Waveshare PCIe to USB 3.2 HAT+ adds four USB ports to Raspberry Pi 5

Waveshare ‘PCIe to USB 3.2 HAT+’ is an expansion hat that adds four USB 3.2 ports to the Raspberry Pi 5. The HAT+ features real-time power status monitoring and software-controlled USB power management, along with an onboard EEPROM for storing HAT ID and product data. The HAT is mounted on top of the Raspberry Pi cooler and has an airflow vent to help keep the Pi cool.

This new module leverages the HAT+ standard to add 4 additional USB 3.2 ports to the Raspberry Pi 5. Previously, boards like PineBerry Pi HAT+, Geekworm X1003/X1004, and Mcuzone MPW7 have used the HAT+ standard for various attachments, such as converting the Pi 5’s PCIe into an NVMe SSD adapter, enabling access to Google’s TPU, or adding a PCIe x16 socket.

Waveshare's PCIe To USB 3.2 Gen1 HAT for Raspberry Pi 5

Waveshare  PCIe to USB 3.2 HAT+ Specifications

  • PCIe x1 Gen2 mode
  • Only supports Raspberry Pi 5 Model B.
  • Equipped with VL805 original high-performance main control chip.
  • Reserved airflow vent for cooling fan to enable better cooling
  • Support USB power control
  • Dimension – 85 x 49mm

This module adds four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports to the Pi 5, using a VL805 PCIe to USB conversion chip. It also gives access to all the GPIO headers for easy connection. Power monitoring is handled by an INA219 chip, and there’s a Type-C port for external power. Additionally, the module features a PWR LED indicator and an MX25L3206 flash chip, improving functionality for Raspberry Pi 5 users.

Waveshare's PCIe To USB 3.2 Gen1 HAT+ with Pi5 Connected

The company states that the device is plug-and-play, meaning no additional software or hardware is needed for the board to work. They also offer an installation guide and additional how-to guides on their wiki page. However, they clarify that GPIO control is not supported by default; soldering a 0R resistor is required for this functionality, instructions for which can be found on the same wiki page.

The PCIe to USB 3.2 HAT+ is available for purchase on Amazon for $27.99, but you’ll also find it on the Waveshare store priced at $19.99 excluding shipping.

PCIe to USB 3.2 HAT+ Parts On Board

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11 Comments
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Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
30 days ago

Are there any other SBCs with which this would be compatible?

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

Since a Raspberry Pi 5 FFC PCIe connector is needed, I can only think of the Kaki Pi: https://www.cnx-software.com/2024/03/05/kaki-pi-raspberry-pi-inspired-renesas-rz-v2h-ai-sbc-with-four-camera-connectors-pcie-3-0/

An alternative would be an M.2 to RPi FFC PCIe adapter which would enable more boards to support Pi 5 HAT+ boards, but that’s a bit of a crazy idea… Most people would likely be fine with a USB 3.0 Hub instead.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
30 days ago

Interesting! I missed that one. USB3.2 is pretty nice though…

tkaiser
tkaiser
27 days ago

The upcoming Rock 5C / 5C Lite also support this FPC connector type and this also at the same location making ‘cable length issues’ less likely compared to this Kaki Pi…

yet another bruce
yet another bruce
30 days ago

A single lane of PCIe Gen 2.0 has a bandwidth of 5 GT/s or 4 Gb/s after the 8b10b code overhead is accounted for. This seems a bit thin for 4 USB 3.2 ports.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
29 days ago

That’s probably the reason for such crazy developments like pcie 4 and 5 😛

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
29 days ago

So if I’ve understood correctly, this is designed to connect to the RPi 5’s PCIe 3×1 interface and, according to Kingston, that has a max. bandwidth of 1GB/s.
So if you’ve got 4 x nanoUSB 3.2 flash drives plugged into this Waveshare hat and all being used at the same time (e.g. as a SFF NAS), that means each drive will get a max. of 0.25GB/s?
In which case, this product will be great when it can be connected to >= PCIe 3×2, or PCIe 4×1?

persondb
persondb
29 days ago

The Raspberry Pi 5 uses PCIE Gen 2, you can overclock it to Gen 3 speeds but I think it’s not necessarily stable. This does not affect this product either way as the VL805 only supports Gen 2 speeds. The maximum bandwidth of PCIe 2×1 is 5gbps with encoding overhead(i.e. 8b/10b) or 4gbps without it, later one uses 128b/130b which is much more efficient, which means you get almost 1GB/s(but not quite there) with 8gbps on PCIe Gen 3. Either way, you will have 4 USB ports that can handle 5 gbps(i.e. USB 3), so if using an equal distribution, they… Read more »

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
29 days ago

Thanks for your reply. Ah. The link Jean-Luc provided above to the Kaki Pi states “the same PCIe 3.0 connector as found in the Raspberry Pi 5″… Pity about the VL805! But thanks for clarifying. The four USB ports are 3.2 so they should be able to handle up to 10GB/s? (Not that they’ll ever see anything like that with the VL805, as you explained). Even then, I’m a bit lost because 5GB/s divided by 4 = 1.25GB/s? (apologies if I come across as clueless; I’m still wrapping my head around this stuff) I was thinking more along the lines… Read more »

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

We are talking about gigabits per second (Gbps) instead of gigabytes per second (GB/s).

As I understand it, USB 3.2 now covers all USB 3.x speeds from 5 Gbps to 20 Gpbs. The VL805 ‘s PCIe Gen2 x1 is limited to 5Gbps and that bandwidth is shared among all USB ports. If all four USB ports are used at the same time it would be 1.25 Gbps (or about 156 MB/s) before overheads (due to encoding and data headers) are taken into account.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
28 days ago

D’OH! Thanks for clearing that up for me…

Khadas VIM4 SBC