The Raspberry Pi 5 SBC comes with a PCIe 2.1 x1 interface that has not been overly useful so far since it’s exposed through a non-standard FPC connector. Raspberry Pi Ltd is working on its own HATs to make use of the PCIe connector, but PineBerry Pi may have beaten them to it with the launch of the HatDrive M.2 HAT for Raspberry Pi 5.
The HatDrive comes with an M.2 Key-M socket with a PCIe x1 interface and support for 2230 and 2242 modules, so you can install an SSD, an AI accelerator, or another compatible M.2 module. The HAT is connected through a 40mm long 16-pin FPC cable (that supports up to PCIe Gen3) as well as the 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header for the I2C EEPROM required by compliant HATs, plus power supply monitoring and diagnostics, and to let users add another HAT on top if needed. It also comes with spacer pins, M2.5 screws, a spacer pin for M.2 card mounting, and an optional male-female HAT connector.
- Voltage regulator delivering up to 3A for the 3.3V power rail, compliant with M.2 (NGFF) standard.
- Installation of M.2 disks in 2230 or 2242 format thanks to a dedicated metal bracket (custom CNC made).
- Misc – 2 LED lights for power supply voltage (“PWR”) and M.2 disk activity (“ACT”).
- Power Supply
- Via FPC PCIe ribbon (port providing a minimum of 5W continuous power) or
- Via 40-pin HAT connector
- Monitoring – Monitoring and diagnostics of the power supply bus, measuring voltage, current, and power parameters in real time via an I2C interface
- Dimensions – 65 x 56.50 mm (4-layer PCB, Raspberry Pi HAT compliant)
The Polish company will soon manufacture 5,000 pieces and is taking pre-orders for the HatDrive for 20 Euros “including taxes” with shipping scheduled to start in early December.
As I was about to complete this post, I also noticed PineBerry offers the “HatDrive! Bottom” that’s not quite an HAT since it is bigger (90 x 56 mm) and is meant to be connected on the bottom side of the Raspberry Pi 5, but have the advantage of supporting M.2 2230, 2242, and 2280 NVMe SSDs. The rest is pretty similar to the HatDrive HAT, except there’s an extra through 5V 4-pin connector acting as a redundant power supply (up to 2A at 5V). It can be pre-ordered for 25.99 Euros.
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.