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Computer Blade with PoE+ support launches on Kickstarter

Feb 10, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 923 views

Kickstarter recently featured the Computer Blade which is an scalable ARM-based server designed to work 24/7. This device is compatible with the Raspberry Pi CM4 and it includes peripherals such as 1x GbE LAN port, 1x HDMI, NVMe SSD support, TPM 2.0 and many other features.

There are three variants of this product: The Compute Blade Basic, the Compute Blade TPM and The Compute Blade Dev. As shown in the comparison table below, only the Dev variant includes an HDMI port, a USB-C, a microSD card slot and physical switches for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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Computer Blade comparison table
(click image to enlarge)

Both TPM and Dev variants include an USB-A and a TPM Infineon TPM 2.0 module. All the variants include one M.2 Key M (up to 22110) and PoE+ IEEE 802.3 support (up to 30W).


4-node version in 3D printed case
(click image to enlarge)

For power consumption, the Kickstarter page indicates, “1 Blade only consumes about 6-7W under load operation along with the NVMe drive when the Raspberry Pi CM4 CPU is overclocked to 2GHz. A cluster of 40 Blades in operation consumes about 230W in Ci/CD tasks.”


Computer Blade peripherals
(click image to enlarge)

The Jeff Geerling blog also mentions that Computer Blade could be compatible with the BigTreeTech’s CB1, the Pine64’s SOQuartz and the Radxa’s CM3. However, he doesn’t recommend them for production use since “they are slower and they don’t work out of the box as the Pi module yet.”

The following video shows 40x Computer Blades operating in a 2U rackspace (~160 ARM cores, ~320GB of RAM, ~320TB flash storage). 

Computer Blade demo

Documentation seems to be a work in progress, refer to this document that describes the Compute Blade hardware, how to flash the OS to eMMC, etc. There is also a GitHub which contains STL files for the enclosure compatible with the Compute Blade.

Further information

The Basic Compute Blade starts at $60.00 (early-bird price). There are other multiple pledges available on the Kickstarter campaign.

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