back to article Raspberry Pi Foundation says its final farewells to 40nm with release of Compute Module 3+

The Rasperry Pi Foundation has updated its Compute Module with better thermals, an updated application processor and bucketloads of flash memory (in Pi terms, at least). The Compute Module 3+, a System on Module (SoM) board, is part of a hardware family that's been around since 2014 with the launch of the CM1. That original …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    What do you destroy

    if you plug it in to a memory slot because you know it has to happen? By the way, I like these little computers and use a number of the regular variety in projects. Now I need some coffee to go with my Pi.

    1. Flakk

      Re: What do you destroy

      How can we find out? There's science to be done!

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: What do you destroy

        For dual channel and maximum perfomance, remember to populate 2 slots.

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: What do you destroy

        It would be cool if instead of frying either the board or your PC, it installed a rootkit on you. Nobody would see that coming...

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: What do you destroy

          (Except me. I saw that coming, Me. I saw it. Before anyone else.)

      3. VikiAi

        Re: What do you destroy

        Follow-up to "Will it Blend": Will it Plug-and-fry!

        1. Crisp

          Re: Will it Plug-and-fry?

          There will be magic blue smoke.

          And then there will be cake.

      4. Graham Cunningham

        "How can we find out? There's science to be done!"

        For the people who are still alive?

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: "How can we find out? There's science to be done!"

          Yes. Sure. For anybody that is still alive. We'll go with that.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: What do you destroy

      Some days I miss the time I was working for a crappy PC manufacturer (coff Evesham coff), because I had access to all sorts of hardware, and no-one really cared about failure rates. Consequently I could test things, like "what happens when I plug this Pi into this memory slot?", to see what would happen.

      Just FYI, if you pop the memory out of a computer while it's running, you get some pretty interesting patterns on the display, but no long term damage.

      1. detritus

        Re: What do you destroy

        Hey Phuzz - my first ever proper Grown Up computer (post Amiga..) was from Evesham - a 66Mhz DX2 with 64mb RAM, I think.

        I was so excited! I carefully set it up, plugged it in ... and the PSU blew, dramatically. The wrong voltage had somehow been set on the wee switch.

        To their credit, their return policy was quick and straightforward, but it did leave me wondering wt I was getting in to!

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: What do you destroy

          I had some of their replacement processor speed bumping kits. Nice. They worked.

        2. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: What do you destroy

          I was with them around 2004-5 and if you bought anything from them around that time, I'm sorry.

          Especially for whoever bought the server which went out missing a capacitor from the motherboard. It still ran and booted when it left us so I'm sure it was fine...

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: What do you destroy

      Could you have RAM that changes its contents and phones home with what you are doing on your computer?

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Good & Bad news

    Good: I Like it. I definitely want one to play with.

    Bad: I can't for the life of me think of a valid use for it.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Good & Bad news

      Eh, my garage door unit died. It's an '80s-era unit, with a beefy motor the size of a hatbox, and the H-bridge stuff still worked, so I hooked up a Pi plus some magnetic travel sensors, and optical beams to detect stuff under the door.

      The current units have motors the size of a soda can and take something like 8x as long to raise the door. I tried one and returned it because it was shite.

      I then proceeded to hook it up to the local network, and made it accessible from my phone, with TLS client certificates. Now when I get to 65 meters of my door, it magically opens and I just ride in. It detects me riding in, then automatically closes the door.

      I've looked, and "controlling your garage door" is basically the HELLO WORLD of Raspberry Pi

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Good & Bad news

        I've looked, and "controlling your garage door" is basically the HELLO WORLD of Raspberry Pi

        Remember to hook up some speakers so you can play an "Om" sample as you start to bring the door down, then play "Nom" every time time the door gets to the bottom. (Use a timeout to go back to "waiting to play 'om' state")

        (Also has extra crime prevention potential)

        1. Mad Hobbit

          Re: Good & Bad news

          or two wav files, one saying "Door opening Master" and "closing door Master"

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: Good & Bad news

            'or two wav files, one saying "Door opening Master" and "closing door Master"

            Or alternatively fit it with a "Genuine People Personality" from Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

        2. Chloe Cresswell

          Re: Good & Bad news

          ..please enjoy your trip though this door.

        3. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Good & Bad news

          It is a pleasure to open for you and a satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.

          Or, if you are the proud owner of a '58 Plymouth Fury in cherry red, also have it trigger a smoke cannon and some suitable mood lighting.

      2. Grinning Bandicoot

        Re: Good & Bad news

        Go check '' They have a wide variety of goodies to automate the house. Wished I had found this site back a few years

      3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        Re: Good & Bad news

        The garage door is a definite use for a Pi.

        Probable a ZeroW though.

        Not really Compute Module territory.

        1. deive

          Re: Good & Bad news

          Even better would be to use an Arduino...

          1. simmonsm

            Re: Good & Bad news

            Agreed. No chance of sd card and os filesystem corruption when there is a power outage.

      4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Good & Bad news

        I've lost count of my RPis, but this article is about some pug-in card. Presumably for some embedded application. Bit too much for most people to try to use.

      5. Mad Hobbit

        Re: Good & Bad news

        this kind of projects is what the Pi was made, a CHEAP computer for controlling . many do not remember that the original 8 bit processers were made to replace jumper board for logic. I commend you for your project and the results. might make a good article for your fellow geeks for a real world use of the Pi.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good & Bad news

      I am playing with Garage door controller/monitor, possibly including activating lights and camera when door opened.

      Other ideas a controller for activating wireless switches & TV so I can make it look like I am home when I am not

      1. Chris Evans

        Re: Good & Bad news

        I'm trying to work out how I can get a side gate to unlock as I cycle up to it!

        The gate latch will be on the outside wall of my garage which has power. Low power Bluetooth has been suggested.

        I've got some spare Pi 1's.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good & Bad news

          "I've got some spare Pi 1's."

          I use Arduino Nano for those sort of tasks with Paintshop Pro 7 to lay out the 0.1" strip board. The cases are plastic food containers. Prototyped on a 0.1" matrix plug block.

          My Xmas decorations have their mains power switched using old Byron RS3 433mHz units. About half a dozen of them in various rooms needing different switch on/off times. The main timer has a Nano, a 433mHz transmitter module, and a DS3231 RTC plus an MSF receiver to keep the clock synced when necessary. The DS3231 RTC has a soldered wire added so its CR2032 cell battery voltage can automatically be tested every day.

          The transmitter needs a deterministic processor in order to send its timed pulses. Arduino is perfect - RPi is possibly not so deterministic?

          It also has a 433mHz receiver module which is used to capture the pulse trains of the Byron bell/power controller units for new uses by the timer. This could also detect a 433mHz bell push for an immediate action.

          The house also has a visitor and door bell repeater system that uses such 433mHz Tx/Rx modules with an Arduino.

          Have also played with the various BlueTooth and 2.4gHz wi-fi modules. You have to be careful as there are two types of BlueTooth chips which have slightly different functionality.

        2. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Good & Bad news

          I got an original Pi1 and put RiscOS on it. Absolutely amazing! Just needs someone to write some useful programs for it!

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Good & Bad news

      Here is one example of a product built around these:

      These modules have industrial housings and specialised inputs, and there is a CM1 / CM3 inside which they're hooked up to. They go in factories using a standard 24V input and allow people to write gateways, servers etc. Since it's just a Raspberry Pi under the covers you can cross develop software relatively easily over Debian or Yocto.

    4. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Good & Bad news

      As the article points out, it's not really for the likes of the average computer nerd, but the electronics and Bitcoin-like compute cluster guys will like it.

      The aim is to become commodity hardware, that can run things like photocopiers, etc. I should imagine.

      Having a stable interface, Linux support, built-in storage, cheap, easily-available, etc. makes them attractive for certain embedded tasks. You could end up with one of these in your Sky box in theory. Or a wireless router. Or a fridge. Or a washing machine. Or even a tablet.

      When RPi / Arduino first came out, that was my first thought - all those companies I deal with that supply me with custom-made boards for their proprietary products... they could all just switch to cheap commodity boards with a custom OS on them (RPi doesn't just run Linux). The access control system I use has a old ARM chip on a custom board with a handful of connectors for bare-wires. They could make a new board for their next model that was just the connectors and a SO-DIMM slot for this thing.

      My workplace used nComputing thin clients for several years (which are still running as digital signage) - they were custom boards running some version of Linux with rdesktop. Quite literally the new versions of their products are just a Raspberry Pi in a box.

      And I can't say that wouldn't be good. My little vacuum robot thing is custom-chips and I'd love to be able to tinker or replace that board when he inevitably dies. The burglar alarms and things that I see have atrocious interfaces and never see software updates, etc. Imagine an Alexa-like thing with an RPi inside that you can actually customise.

      And from business point of view, no custom chip design, and putting your uniqueness into your design instead of spending lots of time and money reinventing the wheel. I wouldn't even be surprised to see these things turn up in, say, something like a homebrew hardware RAID controller.

  3. chuckufarley

    I have always thought...

    ...that these SODIMM style SBCs were cool. Not cool enough for me to buy some, but still cool. Over at you can find their SOPine and Clusterboard that combine to create a 7 CPU cluster in a m-ITX format. I think the next logical step is to drop the SODIMM format and move to PCIe 1x slots. Then you could have a RISCV CPU on the main board that just runs I/O and maybe even allocates RAM to each SBC. If the SBCs could boot via the network you wouldn't need to attach storage and the power pins in the PCIe slots can handle 10-25W which should be more than enough for a CPU-on-a-Card.

    If only I had a lot more time, money, and space around my desk...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I have always thought...

      >drop the SODIMM format and move to PCIe 1x slots

      The point of the sodimm is to pack a lot of i/o pins into a small form factor with cheap available sockets that lock and can lie flat on a PCB

      Using a PCIe socket doesn't have any advantages, using a PCIe bus means you don't have any of the GPIO pins. these are industrial controllers not blade servers.

      1. chuckufarley

        Re: I have always thought...

        "...these are industrial controllers not blade servers."

        This sums up a large portion of the reasons why I don't own any of them.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. 0laf Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Like warm apple pi?

    I got my first Pi just the other week with the intention of turning it into a filtering proxy server for my son's kit.

    I've not had much luck with the project as such but it's still a remarkable little device.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Like warm apple pi?

      That's like a 20 minute job.

      Even if you're starting from scratch and doing manually, it's only this page of instructions:

      P.S. Squid and DansGuardian are the basis of the Smoothwall project, which sell their custom boxes with that software into thousands of UK schools costing about £2000-5000 a year depending on other features.

      The expensive bit of such a project isn't the hardware, setup or software, though. I've deployed the above (not on an RPi, but an old office desktop machine) basically for free. It's the paid subscription to a decent updated blacklist, because the free ones are often trash. You can do "okay" with something like OpenDNS (which used to have a DNS server that you can use to filter out most sites) but if you want to do a decent job, you need to buy a subscription to a blacklist to use with DansGuardian.

  6. trevorde

    Storage prices

    "8, 16 and 32GB versions costing $30, $35 and $40"

    Only a minor increase in price for doubling storage, unlike certain fruity phone manufacturers

  7. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "It's the size of a DDR2-SODIMM and will happily plug into a DDR2-SODIMM connector"

    How weird/stupid is that?

    1. Chris Evans

      How weird/stupid is that?

      The aim is to be practical! Even SODIMM sockets in small quantities can be IIRC up to $20 each, depending on mounting. I hate to think what uncommon DIMM sockets would cost.


    2. Suricou Raven

      For the cost advantage of using a mass-produced connector, I would assume.

      1. -tim

        Not only a mass-produced connector, one that was falling out of favor but still in demand when it was picked so it wall be cheap for a very long time.

        As far as frying stuff, the voltages on a PC ram slot aren't high enough to damage the pi so if the pi doesn't short any of the power supply pins, there shouldn't be any long term damage if you plug one into a PC.

    3. rnturn

      Heh heh... reminds me...

      ...of the staff meeting (many years ago) when the director made the announcement that "from now on, nobody will use DB25 connectors for external power supply connectors". Apparently someone had plugged their weird external PS cable into the serial ports on a piece of custom data collection hardware toasting a bunch of chips in the process.

  8. James Hughes 1

    It's a minor point, but it's Raspberry Pi (Trading) that does all the development (HW and SW) of Pi's and sells them. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is the educational side. RP(T) is a wholely owned subsidiary of the RPF but is quite independent in its day to day running. Now also in a different buildings after the Station road office was flagged up for demolition.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Always odd when a thumbs down appears on a factual post. Got to wonder what it's for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        there's an app for that

        "Always odd when a thumbs down appears on a factual post. Got to wonder what it's for."

        Apparently there's a bot for that, somewhere round El Reg there's been a random downvoter.

        This one looks a bit more targeted though.

  9. Long John Silver

    Pi great for running Kodi

    More recent models of Pi make excellent media boxes.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Pi great for running Kodi


      Retropie + KODI + tvheadend is a good combination, and with the new DVB-T hat for the RPi you can pull in Freeview direct with no dongles required.

      It's my only "TV", it's an NVR recording onto a 128Gb SD card, I can stream it to my phone anywhere in world (ala TVPlayer), and it's set up with all my classic games consoles and games on it, too.

      The RPi now is what I wanted the RPi to be when it first came out and I was involved in the earliest testing. It's powerful enough to be useful, low power enough to be portable and tinkerable, extensible and supported enough to not be obsoleted, and cheap enough to be commodity.

  10. IGnatius T Foobar ! Bronze badge


    I'd love to see a "brainless laptop" or even a "brainless monitor" (the latter would need a USB keyboard) into which one of these compute modules can be slotted. When a new model comes out you just replace the module and it's a brand new computer.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: braaaaiiiiinnnssss...

      History shows that just as you get settled with such a device, technology moves on so much that the underlying bus becomes useless and out of date.

      PCMCIA -> PCCard -> Cardbus -> ExpressCard -> miniPCIe is just one example (each of which had several revision numbers for each technology even if they were electrically or backward compatible in some fashion, they weren't between technologies necessarily).

      MCA -> ISA -> VLB-> PCI -> PCI-X -> AGP-> PCIe -> ....

      The RPi itself had pins added to its GPIO header in later revisions.

      If every pin was identical in purpose and nothing more than, say, an Ethernet link that joined a link-aggregration group (e.g. via LACP), and where all devices of all ages and speeds speak the same language (i.e. 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000Mbps can all auto-negotiate and join the same group) and then have one huge bus that allowed hundreds of such devices to join and collate their data together (so powerful devices can negotiate, say, dozens of 10G lanes which also allows an old 10Mb lane to talk to the same bus or work on only a single 1G lane if put into an mid-range machine) and complete remove all "device description" off the bus into the underlying protocols entirely, then maybe you could do so.

      By the time you got that working, you'd quickly find that all the old devices were designed with really poor connectors and linkage so that devices are unreliable or slower than they need to be on those machines, and every top-end device would be stealing all the lanes at max speed to do what they need and you need even more lanes and even more speed, which obviously the motherboards of today hadn't been designed for, so new cards are unreliable and slow, and so on and so forth.

      You can do it. USB and PCI even had good shots at that. Still, though, even in the Ethernet stakes we can't bolt people down to 10/100/1000/10000MBps reliably, and that's only recently. There were 40Gb protocols and all kinds of legacy culling from the 10G Ethernet, and that needs Cat7 cables or whatever it is or it doesn't function, and so on.

      Specified serial interfaces, negotiating from base-speeds, on flexible lanes (almost per-pin), designed from the start to have more than enough pins and electrical characteristics to cope with all future requirements, hell from there you could literally just talk to them as if they were IP-based devices even over a local bus. It wouldn't be difficult to even layer USBoIP or PCIoIP over something like that, and storage has already headed that way.

      Trouble is that your computer now needs the internals of a decent managed 48-port 10G+ Ethernet switch to talk to a graphics card, which is likely prohibitive for the cost of a motherboard on top of everything else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: braaaaiiiiinnnssss...

        "History shows that just as you get settled with such a device, technology moves on so much that the underlying bus becomes useless and out of date."

        Depends on the cost of frequent change. In the commodity Wintel market, the modern IT department's status tends to depend on increasing their budget year on year, buying the latest shiniest because the directors wanted it.

        In the real world beyond Dell Intel Microsoft, where computers are sold to organisations who want them to do a specific job as part of something they make or do, and don't need/want unnecessary change, different rules have applied for many years.

        Basically you've just explained the reason why the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group was formed in the 1990s. You probably won't have heard of them, though some readers may be aware of things like VMEbus and CompactPCI.

        Further reading:

        Modern Raspberry Pi isn't PCI based and isn't quite industrial enough for everyone but it ticks a lot of other boxes as a low cost (to design around, to build in, and to support for a reasonable lifetime) embeddable computer system. It's not far off being the new "industry standard" for much of the non-Wintel market.

        Anyone still looking at Wintel for the market sector these Pies sell into needs their head examining.

  11. tomipiriyev

    Raspberry Pi Compute module 3+ as a drone companion computer for UAV application development, Lychee

    It is a great news. I recently made a drone computer module with RPI Cm3, and CM3+ compatible with Cm3 , cant wait to see what people will develop on drone with Raspberry Pi.

    For more information about my project Lychee :

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