Raspberry Pi 4S Compute Module Mysteriously Revealed?

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A new version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 may be on the horizon, and it could return to the SO-DIMM form factor of its ancestors. Known as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4S, the possible new board has been announced on Twitter (opens in a new tab) not by Raspberry Pi itself, but by Nicolai Buchwitz of the German manufacturer of industrial control units Revolution Pi, which appeared silently in the Raspberry Pi Github (opens in a new tab) back in December.

Apparently a 200-pin SO-DIMM like Compute Module 3+, but containing at least some of the upgraded components of Compute Module 4 (opens in a new tab)the CM4S was immediately the subject of discussion (opens in a new tab) on the Raspberry Pi forum, with a thread started by Pi-watcher and friend of the Tom’s Hardware Pi’s Cast (opens in a new tab)Jeff Geerling, who also made a video about it.

Revolution Pi’s claim is that the 4S board is at the heart of its new S and SE series products, which are used in industry to control, monitor and automate processes. It gives the CM4S specs as broadly as we expected, with a 1.5GHz quad-core Broadcom Cortex-A72 processor, 1GB of RAM, up to 32GB of eMMC flash, HDMI 2.0a, and Ethernet. up to 350 Mbit/s in a 68 x 31 x 4.7 mm package with a single SO-DIMM edge connector. Using the SO-DIMM connector on both 100-pin board-to-board connectors on Compute Module 4 means that Compute Module 4S will not have access to PCIe or Gigabit Ethernet, but it could be a replacement for the industrial customers wishing to upgrade their existing kit.

On his webpage, Revolution Pi is making a big deal of the global chip shortage to explain why its products, based on the Compute Module 3+, are not available. He says, “So the Raspberry Pi organization offered us a special Compute Module 3+ alternative: The Compute Module 4S. It is a compute module in CM3+ format, on which is installed the more powerful Arm Cortex-A72 processor of the CM4”.

The news comes on the back of a statement (opens in a new tab) by Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton on stock issues among various iterations of the popular single-board computer, with the recommendation that potential buyers consider the Raspberry Pi 400 (opens in a new tab) and Pi Pico (opens in a new tab) packages, as these are the most available. As the stock of older Raspberry Pi models dwindles and Raspberry Pi also prioritizes industrial and commercial customers, now may be the time for those customers to upgrade to a newer Pi. The 4S Compute Module could be a cost-effective alternative, requiring no rework of custom PCBs or carrier boards. There have been other attempts to use SO-DIMM form factors with Compute Module 4, including Gumstix’s line of adapters. As Geerling mentions in the video, these cards often have random compatibility.

We’ve contacted Raspberry Pi Ltd for confirmation and details of the new board, and will update this story when we have new information.

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