Tag Archives: Compute module

CM3-PANEL – A Panel PC based on the Raspberry Compute Module 3

Early last year, the Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, a board designed to provide firms with low-cost computer hardware to build into products. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) packs the same 1.2GHz, quad-core Broadcom BCM2837 processor and 1GB memory used on the Pi 3 onto a slimmer and smaller board. The CM3’s compact design, the same size as a DDR2 small outline dual in-line memory module, is suited to be built into electronic appliances. The Compute Module already sees some adoption in commercial applications and Acme Systems is an organization building on it with their latest release of the CM3-PANEL.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Device
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

The latest product to leverage Raspberry Pi CM3L SoM is made by Italy based company Acme Systems, and designed for Panel PCs and tablets. Acme Systems isn’t new to developing products based on the Raspberry Pi; they launched the Acme CM3-Home last year, a Raspberry Pi 3 Compatible Board designed for Home Automation.

CM3-Panel
CM3-Panel is a 7-inch thin touch-panel PC based on Raspberry Pi 3 industrial module deemed to be integrated on the front panel of your devices. The device comes with a socket for attaching the Raspberry Compute Module 3 and featuers a MIPI connector for the Raspberry Pi Camera. It extends out 24 GPIO lines from the Raspberry Pi where some are used for; Lcd backlight control (1 GPIO), Camera led and camera shutdown control (2 GPIO), SPI bus (5 GPIO), Hardware PWM lines (2 GPIO), Serial line (2 GPIO), PCM line (4 GPIO), and I2C bus (2 GPIO). The CM3-Panel can operate in temperature range of -20°C to +70° C and is less than 22mm thick.
The device comes in four different models, including two with modules that support Acme’s open source 868MHz Yarm RF radio module spec:
  • CM3-Panel-U — USB 2.0 port — 95 Euros ($113)
    • No WiFi module
    • USB Host port
    • No Yarm radio module
  • CM3-Panel-W — 2.4GHz WiFi — 99 Euros ($118)
    • WiFi @ 2.4GHz
    • No USB Port
    • No Yarm radio module
  • CM3-Panel-UY — USB and 868MHz Yarm ISM — 115 Euros ($137)
  • CM3-Panel-WY — 2.4GHz WiFi and 868MHz Yarm ISM– 119 Euros ($142)

Yarm is a smart and cost-effective solution for system integrators to build their own RF applications at 868 MHz avoiding all the hardware design costs requested to start a new custom RF project. Yarm integrates a low power MCU (35 µA/MHz in active mode and 200nA in sleep mode) and a high sensitivity transceiver.

The 868MHz Yarm module is compatible with Acme’s ISM 868MHz Energy Harvesting radio nodes. The module is equipped with a Cortex-M0+ based, 22 x 14mm Microchip ATA8510 ISM transceiver. The CM3-Panel has a separate array of Yarm GPIO in addition to the main Raspberry Pi GPIO. The optional RaLink RT5370N 2.4GHz WiFi module is based on USB 2.0 and is fully supported by the latest Kernel Linux versions.

CM3-Panel appears to be an open source product because ACME systems have published it’s schematic, mechanical drawing, and a 3D stem model for 3D printing. The product is available for purchase and can be bought online from the product page.

CM3, Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

Raspberry Pi launched the new version of its compute module providing twice the RAM and roughly 10x the CPU performance of the original Module. Compute Module 3 (CM3) fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM socket and provides the same basic processing capabilities as the Raspberry Pi 3. It is designed for professional engineers who would like to develop embedded systems.

CM3 comes in two versions. The first is the “Standard CM3” that features a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 application processor, built around an ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor running at up to 1.2 GHz, with 1GByte RAM, the same as Pi3, and 4 Gbytes of on-module eMMC flash. The second version is “Compute Module 3 Lite (CM3L)” which still has the same BCM2837 and 1Gbyte of RAM, but brings the SD card interface to the Module pins so a user can wire this up to an eMMC or SD card of their choice.

 

Back side of CM3 (left) and CM3L (right)

 

“The idea of the Compute Module was to provide an easy and cost-effective route to producing customised products based on the Pi hardware and software platform. The thought was to provide the ‘team in a garage’ with easy access to the same technology as the big guys.”

Raspberry Pi also released an updated version of the Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3). This board provides the necessary power to the module and gives you the ability to program the module’s flash memory or use an SD card for the lite version, to access the processor interfaces through pin headers and flexi connectors. In addition, it provides the necessary HDMI and USB connectors.

This board provides both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module and a quick way to start experimenting with the hardware, and building and testing a system, before going to the expense of fabricating a custom board. The CMIO3 can accept an original Compute Module, CM3, or CM3L.

CM3 and CM3L are priced at $30 and $25 respectively, and this price applies to any order size. The original Compute Module is also reduced to $25. You can order your own from Raspberry Pi partners, element14 (or Farnell UK) and RS Components. The partners are also providing full development kits, which include all you need to get started designing with the Compute Module 3.

NEC Display Powered by Raspberry Pi

Earlier this month, NEC Display Solutions Europe announced that they are working on a new generation of large-format displays that support the Raspberry Pi compute module, enabling a seamless integration of Raspberry Pi devices with NEC displays.

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Originally developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries, the first Raspberry Pi delivered good performance at a very low cost. However, the latest Raspberry Pi 3 compute module boasts significant performance and networking capabilities, making it perfect for NEC displays.

Raspberry Pi announced the compute module about two years ago, which is primarily designed for those who are going to create their own PCB. It is a small 67.6x30mm board that fits into the standard DDR2 SODIMM connector, with integrated BCM2835 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB eMMC Flash device. The board is no longer a basic computer for coding, but a reliable intelligent device with unlimited possibilities. In addition to the standard Raspberry Pi 3 compute module, NEC will also offer a customized model to meet the specific performance demands of the display industry.

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“When we started Raspberry Pi, we had one main goal of helping people learn about computing and how to make things with computers. However, we’ve been fortunate enough to have sold 10 million Raspberry Pis so far and the commercial success has led to the third generation of a more mature and powerful technology which can be used with NEC’s intelligent display. Our work on the Raspberry Pi mini-computers is driven by the huge community of developers whilst NEC’s work is driven by industry needs, enabling us to meet the demands of the AV and IT industry. Overall, this collaboration shows NEC’s confidence with our ability to provide a platform that can be used in a variety of environments.” said Eben Upton, CEO at Raspberry Pi Trading.

The new NEC displays allow easy access to embedded intelligence smartly connected to Internet of Things (IoT) for digital signage as well as presentation use. The elegant design of the displays is suitable for smooth installations in any environment. There’s also the chance to customize the screens to individual needs, making the displays more reliable anywhere and anytime.

The displays will be available in January 2017 starting with 40″, 48″, and 55″ models and will eventually scale all the way up to a monstrous 98″ by the end of the year.

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“Our strategic initiative to team up with Raspberry Pi is an example of how we continue to ensure that organisations in any sector have the most advanced technology in place to meet their application needs. Our open platform approach provides display intelligence at any time, thanks to our modular and interchangeable design. Integrating the Raspberry Pis with our displays will provide businesses with advanced technology suitable for digital signage, streaming and presenting to enhance the overall visual experience at an affordable price point,” said Stefanie Corinth, Senior Vice President Marketing and Business Development at NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH.

In this video, Thomas Walter – the Head of Product Marketing at NEC, talking more about what’s going on behind the screens.