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Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier has five SATA slots and four GbE ports

Jan 6, 2022 — by Eric Brown 10,310 views

Axzez’s $99 “Interceptor Carrier Board” for the RPi CM4 is designed for NAS and NVR and loaded with 5x SATA slots, 4x switched GbE, 2x HDMI, and 2x USB ports. Wiretrustee canceled its similar “SATA Board” project but has posted open hardware files.

Carmel, Indiana based startup Axzez has opened $99 preorders for its Interceptor Carrier Board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Shipments of the 5x SATA enabled carrier are due in February.

The only other SATA-heavy RPi Compute Module carrier we have seen is the 4-slot SATA Board for Raspberry Pi CM4, which was announced last February. Wiretrustee has now cancelled the delayed project but has posted open source files for others to take up the baton (see farther below).



Interceptor Carrier Board
(click images to enlarge)

Designed for NAS, NVR, IoT, and managed switch applications, the Interceptor Carrier Board enables its 5x SATA HDD or SSD ports via a JMicron JMB585 PCIe to SATA controller. The board provides RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10 plus HDD sleep/standby support.

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While Wiretrustee’s SATA Board is limited to a single GbE port, here you get 4x switched GbE ports using a Realtek RTL8367RB switch that supports programmable VLAN. The board also provides 2x HDMI 2.0 output ports for up to 4Kp60.

The Interceptor Carrier Board provides 2x USB 2.0 ports and 2x USB 2.0 headers plus an RS-485 terminal plug. Other features include 4x 3-pin fan connectors and an 8-pin header for power LED, power button, and UART.

Dual FFC connectors offer 40-pin expansion. (A Mini-ITX adapter will be available soon.) The board is powered via an ATX-24 input and provides a “highly accurate” RV3028 real-time clock with a coin cell holder.

A Raspbian 11 “bullseye” image is available for download with SATA and GbE drivers and setup support. A forum is available, and the board provides NDAA compliance. More resources are coming, but it is unclear if this is an open-spec project.

Also of note in the Raspberry Pi NAS category is Argon40’s Argon Eon NAS server. The system is built around the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC and is equipped with 2x 2.5-inch and 2x 3.5-inch SATA bays.

 
SATA Board dies, but ascends to open source heaven

The chip shortage has played havoc with the embedded technology world, with hundreds of boards being discontinued prematurely or slipping into the netherworld of being endlessly out of stock with no promise of return. One promising project that never reached fruition was Wiretrustee’s SATA Board for Raspberry Pi CM4.

Citing the chip shortage, the company cancelled its planned Crowd Supply campaign, according to Hackster.io, which broke the original February announcement. Fortunately, Wiretrustee, which specializes in VPN, has released design files for the board, custom heatsink, and chassis under the CERN Open Hardware License v2 — Permissive.



SATA Board for Raspberry Pi CM4, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The NAS-oriented SATA Board supports any Raspberry Pi CM4 variant. The carrier provides a Marvell 88SE9215 controller to enable 4x powered SATA ports with up to 220MB/s throughput.

The 100 x 100mm SATA Board is equipped with a microSD slot, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and single GbE, HDMI 2.0, and USB Type-C ports. Other features include a fan header, RTC with battery backup, and a 12V/5A input jack to support up to 3.5-inch HDDs. There is also a separate front-panel LED control board.

 
Further information

The Interceptor Carrier Board is available for $99 at Axzez’s shopping page, with shipments due in February. More information may be found on the Interceptor product page.

Open source designed files for Wiretrustee’s canceled SATA Board for Raspberry Pi CM4 may be found on its SATA Board GitHub page.
 

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