The Raspberry Pi Compute Module was launched yesterday and I felt I owed it to you, dear readers, to get one. ;) OK. So, maybe it’s not fair to blame you guys for it. I’d have bought one anyway, but you helped me to not dither over the decision.
I also have ideas for something I might do with it. But that’s top secret, so don’t tell anyone!
So What is the Compute Module?
It’s a small module in the same SODIMM form factor as a laptop memory module. You can see it in the middle of this photo…
…the big board it’s connected to is the development board, which breaks out all manner of ports which aren’t accessible on the standard model A/B Pis. It’s for embedded systems developers, who want to incorporate the Compute Module into their own products.
The dev board kit is ~£152. I bought mine from Farnell yesterday and the UPS man just delivered it.
The instructions are clear and concise. I used an Ubuntu laptop to configure and flash the latest Raspbian (June 2014) to the module. It took about 20 minutes to write the image. I was getting a bit nervous that something had gone wrong (kid with a new toy) but it was fine.
I swapped the jumper around, plugged in my PiHub, keyboard dongle, wifi dongle and memory stick and it booted up perfectly first time. Happy days.
You’ll Need a Hub
There’s no ethernet on board, so if you want internet and keyboard/mouse, you’ll need a hub. Otherwise you get the chicken/egg situation of…
“how do I configure my wifi dongle with only one USB port?”
…since you can’t swap SD cards, having configured the card on another machine.
I suppose one way round this would be to dump a Raspbian image to disk with your wifi credentials already on it, then flash that to the compute module. But who’s got time for that when there’s a Pihub available?
I’m powering mine with the PiHub too, so using all the ports, but only one PSU. The dev kit comes with a PSU and two USB leads, along with camera and DSI display adaptors.
I’ve just made a quick ‘walkround video’. I’ll be back with more, when I’ve done something with it…