x 36 mm (plastic enclosure)

Raspberry Pi CM4 home automation gateway

Home Assistant Amber will run the latest version of Home Assistant, and at this time supports Zigbee and OpenThread, with Matter support coming later once the Silicon Labs Matter SDK is released.

The device can be your Smart Home gateway controlling your lights, thermostat, TV, music, and more with over 1,000 different devices and services supported including Philips Hue devices, as well as online services to get information about your commute, air quality, currency exchange rates, and so on. You’ll find the list of supported devices and services on the Home Assitant website.

Home Assistant Dashboard
Home Assistant Dashboard

Home Assistant Amber has just launched on Crowd Supply with a $140,000 funding goal. Rewards start at $99 for a kit with the board, enclosure, and either PoE or a power adapter, but without a Raspberry Pi CM4 module. But you can also get a complete system for $149 equipped with a Raspberry Pi CM4 with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage using a power adapter (no PoE). Shipping adds $8 to the US, $18 to the rest of the world, and backers should expect to get their perks shipped from May to July 2022.

Via LinuxGizmos

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9 Comments
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Brian
Brian
1 month ago

No microphones?

Hedda
Hedda
1 month ago

Home Assistant does also support Almond & Ada privacy-focused voice assistant integration which does not require an internet connection:
https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2019/11/20/privacy-focused-voice-assistant/

No integrated mic but you can of course connect your own microphone array via USB, like example the ReSpeaker USB Mic Array, or the used Sony PlayStation Eye which has an decent built-in microphone array if on a DIY budget.

Hedda
Hedda
1 month ago

Pretty sure that MGM210P/EFR32MG21 can not support Zigbee and Thread/Matter at the same time.

Hedda
Hedda
1 month ago

Pretty sure that MGM210P/EFR32MG21 can not support Zigbee and Thread/Matter at the same time?

I think that you have to choose to flash/run either a Zigbee stack or a Thread stack firmware?

I believe however it can run “Zigbee and Bluetooth” or “Thread and Bluetooth” for BLE provisioning?

Stefan
1 month ago

Multiprotocol support is an interesting topic, and Silicon Labs has a user guide about it: UG103.16.

I guess what would be interesting is Concurrent Multiprotocol with Zigbee/Thread (on the same channel):

Zigbee and Thread are one example of suitable protocols for a concurrent multiprotocol implementation (not yet implemented in Silicon Labs stacks).”

“yet”… so we have our fingers crossed!

fguerzoni
fguerzoni
1 month ago

It’s better to forget to run a coral device with CM4 through PCIe.
https://github.com/google-coral/edgetpu/issues/280
Maybe it’s possible through USB3 connection and VL805 adapter at the cost of reducing by an half the performance.

Hedda
Hedda
1 month ago

Home Assistant Amber is however lacking a USB 3.0 port as the only PCIe lane is used for that M.2/NVMe slot

fguerzoni
fguerzoni
1 month ago

Mine was a general reasoning.
In particular you could use an external VL805 adapter board and try to attach the Coral to one of the USB external port with a great loss in perfs

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