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Tiny, dual-GbE Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier sells for $30

Mar 30, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 23655 views

DFRobot’s $30, 66 x 55mm “Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini” extends the Raspberry Pi CM4 with 2x GbE, 2x Type-C, microSD, and 26-pin GPIO.

Earlier this month, we saw the first dual-Ethernet carrier boards for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in Seeed’s Dual Gigabit Ethernet Carrier Board (2x GbE) and Mcuzone Raspberry Pi CM4-4G IO (GbE and 10/100). Now DFRobot has opened $30 pre-orders for a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini with dual GbE ports. At 66 x 55mm, the board is even smaller than the 75 x 64mm, $45 Seeed carrier.



Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the Seeed and Mcuzone boards, as well as OnLogic’s unnamed, dual-GbE CM4-based mini-PC, whch is due later this year, DFRobot’s Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini taps the CM4’s PCIe x1 interface to add a second Ethernet connection. As a tradeoff, the board’s USB Type-C OTG port is limited to USB 2.0 functionality, as it is on most CM4 carriers. There is also a Type-C port dedicated to 5V/3A input.

The CM4 IoT Router Carrier provides 26-pin GPIO and a microSD slot, which is functional only on CM4 Lite variants without eMMC. Other features on this 0 to 80°C tolerant board include 2x LEDs, a reset button, and a button mode selector. DFRobot recommends OpenWrt, but other Pi-compatible distros will also work.



Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini portside view
(click image to enlarge)

As noted by the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the product, there are more affordable dual-GbE options if you don’t mind stepping outside the Pi ecosystem. Currently, the cheapest and smallest are the 60 x 60mm NanoPi R2S and 57 x 56mm Orange Pi R1 Plus, both at $22 with 1GB RAM. Although their quad -A53 based RK3328 processors can’t match the CM4’s CPU firepower and they lack the up to 8GB RAM options, CM4 carriers also require that you add the price of the CM4 module, which start at $25 for the 1GB Lite.

The Raspberry Pi CM4 has the same Broadcom BCM2711 SoC with 4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores used by the Raspberry Pi 4. The CM4 ships with 2GB to 8GB LPDDR4-3200 RAM and 0GB to 32GB eMMC, with optional WiFi/BT.

Other RPi CM4 carriers include Altium’s Gumstix Raspberry Pi CM4 Development Board and an upcoming Piunora carrier, both with M.2 sockets. There is also a $134 Over:Board Mini-ITX carrier that offers a full-size PCIe card.

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Other options include Sourcekit’s $14.50 PiTray mini, as well as other Gumstix carriers, including a Gumstix Raspberry Pi CM4 PoE Smart Camera board. There is also an upcoming Wiretrustee SATA Board for Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier. The embedded version of Chipsee’s RPi CM4-based Industrial Pi panel-PC can be used as a CM4 carrier with a built-in 7-inch touchscreen.

 
Further information

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IoT Router Carrier Board Mini is available for $30, with volume discounts. Shipments begin in mid-April. You can also buy CM4 modules from the same page starting at $25. More information may be found on DFRobot’s shopping page.

 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

2 responses to “Tiny, dual-GbE Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier sells for $30”

  1. That Guy says:

    I had heard Pi dual gigabit ethernet throughput can be slowed because the interface the second one is using. Is that still the case? Looking to build a pfsense firewall on pi without any throughput speed loss.

  2. jbc says:

    pfsense has no arm support afaik

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