Raspberry Pi Introduces M.2 HAT+ for High-Speed Peripheral Connectivity

Raspberry Pi Introduces M.2 HAT+ for High-Speed Peripheral Connectivity

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation has unveiled the M.2 HAT+, an innovative accessory designed to enhance the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 5. This new add-on allows users to connect M.2 peripherals, such as NVMe drives and AI accelerators, to the Raspberry Pi 5’s PCIe 2.0 interface, enabling data transfer speeds of up to 500 MB/s.

Key Features and Design

The M.2 HAT+ acts as a mechanical adapter, converting the Raspberry Pi 5’s 16-pin, 0.5mm-pitch FPC connector to an M.2 M key edge connector. It supports devices in the 2230 and 2242 form factors and can supply up to 3 A of power to connected peripherals. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of high-performance components, making it an essential tool for both hobbyists and professionals.

Conforming to the Raspberry Pi HAT+ specification, the M.2 HAT+ is designed for seamless integration with the Raspberry Pi 5. The device is autodetected by the latest Raspberry Pi software and firmware, simplifying the setup process. It also features power and activity LEDs, providing clear status indicators during operation.

The launch of the M.2 HAT+ is the result of extensive testing and refinement. The Raspberry Pi engineering team worked diligently to ensure compatibility with various NVMe drives and other peripherals. During the development process, they addressed numerous issues, such as startup timing problems in drive firmware, to ensure reliable performance with the BCM2712 PCIe controller on the Raspberry Pi 5.

Only 30 mm (2230) and 42mm (2242) form factor is mechanically supported here.
Only 30 mm (2230) and 42mm (2242) form factor is mechanically supported here.

The M.2 HAT+ comes with a comprehensive set of accessories, including a ribbon cable, 16 mm stacking header, threaded spacers, screws, and a knurled, double-flanged screw. These components facilitate easy installation and ensure that the M.2 HAT+ can be securely attached to the Raspberry Pi 5, even with the Raspberry Pi Active Cooler in place.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Single-lane PCIe 2.0 interface with 500 MB/s peak transfer rate
  • Supplies up to 3A to connected M.2 devices
  • Includes power and activity LEDs
  • Conforms to Raspberry Pi HAT+ specification
  • Comes with ribbon cable, 16mm GPIO stacking header, threaded spacers, screws, and a knurled double-flanged drive attachment screw
  • M.2 M-key socket for 2230 or 2242 modules (2280 modules are not supported)

It wouldn’t be a Raspberry Pi product announcement without their usual commitment to long-term support, maintaining the M.2 HAT+ in production until at least January 2032, and providing users with access to the accessory into the next decade. Additionally, the Foundation has published detailed schematics and documentation to support further innovation and development within the Raspberry Pi community.

The release of the M.2 HAT+ not only enhances the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 5 but also fosters a broader ecosystem of high-quality PCIe accessories.

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