By Christopher Rush
Just over 2 years ago the Raspberry Pi foundation launched the original Compute Module (CM1), which was based around the same BCM2835 processor of the original Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched this board aimed at the industrial market, where companies were using the Raspberry Pi for commercial purposes but the form factor of the Raspberry Pi 1 wasn’t cutting it. Since the launch the original Compute Module has been really successful with a lot of uptake from many different markets particular in IoT devices and factory automation.
More noticeably the Compute Module was recently used in the Slice Media player by the Five Ninja’s. The Slice used the Compute Module as the brain of the media centre with a custom made motherboard and open-source hardware.
|Slice Media Player.|
Since releasing the original Compute Module, there has been 2 further generations of Raspberry Pi board, which are much faster. The Compute Module took a bit of a backwards step because of this and don’t forget we also live in a world where everything gets faster and cheaper by the year. Companies manufacturing for commercial markets were wanting more from the Compute Module after always looking up to the big brother of the Raspberry Pi 3.
Well, today the Raspberry Pi foundation has released the new Compute Module(CM3) based on the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware, providing twice the RAM and roughly 10x faster CPU performance of the original module.
|New Compute Module 3.|
Raspberry Pi has already been working with the likes of NEC to help integrate the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 into their large-format displays for a number of applications including digital signage. All these large displays are designed for use in public areas such as schools, offices, shops and railway stations. This partnership with the NEC gives the Raspberry Pi a huge vote of confidence in their hardware and software.
|NEC Compute Module Displays.|
Not only has the foundation released the upgraded processor in the Compute Module but they have created two variations of the board for release. The first, is the standard CM3 (Lite) which has a BCM2837 processor up to 1.2 GHz with 1 GB of RAM, the same as the current Raspberry Pi 3. The second variation also includes 4 GB of eMMC flash memory on-board and bring the SD card interface to the Module’s pins if required.
|Back side of CM3 and CM3L.|
The Raspberry Pi platform is a great way to go from Maker to Market with the right tools and educational software, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer. The Raspberry Pi Eco-system is in its 6th year now and it keeps growing with excitement, the Compute Module just reiterates its position in the market whatever that market is, educational or commercial.
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