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ModBerry 500 CM4 updated with more GbE, M.2, USB 3.0, and more

Nov 29, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,021 views

Techbase has updated its RPi CM4-based ModBerry 500 CM4 controller with options including a second GbE, 4x USB 3.0 ports, a second M.2 slot for NVMe, double the Excard I/O slots, PoE, and two outdoor enclosures.

Techbase has announced an updated version of its ModBerry 500 CM4 industrial controller, which once again runs Linux on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Highlights include options for more GbE, M.2, and Excard expansion slots, as well as options for PoE and a 4x USB 3.0 port hub. There are also two new outdoor enclosures, one of which offers IP68 protection.

Updated ModBerry 500 CM4 (left) and original version
(click images to enlarge)

Comparing ModBerry features is difficult due to the extensive modularity of the system. Most of the features are a la carte.

For example, an optional second M.2 slot is already available on the high-end ModBerry 500 CM4 Max model. There is also a stripped-down Min model in addition to the standard (STD) model. It is unclear if all the new options are available on all three SKUs or only on the STD.


One of the key additions is the up to 4x USB 3.0 ports available via an optional PCIe-driven hub. The previous USB 2.0 port is apparently still available.

You could previously add an optional 10/100 Ethernet port in addition to the standard GbE, but now you can have dual GbE ports, including at least one with optional PoE. The mini-PCIe slot is now available with a 5G modem in addition to the earlier 4G modem.

The ModBerry 500 CM4 now supports up to 6x rather than 3x optional “Excard” extension modules that sit alongside the ModBerry on the DIN-rail. The Excard accessories include more Ethernet, serial, analog and digital I/Os, relays, accelerometer, PCIe, and M-Bus.

Since the Raspberry Pi CM4 is limited to a single PCIe Gen2 x1 interface, it is unclear what bandwidth sharing or either/or choices might be involved with some of the PCIe-driven options. These include the second M.2 slot, the mini-PCIe connected 5G modem, the new USB 3.0 hub, or the previously available Google Coral TPU module.

Outdoor enclosure for ModBerry 500 CM4
(click images to enlarge)

Two optional outdoor enclosures are now available with aluminum casing and support for the doubled Excards. One of them adds IP68 protection and provides “cable chokes for tough conditions.”

Standard features on the STD model continue to include 2x RS-232/485, 8-bit DIO, mini-PCIe with SIM slot, USB 2.0, 1-Wire, and an optional HDMI port. The controller provides CM4 options with 1GB to 8GB LPDDR4-3200 RAM and 8GB to 32GB eMMC.

The DIN-rail mountable system provides an RTC, watchdog, 2x buttons, a 9-30 VDC input, and a choice of 0 to 55°C or -25 to 65°C ranges. The Max model adds 4x ADC, a second mini-PCIe or M.2 slot, and optional CAN.

Earlier this year, Techbase announced an RPi CM4-based iModGATE-AI gateway, as well as ClusBerry and ClusBerry Rack clustering systems, with the latter supporting up to 4x hot-swap CM4 modules. Other industrial controllers built around the CM4 include OpenEmbed’s EdgeBox-RPI4. This morning we covered Sensoper’s 7-inch, CM4-based SC-PC panel PC, which has a similar mix of DAQ features.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the updated version of the ModBerry 500 CM4. More information may be found on Techbase’s shopping page, which at publication time had not been updated with the new features and options.

Techbase also had this to say: “We are currently fully stocked on scarce Raspberry Pi CM4 modules, including 8GB RAM version — our delivery time for standard configurations is now 1 week, which is currently unparalleled in the Industrial IoT market.”

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