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ModBerry controller advances to Raspberry Pi CM4

Oct 26, 2020 — by Eric Brown 5,059 views

Techbase has opened $272 and up pre-orders on a modular “ModBerry 500 CM4” industrial controller based on the Raspberry Pi CM4. Basic features include GbE, serial, 8-bit DIO, USB, and 1-Wire and options include NVMe, 5G, fieldbus, and digital and analog I/Os.

Poland-based Techbase has upgraded its ModBerry 500 line of passively cooled DIN-rail automation controllers with a ModBerry 500 CM4 model that supports the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The new controller follows earlier models such as its RPi CM3 based ModBerry 500 M3 and ModBerry 500 with ESP32.

ModBerry 500 CM4 and configuration chart for major SKUs
(click images to enlarge)

The Raspberry Pi CM4 module that powers the ModBerry 500 CM4 runs Linux on a Broadcom BCM2711 SoC with 4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores. It provides a GbE controller with PoE support, optional 802.11ac with BT 5.0, and new support for dual 4K HDMI ports and PCIe 2.0. RAM options up to 8GB and eMMC to 32GB are also the same as with the RPi 4.

The CM4 switches from the SODIMM connector of the RPi CM3+ and CM3 to low speed and high speed 100-pin, perpendicular Hirose DF40 connectors. This enables a smaller 55 x 40 x 4.7mm footprint compared to the earlier 67.6 x 31mm but prohibits backward compatibility.


Pi CM4

As noted in the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the ModBerry 500 CM4, pre-orders start at 230 Euros ($272), with delivery following in about two months. This is for the ModBerry 500 MIN (or Mini) equipped with 1GB LPDDR4 and 8GB eMMC along with GbE, RS-232/485, 8-bit DIO, USB 2.0 host, and 1-Wire.

All the models offer options for 1GB to 8GB LPDDR4-3200 RAM and 8GB to 32GB eMMC. Other standard features available on the Mini and other models include an RTC, watchdog, 2x buttons, and a 9-30 VDC input. The 106 x 91 x 61mm, DIN-rail mountable system is available in 0 to 55°C or -25 to 65°C temperature ranges, each with humidity tolerance of 5-95% RH (no condensation).

The ModBerry 500 STD (Standard) adds a second RS-232/485 port, 4x additional DIO, and a mini-PCIe slot or optional M.2 slot with SIM card slot. The STD model also offers an optional HDMI port. The ModBerry 500 MAX (Maximum) adds to the STD feature set with 4x ADC, a second mini-PCIe or M.2 slot, and optional CAN.

500 M3

With any of these SKUs, you can add 3x or 4x internal I/O “ExCard” extension modules that sit alongside the ModBerry on the DIN-rail. Options include more Ethernet, serial, analog and digital I/Os, relays, accelerometer, PCIe, and M-Bus. The models with mini-PCIe support or M.2 support offer options including 802.1ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GPRS, 3G, 4G-LTE, 5G, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, and NB-IoT. Some modules combine several functions, and there is also an option for an NVMe SSD.

Additional accessories include 1-Wire sensors, ZigBee sensors and relay I/O modules, and MBus and MODBus I/O modules. You can also order the system with optional antennas, active cooling systems, and a 40.8W, industrial power supply.

A Linux SDK with Linux 4.x along with NodeRED and PLC Codesys software is pre-installed. Options included Protocol Gateway (Modbus, M-Bus, MQTT, etc.), Notification Controller (Email, SMS, SNMP, etc.), and Datalogger software.

Like earlier ModBerry computers, the system supports the company’s cloud-based iMod, iModCloud, and iModWizard Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. The iModCloud platform provides file management, notifications, and custom-based actions, among other features.

Techbase also offers a less modular line of Raspberry Pi SBC based ModBerry 500 controllers, including a RPi 3B+ based ModBerry 500. As we noted in May when writing about Techbase’s #CoronaIoT project, there is also a Raspberry Pi 4 based version of the ModBerry 500 released last year that includes a a Moduino controller based on the ESP32.

Further information

The ModBerry 500 CM4 is available for pre-orders starting at 230 Euros ($272), with shipments following in about two months. Discounts are available for volume purchases. More information may be found in Techbase’s announcement and shopping page.


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