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Raspberry Pi CM3+ module adds eMMC options up to 32GB

Jan 28, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1137 views

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ has arrived with a wider temperature range and eMMC options ranging from 8GB ($30) to 32GB ($40).

When the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ arrived last March, Raspberry Pi Trading said it would be the last 40nm fabricated Raspberry Pi SBC. They did not say anything about computer-on-modules, however. The new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ (CM3+) upgrade to the two-year-old Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 follows the recent Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ in advancing to the RPi 3B+’s quad -A53 Broadcom BCM2837B0 SoC. Due to the lack of a PMIC, however, you won’t get the 0.2GHz boost to 1.4GHz that you get on the SBCs, but it’s otherwise the same, including the 400MHz VideoCore IV GPU.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+
(click image to enlarge)

Although you’re limited to the previous 1.2GHz, you get more flash memory options than the 4GB eMMC found on the CM3. Once again, there’s a Lite model ($25) with circuitry for connecting to a microSD slot instead of onboard flash. In place of the 4GB model, there are 8GB ($30), 16GB ($35), and 32GB ($40) options.

The other major improvement, which is enabled by an improved PCB thermal design and the new BCM2837B0 SoC, is a wider operating range of -20 to 70°. (The datasheet suggests you could — very carefully — bump that closer to 80°.)

Other than that, the 67.6 x 31mm SODIMM module appears to be almost identical. “With the exception of a small increase in z-height, CM3+ is a drop-in replacement for CM3 from an electrical and form-factor perspective,” writes Raspberry Pi Trading COO James Adams in the blog announcement.

Raspberry Pi CM3+ block diagram and I/O specs
(click images to enlarge)

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ continues to offer 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM. Like the earlier model, it lacks the RPi 3 models’ built-in WiFi and Bluetooth radios. The 200-pin connector enables interfaces such as HDMI, MIPI-CSI and -DSI, DPI, USB 2.0, I2C, SPI, UART, and more.

Like most COMs, the CM3+ is aimed more at commercial manufacturers than at hobbyist makers, although it primarily targets smaller operations. As Adams reminds us, “The Compute Module also provides more interfaces than the regular Raspberry Pi, supporting two cameras and two displays, as well as extra GPIO.”

Raspberry Pi CM3+ Developer Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The optional, open license Development Kit has been “refreshed,” although its Compute Module IO board looks much the same. The board once again powers the module with 5VDC via a micro-USB port. There’s also a micro-SD slot, HDMI port, two camera ports, and two display ports, as well as 120 GPIO pins. The kit ships with both Lite and 32GB CM3+ modules. You also get jumper wires and a programming cable.

CM3+ Dev Kit specs
(click image to enlarge)

The RPi CM3+ will be available until at least January 2026. The earlier CM1, CM3 and CM3 Lite products will be moving to “not recommended for new designs” status, but will be available until at least January 2023. Current CM3 users moving to the CM3+ will need to download the latest version of the Raspberry Pi firmware and OS such as Raspbian.

Further information

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ is available in the following configurations: Lite/no eMMC ($25), 8GB eMMC ($30), 16GB ($35), and 32GB ($40). More information may be found at the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s RPi CM3+ announcement and datasheet, and the Newark Element14 CM3+ shopping page. More on the dev kit may be found at the CM3+ Development Kit product page.

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