Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Launched For $30, But You Probably Won't Buy It
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched the Compute Module 3, the successor to the original Compute Module that was released in 2014.
While the first Compute Module was based on the original Raspberry Pi and its Broadcom BCM2835 processor, the Compute Module 3 is based on Raspberry Pi 3 hardware, hence the name despite being only the second version.
Raspberry Pi Compute Model 3 Specs
The Compute Model 3, as described in the official blog post announcing its launch, offers twice the RAM and 10 times the CPU performance compared to the capabilities of the original Compute Module.
As it is based on the Raspberry Pi 3, the Compute Model 3, with a price tag of $30, comes with the same four-core, 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash storage. However, the Compute Module 3 is less than half the size of the Raspberry Pi 3 and does not come with sockets for the Ethernet, SD card, USB, and display. In addition, it does not support Wi-Fi.
In addition to the Compute Module 3, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has also released the Compute Module 3 Lite, which features the same specs as the Compute Module 3 but without the 4 GB of flash storage, though an SD card socket or eMMC device can be added to the base board. The Compute Module 3 Lite is sold for $25.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has also released the Compute Module IO Board V3, a circuit board with USB and HDMI connectors, along with a SODIMM socket that is needed to work with the Compute Module 3. The board is under an open license and revised to work properly with the Compute Module 3.
Why You Might Not Be Buying The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3
The Compute Module 3 is cheaper and smaller, but also much more powerful compared to the first version. However, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is not expecting the Compute Module 3 to start flying off the shelves, with its creator Eben Upton predicting that it will instead be like a "slow burn" compared to the popularity of the Raspberry Pi 3, released last year.
This is because the Compute Module 3 is not designed for use at home or in school. Instead, the Compute Module 3 was created with industrial applications in mind, and those who would like to use it would first have to design products that will have a circuit board slot to insert the Compute Module 3 into.
The signals for the missing ports of the Compute Module 3 can be found on an edge connector which fits into the SODIMM socket, which is usually for laptop memory upgrades. This will allow industrial product designers to choose the ports that they want to have exposed, and the functions that they want to include.
With these characteristics, the Compute Module 3 can be used for a wide variety of applications such as industrial machinery, equipment, and even robots.
Things To Do With Raspberry Pi 3
For those who are looking to use the Raspberry Pi 3 outside of industrial applications, here are seven of the coolest projects from last year. We have also previously published a guide on installing the Kodi media player on the Raspberry Pi 3.