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Compulab CL-SOM-iMX8 SoM Features NXP i.MX 8M Processor for $68 and Up

January 15th, 2018 5 comments

I just covered one of the i.MX 8M systems-on-module last Friday with Variscite DART-MX8M SoM, but Variscite is not the only company about to launch such modules, and today I’ll have a look at Compulab CL-SOM-iMX8 system-on-module based on the same NXP i.MX 8M dual or quad core Cortex A53 processor.

Compulab’s SoM comes with up to 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, an optional WiFi & Bluetooth module, as well as optional support for Ethernet, LVDS, analog audio, and more. Contrary to most competitors, the company has also made an habit of releasing detailed pricing the basic configuration and per option.

Click to Enlarge

But first, let’s go through the specifications:

  • SoC (one of the other)
    • NXP i.MX8M Quad quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5GHz with Arm Corex-M4 real-time core, Vivante GC7000Lite GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, Open CL 1.2 and Vulkan
    • NXP i.MX8M Dual dual core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5GHz with Arm Corex-M4 real-time core, Vivante GC7000Lite GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, Open CL 1.2 and Vulkan
  • System Memory – 1 to 4GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 4GB to 64GB eMMC flash
  • Connectivity
    • Optional WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.1 BLE (Broadcom BCM4356 chipset)
    • Optional Gigabit Ethernet Atheros AR8033 PHY
  • Audio – Optional Wolfson WM8731L audio codec
  • 204-pinedge connector exposing the following interfaces:
    • Display
      • HDMI 2.0a up-to 4096 x 2160 @60Hz
      • LVDS up-to 1920 x 1080 @60Hz via on-module DSI to LVDS convertor
      • 4-lane MIPI-DSI up to 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
      • 24-bit Parallel RGB up to 1600 x 1200
      • Touchscreen Capacitive touch-screen support through SPI and I2C interfaces
    • Camera – 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface
    • Networking – 1x 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
    • Audio
      • Analog stereo output, stereo input and microphone support
      • Up to 4x I2S / SAI, S/PDIF input/output
    • PCIe – PCIe x1 Gen. 2.1, optional extra PCIe x1 Gen. 2.1
    • USB – 2x USB3.0 dual-role ports
    • Serial – Up to 4x UART
    • Up to 1x MMC/SD/SDIO
    • Up to 2x SPI, Up to 3x I2C, Up to 4x general purpose PWM signals
    • Up to 90x GPIO (multifunctional signals shared with other functions)
  • Debugging – JTAG debug interface
  • Misc – RTC Real time clock, powered by external battery;
  • Supply Voltage –  3.35V to 4.2V
  • Digital I/O – voltage 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 68 x 42 x 5 mm
  • Weight – 14 grams
  • Temperature Range
    • Operating – Commercial: 0° to 70° C; Extended: -20° to 70° C; Industrial: -40° to 85° C
    • Storage – -40° to 85° C
  • Relative humidity – 10% to 90% (operation); 05% to 95% (storage)
  • Reliability – MTTF – > 200,000 hours; Shock 50G / 20 ms; Vibration 20G / 0 – 600 Hz

CL-SOM-iMX8 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The company provides support for the Yocto Project with Linux mainline, and Android support is coming soon. SBC-iMX8 Evaluation Kit can be used to kickstart development with SOM-iMX8-C1500Q-D2-N16-E-A-WB-H module (quad core version with 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash, Ethernet, Audio, Wireless module, and heat dissipation plate), SB-iMX8 carrier board, a WiFi antenna and cable, a serial port cable, a USB cable and adapter, as well as a 12V power supply. The company also provides 12-month technical support for the kit.

SB-iMX8 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The SoM and devkit have not been formally launched (early product announcement), and I could not find a photo of the carrier board, nor the specifications in readable form, but the company has already released the schematics – from which I extracted the block diagram above -, PCB layout, and Gerber files for it, and it seems to pretty much expose all features from the SoM, as it should.

It’s unclear whether the SoM are available now, but they should be soon, with 10-year longevity. As mentioned in the introduction the company also released pricing with the most basic model SOM-iMX8-C1500D-D1-N4 (dual core, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, no other option) will sell/sells for $68 for 1k-unit price, and option pricing are shown below.

Click to Enlarge

Price also fluctuates based on order quantity, and for example, the price for one sample is 2.5 times more expensive, while for 10K order, unit price is reduced by 5%. Visit the product page to find more details, including initial hardware and software documentations, and further pricing info.

Variscite DART-MX8M is a Compact NXP i.MX 8M System-on-Module

January 12th, 2018 3 comments

NXP has recently launched their i.MX 8M evaluation kit and released documentation, so we can expect multiple products based on the family in 2018. The new NXP i.MX 64-bit processors include three families with i.MX 8, i.MX 8X, and i.MX 8M, but so far it looks like many companies are launching products based on the latter.

The Embedded World Conference 2018 at the end of February should be the occasion for many product launches, especially systems-on-module and related development kit, but several companies have already posted information about their i.MX 8(M) modules minus pricing, and one of those is Variscite DART MX8M a company (55x30mm) module with i.MX 8M processor, up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC flash, as well as 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Variscite DART-MX8M specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX8M with dual or quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz, Cortex-M4 real-time core @ 266 MHz, and Vivante GC7000Lit 2D/3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 1 – 4 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 4 – 64 GB eMMC  flash, 4K I2C EEPROM
  • Connectivity – On-module Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.2 LE (via Sterling LWB5), and Qualcomm Atheros AR8031 Gigabit Ethernet tranceiver
  • Video Acceleration – Up to 4K HEVC/H265, H264, VP9 Decode plus HDR
  • Audio – Audio codec on-module
  • 3x 90-pin board-to-board connectors with:
    • Video Inputs – 2x MIPI-CSI2 (4-Lane, each)
    • Display
      • HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60
      • Display Port eDP1.4/DP1.3 up to 4Kp60
      • MIPI-DSI 1080p60
      • LVDS Dual channel support 1920×1080 60fps
    • Networking – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
    • Audio
      • Analog & digital microphone I/F
      • Up to x5 I2S(SAI), SPDIF
      • Line In Yes
    • 1x SD/SDIO/MMC
    • 2x USB 3.0/2.0 OTG
    • 4x UART up to 4 Mbps
    • 3x I2C 3x SPI, 2x QSPI
    • RTC (on carrier)
    • 2 x PCIe 2.0 (1-Lane, each)
  • Supply voltage – 3.4 – 4.5 V
  • Digital I/O voltage – 3.3 V
  • Dimensions – 30.0 mm x 55.0 mm x 4.7 mm
  • Temperature range – Commercial: 0 to 70°C; Industrial: -40 to 85°C

Click to Enlarge

The company will provide Linux and Android BSPs for the module, but Windows Embedded Compact will not be supported. A DART MX8M kits will also be offered to speed up the early stage of development, with a module, with/without a 7″ WVGA capacitive touch display (VAR-DVK-MX8M/VAR-STK-MX8M) …

VAR-DVK-MX8M Kit

and VAR-DT8MCustomBoard carrier board with the following specifications:

 

  • SoM Interface – B2B socket for DART-MX8M module
  • Storage – SD Card Socket
  • Display
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • DP 1.3
    • 18-bit / 24-bit LVDS connector
    • Backlight Driver (PWM Control)
  • Touch Panel
    • 4-wire resistive touch panel (4-pin FFC/FPC)
    • capacitive touch panel (6-pin FFC/FPC)
  • Audio
    • Headphone – 3.5 mm connector
    • Line in – 3.5 mm connector
    • On-board digital microphone
  • USB – 2x USB3.0/2.0 ports, 1x USB3.0/2.0 type C connector
  • Network – Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps, RJ45
  • Camera interfaces –  Serial Camera
  • Serial Ports
    • USB to serial bridge via Micro USB port
    • FTDI Header for debugging
    • 2x RS232 header
  • Expansion
    • 2x mini PCIe connectors
    • Headers with QSPI, UART, SPI, I2C, GPIOs, JTAG, SAI, S/PDIF
  • Misc – RTC Backup battery socket (CR1225), buttons, LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input, 2.5 mm DC jack
  • Dimensions – 15 cm x 9 cm x 2.9 cm

Click to Enlarge

The kits also come with a micro USB cable, an optional Ethernet cable, optional 5V power supply, an antenna, a boot/rescure SD card, and a carrier board design package. There may also be a camera module offered in the future.

The module is shown as “coming soon” and we don’t have price information yet. More details may be found on the module page, where you’ll also find details about the kits and carrier board (Supporting Products tab). The company is also working on VAR-SOM-MX8 SoM based on NXP i.MX 8 Cortex A72/A53 processor, but less details are available for now.

Gumstix AutoBSP Automatically Generates Device Tree Files for Hardware Designed with Geppetto

December 8th, 2017 No comments

Gumstix launched Geppetto Design-To-Order (D2O) system back in 2013, and at the time you could design complete baseboard for their Overo CoMs right in your Chrome or Firefox web browser, and once complete, order the board from the website. The system is meant to save you time, and “design” here does not mean drawing schematics, and laying out PCBs, but instead selecting board size, and adding ports as needed.

Since then, the company has added support for more modules, and you can now easily build you own baseboard for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, Technexion PICO-IMX6 module, Toradex Colibri SoM, 96Boards Mezzanine, and they even have Beaglebone Black and 96Board CE or IoT connectors, among others. Support for Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, Atmel (Arduino) , and STMicro platforms is also being worked on. Their latest feature – AutoBSP – automatically generates device tree files for your custom boards, so you can simply copy it to your favorite image and get started as soon as possible.

Click to Enlarge

I give it a very quick try by going to https://geppetto.gumstix.com/, and opening a pre-designed board, namely RPi Compute LoRa Gateway PoE, and clicked on the AutoBSP button on the right top corner of the browser window. Within a few seconds, I was asked to open or download devicetrees.zip, which containes three files including the device tree, and a README.

The README gives some basic instructions, here and excerpt:

—————————————————–
= Gumstix Geppetto Raspberry Pi Compute =
= Module (1 and 3) designs =
= AutoBSP README file =
= Copyright (c) 2017, Gumstix, Inc. =
—————————————————–

Introduction
————

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module connector module included in your Geppetto design connects the Raspberry Pi Compute Module and Compute Module 3 to your custom expansion board. Gumstix provides a custom Yocto Linux disk image for use with these devices. In order to take full advantage of the hardware embedded in your design, The RPCM’s bootloader uses a device tree overlay, a DTBO, to facilitate communication between the operating system and the expansion board’s hardware. AutoBSP delivers a custom DTB overlay for Geppetto RPCM designs, incorporating the device tree features required by the kernel and many device drivers.

Instructions for the compilation, installation and use of the device tree file, and a list of helpful links, are provided in this document.

Links
—–

– Raspberry Pi CM getting started: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/computemodule/README.md
– Custom Yocto RPCM disk images: https://catalina.gumstix.com/binaries/7230/
– Custom Yocto RPCM3 disk images: https://catalina.gumstix.com/binaries/7191/

Folder Contents
—————
– devicetree-rpi_cm.dtbo Compiled device tree overlay
– devicetree-rpi_cm.dts Device tree source
– README.txt This file

Installation Instructions
————————-
1. Flash your compute module with a Raspbian image or one of the disk images provided above, as described in the RPCM getting started guide.
2. Copy the DTBO file designed for your expansion board on to a USB drive
3. connect the compute module to the expansion board, the USB drive to the board’s USB port, and a power supply to its power connector
4. From the compute module’s terminal, Copy the DTBO file from the USB drive to the overlays folder in the RPCM’s boot partition.
etc…

In a future update, AutoBSP will also automatically generate network and application code specific to designs, but the company did not elaborate on that part.

I did notice another feature called AutoDoc, which has been there for a while, but still new to me, and it generated the following datasheet (PDF). The 3D model of the board is also available, but this feature had been already implemented in 2013.

So now, Geppetto streamlines not only hardware design and ordering, but also documentation and software support. If you are short in time, and hardware cost is not the biggest issue, the system may be worth looking at, as it may save you time and/or money.

Acme CM3-Home is a Raspberry Pi 3 Compatible Board Designed for Home Automation

November 29th, 2017 1 comment

Raspberry Pi CM3 & CM3L modules are used in so many devices it’s hard to keep up. From NEC digital signage displays, to industrial touch panels, and IoT gateways, the Broadcom BCM2837 based system-on-module are found in more and more products and solutions, and number of announcements seems to have increased over the last few months.

The latest product to leverage Raspberry Pi CM3L SoM is made by Italy based Acme Systems, and designed for home automation. CM3-HOME comes with opt0-isolated inputs compatible with KNX and DALI buses, various connectivity options (Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, 868MHz ISM radio…), and other expansion port. Two edition of the boards are available: LITE and FULL, with the former suitable for most home automation project, and the latter adding support for some commercial lighting systems and energy harvesting Radio ISM nodes.

Acme CM3-Home specifications:

  • 200-pin SODIMM Module Slot compatible with Raspberry Pi CM3 / CM3L modules (BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 SoC / 1GB RAM, 4GB+ eMMC flash or micro SD card)
  • Connectivity
    • 1x 10/100M Ethernet port
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi enabled for access point mode (optional on LITE edition)
    • Yarm ISM radio module at 868 MHz with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ core fully available for customer application (FULL edition only)
  • I/Os terminals / expansion header
    • 2x opto-isolated RS485 (Only 1x not-isolated on LITE edition)
    • 1x TTL level serial port for system console
    • 1x TTL level serial port for external micro controller
    • 1x 1-wire bus
    • 2x Grove I2C headers (Only 1x Grove header on LITE version)
    • 2x low power relays
    • 2x opto-isolated dry contact inputs (2x not isolated on LITE version)
    • 2x ADC inputs for resistor balance tampered sensors (FULL edition only)
    • 1x opto-isolated twisted pair bus (TP-BUS) electrically compatible with KNX bus (via Siemens TP-UART-2 chip on FULL version only)
    • 1x opto-isolated twisted pair bus electrically compatible with DALI bus (FULL Edition only)
    • 1x SPI/GPIO port for small TFT LCD display modules (Optional on LITE edition)
  • Audio – Stereo audio out
  • Camera – 1x MIPI CSI connector for Raspberry Pi camera
  • SB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – 1x IR remote receiver at 38KHz (Optional on LITE edition)
  • Power Supply – 12 to 24V DC input
  • Dimensions – TBD

CM3-Home FULL Edition Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Acme Systems will not provide ready-to-use micro SDs or support to install software on this board, so it’s made for system integrators or individuals who already know how to use the Raspberry Pi. However, the company has provided documentation to use OpenHAB & KNX, integrate the gateway with other devices like Sonoff TH16 wireless switch, IKEA Tradfri smart kit, SDM120 energy meter, etc…, on Tanzolab.it (in Italian only for now).

CM3-HOME board can also fit into 9-module DIN RAIL case made by ELBag. The board will be introduced at the Maker Faire Rome 2017 on December 1-3, 2017, and officially launch on December 5, with sample pricing starting at 130 Euros for the LITE edition, and 330 Euros for the FULL edition, not including CM3L module. Discounts are available for orders of 10 units or more. You may find additional details on the product page.

Thanks to Theguyuk for the tip

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi Industrial IoT Computer is Powered by Raspberry Pi CM3 Module

November 28th, 2017 5 comments

We’ve seen several industrial products powered by Raspberry Pi 3 board or CM3 module recently, with the likes of Industrial Shields Panel PC, TECHBASE ModBerry, or Pi/104 PC/104 compliant carrier board among others.

We can now add another industrial computer based on Raspberry Pi CM3 module with Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi IoT gateway, with dual Ethernet port, support for 3G/LTE modems, a rugged case, and working in a wide temperature range of -40°C to 80°C.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi specifications:

  • SoC –  Broadcom BCM2837 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4 to 64GB of soldered eMMC flash,  micro SD socket
  • Connectivity
    • 2x 100Mbps Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
    • 3G / LTE cellular modem via mini-PCie module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3, up to 1920×1080
  • Audio – 3.5mm stereo line out jack, HDMI audio
  • USB – 4x USB2.0 host port
  • Serial
    • 1x RS232 port, ultra-mini serial connector
    • 1x RS485, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • CAN – 1x CAN bus, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Expansion
    • RPI HAT expansion interface
    • 6x DIO, 5V tolerant, 100-mil header implemented with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Misc – RTC Real time clock with back-up battery
  • Input voltage Unregulated 10V to 36V DC input
  • Dimensions – 112 x 84 x 25 mm (Aluminum housing)
  • Weight – 450 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 60° C; extended: -20° to 60° C; industrial: -40° to 80° C
  • Shock, vibration, dust and humidity resistance

Click to Enlarge

The gateway uses passive cooling, so no fan is needed, it supports both VESA and DIN rail mounts, and hardware protection against unintentional DC plug pull out and unauthorized boot from external storage.

The gateway runs Raspberry Pi 3 OS images such as Debian Linux (Raspbian), Ubuntu Core and Windows 10 IoT Core, and is compatible with IoT frameworks like Microsoft Azure IoT or AWS Greengrass.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi will start selling next month with price starting at $110 for volume orders. Visit the product page for further information.

HackaBLE Board is a Tiny, Breadboard-Friendly Bluetooth LE Development Board

November 18th, 2017 5 comments

Earlier this year, I wrote about Electronut Labs’ Bluey development board powered by Nordic Semi nRF52832 development board with BLE, NFC, and a few sensors, and partially open source hardware with the KiCAD schematics and PCB layout available on Github.

The company is now back with another open source hardware nRF52832 BLE board, namely hackaBLE, that’s much smaller (28x18mm), and with 2.54mm pitch castellated pin headers making suitable for use for breadboard, or as a module on a custom designed board.

Click to Enlarge

hackaBLE board specifications:

  • SoC – Nordic Semi nRF52832 ANT + BLE ARM Cortex-M4 @ 64 MHz processor with 512kB flash, 64kB RAM
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2/5 LE and other proprietary 2.4 GHz wireless standards via chip antenna
  • Expansion
    • 2x 9-pin castellated headers with GPIO, 5V, 3.3V, and GND
    • 2x 5-pin solder pads for more I/Os
  • Debugging – 4-pin SWD header
  • Misc – RGB LED, and user button
  • Power Supply – 5 V via VDD or Vin pin.

The company explains “hackaBLE use offers more value than just using the BLE module directly – since it incorporates the necessary passive components – including the ones for the buck converter for power saving – and adds an RGB LED and a button for convenience. It’s also much easier to solder than the bare modules.”. More details, including the KiCAD schematics and PCB layout can be found on Github, as well as the PCB footprint for the board for those who plan on making a custom board.

Click to Enlarge

The company can also provide PogoProg board with 4 pogo pins to program the board through the SWD header, Bumpy SWD debugger, and snapVCC board outputting 5V/3.3V from a 9V battery.

hackaBLE can be purchased from Tindie for $20, and you could also get the $44 premium devkit with hackaBLE and the three boards mentioned and pictured above.

SAMA5D2 Based SiPs Combine ARM Cortex-A5 Processor With Up to 128MB DDR2

October 31st, 2017 5 comments

Atmel SAMA5D2 ARM Cortex-A5 processor was released about two years ago with extended temperature range and lower power consumption compared to previous SAMAD5 processors, with the new SoC still targeting industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), wearables and point of sale applications.

In recent years, we’ve seen companies packing main components into systems-in-package (SiP) with products such as Octavo Systems OSD3358 and Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 with integrate an existing processor with memory, storage, and/or PMIC. Microchip (previously Atmel) has now done the same for their SAMA5D2 processors with SiPs combining the Cortex A5 SoC with DDR2 memory.

Click to Enlarge

Four SAMA5D2 SiPs have been launched:

  • ATSAMA5D225C-D1M based on ATSAMA5D22C MPU with extra SD/SDIO, QSPI, FLEXCOMs (2x), I2S, and timers (2x) and:
    • 128 Mb (16 MB) DDR2 DRAM
    • 90 Peripheral I/Os
    • 196 BGA Package
    • Designed for RTOS/bare metal development
  • ATSAMA5D27C-D5M based on ATSAMA5D27C MPU with:
    • 512 Mb (64 MB) DDR2 DRAM
    • 128 Peripheral I/Os
    • 289 BGA Package
    • Designed for small Linux OS applications
  • ATSAMA5D27C-D1G based on ATSAMA5D27C MPU with
    • 1 Gb (128 MB) DDR2 DRAM
    • 128 Peripheral I/Os
    • 289 BGA Package
    • Designed for large Linux OS applications
  • ATSAMA5D28C-D1G based on ATSAMA5D28C MPU with:
    • 1 Gb (128 MB) DDR2 DRAM
    • 128 Peripheral I/Os
    • 289 BGA Package
    • PCI-pre-certified security
    • Designed for large Linux OS applications

atsama5d27-som1-ek1 – Click to Enlarge

Microchip provides software and hardware development tools for the SiP including ATSAMA5D27-SOM1-EK1 is a fast prototyping and evaluation platform together with SAMA5D27-SOM1. The kit’s main features include:

  • ATSAMA5D27-SOM1 module:
    • SiP – Microchip ATSAMA5D27C-D1G SiP withCortex-A5 MPU @ 500 MHz, 128 MB DDR2 DRAM
    • Storage
      • Microchip SST26VF064B-104I/MF 64Mb Serial Quad I/O (QSPI) flash memory for boot code (Linux kernel or RTOS)
      • Microchip 24AA02E48T-I/OT 2Kb Serial EEPROM with EUI-48 Note Identity for the Ethernet MAC address
    • Connectivity – Microchip KSZ8081RNAIA 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet PHY for wired Ethernet connection
    • Power Management – Microchip MIC2800-G4JYML Power Management IC (PMIC) providing 3 power rails for the CPU, VDD I/O and the SDRAM
  • External Storage – 1x standard SD card interface, 1x microSD card interface
  • onnectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45 connector)
  • Display I/F – LCD RGB 24-bit interface (50-pin FPC connector)
  • Camera I/F – 12-bit camera interface (2×15 male connector)
  • USB – 1x USB host, 1x USB device, 1x USB HSIC (jumper not populated)
  • Expansion – 1x CAN interface ATA6561, 1x PMOD connector, 2x mikroBUS connector
  • Debugging – 1x JLINK-OB and JLINK-CDC, x1 JTAG interface
  • Security – 1x ATECC508 CryptoAuthentication device  (populated but not provisioned), 1x tamper connector
  • Misc – 1x RGB LED, 4x push button switches
  • Power Supply – From USB A and USB JLINK-OB; SuperCap for power saving

SAMA5D2-based SiPs are available now starting at $9.03 per unit for 5K orders, and the development kit is sold for $245. More details, including some documentation, can be found via the product page.

$50 Waveshare Compute Module IO Board Plus is Designed for Raspberry Pi CM3/CM3L Compute Modules

October 31st, 2017 6 comments

Raspberry Pi Compute Module CM3L and CM3 are fairy inexpensive at $25 and $30 respectively, but if you want to get the complete development kit with Compute Module IO Board, CM3 and CM3L modules, and accessories you’ll need to spend around $150 plus shipping.

A cheaper option might be Waveshare “Compute Module IO Board Plus for Raspberry Pi CM3, CM3L” with many of the same features as the original Compute Module IO board, plus some extras like terminal blocks for ADC/DAC or RTC battery, which I first found on DX for $49.95 including shipping.

Waveshare Baseboard and RPi CM3(L) Module – Click to Enlarge

Waveshare Compute Module IO Board Plus specifications:

  • Compute Module socket for Raspberry Pi CM3/CM3L
  • I/O headers
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi GPIO header (3)
    • GPIO header for all pins exposed by the modules (2)
    • Arduino headers for shields (10)
    • 10-bit ADC/16-bit DAC screw terminals (11)
    • 3x 5-pin sensor interface (13)
    • 1-WIRE interface, for connecting single-bus devices like DS18B20 (12)
  • Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI port, 2x MIPI DSI interfaces for connecting RPi LCD
  • Camera – 2x MIPI CSI interfaces for connecting RPi camera
  • USB – 5x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB slave interface to flash firmware, 1x micro USB port for debugging (UART console via CP2012)
  • Misc – 4x user keys, 3x user LEDs, power and micro SD LEDs, 1x buzzer, on-board DS3231 RTC + battery slot, IR receiver
  • Jumpers
    • BOOT selection (30) – EN: enable the PC to access SD card/eMMC through USB SLAVE, DIS: the Compute Module will boot from SD card/eMMC
    • VGx power selection (31) – selects the I/O level
    • USB HUB enable jumper (32) – HUB enable and USB SLAVE power selection
    • ADC/DAC configuration (33) – power supply and reference voltage of ADC/DAC
    • Peripheral configuration (34) – control pins of UART, user keys, user LEDs, 1-WIRE interface, IR receiver, and buzzer
    • Arduino AD selection – Connect 1 and 2: Arduino A0-A5 as digital control pin; connect 2 and 3: Arduino A0-A5 as AD input
  • Power Supply – 5V/2.5A via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 164.90 x 124.31 mm

There’s no specific software for the board, just use Raspbian or other operating system for Raspberry Pi CM3/CM3L. The board is also available on Waveshare website for $46.99 plus shipping, where you may also find additional details, and few sellers on Aliexpress are offering it for around $50 shipped. You’ll still need to add $25 to $30 for the Compute module, but provided you already own the power adapter, USB cables, and micro SD card, it should end up being quite cheaper than the original development kit.