How Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 might help IoT & Industrial Automation?

UPDATE 22.10.20: ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 4 available for pre-order

TECHBASE’s ModBerry industrial computer series has received an update to Compute Module 4 and is available for pre-orders. TECHBASE is leading manufacturer of Industrial Raspberry Pi and Industrial Compute Module solutions. ModBerry 500 series is fully compatible with all releases of Compute Module from Rasbperry Pi foundation.

Main features of updated device are:

  • up to 4x faster eMMC Flash with up to 32GB storage
  • up to 2x faster performance of CPU apllications than previous CM3 version
  • up to 8x more RAM (8GB LPDDR4)
  • optional 1Gbit Ethernet interface
  • optional PCIe card support for NVMe SSD drive (via M.2)
  • optional second PCIe support for wireless modem solutions

First orders will be ready with subject to the availability of the CM4 module itself.

Update on Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4 features [15.10.2020]

According to latest leaks about Compute Module 4 specifiaction and features we can be more than sure that:

  • New Compute Module will feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on-board! Raspberry Pi Compute Module series will probably include versions with and without these modems to provide modules for variety of industrial applications.
  • PCI-Express line will be available externally to enable extension support via PCIe
  • Ethernet support will be enabled, most probably 1Gbps, since it is a standard in latest Raspberry Pi 4B.
  • 5x UART will be available to Compute Module 4 users

Compute Module & Industrial IoT symbiosis

It a matter of time before we will see Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ successor, probably called Compute Module 4, a new milestone of professional embedded IoT module. What might be the specification of this highly expected development board? What changes will it bring to Industrial use of IoT?

We are witnessing the fourth industrial revolution. Its key element is to create systems of interconnected sensors and actuators that operate within one global network. The so-called Internet of Things, unlike the consumer market, meet much more difficult requirements. To be able to meet harsh industrial expectations, many automation companies have already begun to offer solutions especially tailored to the application of the Internet of Things in Industry 4.0.

Although it may seem quite obvious nowadays, it is worth to be aware that just a few years ago such algorithms were practically not implemented at all in small consumer devices. It was only when people got used to smartphones that the idea of ubiquitous communication and adaptation of the way the system or device works to the environment became understandable. In fact, this confirms the validity of the idea of the Internet of Things as an important direction in the development of electronics – and in practice also automation.

Raspberry Pi is gaining recognition in Industry

Almost a year ago, in the beginning of 2019, Raspberry Pi Foundation presented Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+, a successor to previous CM3 version of development board, aimed at businesses and industrial users. The Compute Module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) form factor. GPIO and other I/O functions are routed through the 200 pins on the board.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

Only a few months later, in June 2019, came big premiere of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, the long-awaited successor of customer RPi3+. With new processor, larger RAM options and many input/output changes, became new standard in small, embedded PC world.

It seems a matter of time before the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ will get its own successor, probably called Compute Module 4, a new milestone of professional embedded IoT module. What might be the specification of this highly expected development board?

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 specification forecast

Compute Module 4 specifications probably will look like these:

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5GHz will highly plausible replace previous Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC @ 1.2GHz,
  • 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM will become a standard options, instead of fixed 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM,
  • Current flash memory (eMMC) options: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB from CM3+ will probably stay the same,
  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode) might replace outdated H.264 (1080p30)
  • and OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics will replace 1.1, 2.0 versions,
  • weight and factor will stay the same, to provide a possibility to upgrade current IoT applications of CM3 and CM3+

A Lite 4 version of Compute Module is to be expected too, without eMMC and probably limited SDRAM options.

With much higher performance, the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 will, for sure, support Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 expansions. We might even see wider working temperature range, if Raspberry Pi Foundation decides to make some hardware changes, to follow, for example, ESP32 – used in end-point IoT automation.

Industrial use of Compute Module

With Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, TECHBASE upgraded their ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series.

 ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+
ModBerry 500 with Compute Module 3+

Higher performance of ModBerry 500/9500 with extended eMMC flash memory, up to 32GB , powered by quad-core Cortex A53 processor allows the device to smoothly run Windows 10 IoT Core system, opening up many possibilities for data management, remote control and visualisation.

Ubuntu 19.10 „Eoan Ermine” for Raspberry Pi 4

Many users’ favorite Linux distribution has a new version. Ubuntu 19.10 has been officially released, whose name is „Eoan Ermine”. Ubuntu 19.10 „Eoan Emine” is the latest version of the popular Linux distribution, valued for its intuitive operation, fast operation, pleasant interface and wide compatibility. Anyone interested can already update or download and install this edition manually.

This new version replaces Ubuntu 19.04 „Disco Dingo”. It will be updated for 9 months, followed by 20.04 „Focal Fossa” with extended support period (LTS).

The most important news in Ubuntu 19.10 is the Linux 5.3 kernel and the GNOME 3.34 graphical environment, which is supposed to provide faster performance, better responsiveness and the option of grouping applications in the menu along with many other functions and changes. The authors also tout „dramatically improved” performance and accelerated startup (although this has never been a major problem).

The installer of the new Ubuntu may also contain Nvidia graphics card drivers, which may not be a revolutionary change, but it is certainly something that users will welcome with open arms. The same as the appearance of USB icons in the system dock, clearer graphic themes, support for the ZFS file system or the software package in the latest versions: LibreOffice 6.3, Firefox 69, Thunderbird 68, Transmission 2.9.4 or Remmina 1.3.4.

Ubuntu 19.10 for latest Raspberry Pi applications

With 19.10 release of Ubuntu Server, Canonical announced official support for the Raspberry Pi 4. The latest board from the Raspberry Pi Foundation sports a faster system-on-a-chip with a processor that uses the Cortex-A72 architecture (quad-core 64-bit ARMv8 at 1.5GHz). Additionally, it offers up to 4GB of RAM. We are supporting the Raspberry Pi 4 to give developers access to a low-cost board, powerful enough to consolidate compute workloads at the edge. 

The Raspberry Pi has established itself as a most accessible platform for innovators in the embedded space. Canonical is dedicated to empowering innovators with open-source software. Consequently, Canonical endeavors to offer full official support for all the boards in the Raspberry Pi family. Canonical will therefore enable both Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Core for existing and upcoming Pi boards.

Ubuntu Roadmap. Source: https://ubuntu.com/blog/roadmap-for-official-support-for-the-raspberry-pi-4

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi 4

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Raspberry Pi 4

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.



Rock Pi X - Next Intel-based clone of Raspberry Pi

Every fan of new technologies has heard of small single-board computers (SBC) in the form of Raspberry Pi. Raspberry debuted on the market in many different versions, and the current model is Model 4B. A lot of people got infected with it for DIY, programming or Linux. No wonder that many other companies are trying to replicate British success. One of them is Rock Pi, which has just presented Rock Pi X. Compared to many other SBCs available on the market, it does not use a processor based on ARM architecture, but a chip from Intel. However, it is already quite old and cheap CPU, but it translates into a low price of the device.

Next Intel-based Rock Pi X clone of Raspberry Pi
Rock Pi X (front look). Source: https://wiki.radxa.com/RockpiX

Another player on SBC market – Rock Pi X

Rock Pi X is a single-board computer with dimensions of 52 x 85 x 18 millimeters. The heart of the device is the Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor from 2015, which has 4-cores and 4-threads clocked from 1.44 to 1.88 GHz, 2 MB Cache memory and integrated graphics Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail). RAM memory depends on the chosen variant and it can be 1, 2 or 4 GB DDR3L 1866 MHz. There is no built-in memory here, but there is a slot for MicroSD cards and eMMC modules. Model Rock Pi X A has no wireless connection (only RJ-45 socket), while Model B has a module 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 LE.

Among the available connectors we will find one HDMI 1.4, headphone port, one USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 2.0, one USB type C with OTG support and a 40-pin GPIO identical to that of the Raspberry Pi. Most importantly, however, that the use of the x86 processor allows the normal installation and support of Windows 10, and not its prosthesis with the annotation ARM. However, it should be remembered that the discussed Atom was not a performance demon even at the time of its release. Rock Pi X will be available soon, suggested prices are as follows:

  • Model A 1GB RAM – $39
  • Model A 2GB RAM – $49
  • Model A 4GB RAM – $65
  • Model B 1GB RAM – $49
  • Model B 2GB RAM – $59
  • Model B 4GB RAM – $75
ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4

Industrial use of market SBCs

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

ModBerry M500 also utilizes many more SBC platforms, such as Orange Pi, NanoPi and Intel-based UpBoard. Find more information here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/



Raspberry Pi 4 as an alternative for gateway platform

The Raspberry Pi platform, which is no longer intended solely for educational and experimental purposes, is increasingly being promoted for Industrial IoT use. Despite few minor drawbacks of standard Raspberry Pi 4 Model B format, such as reduced working temperature range, as compared to industrial standards, RPi4 can serve as a platform for high performance computing on gateway level of installation, processing data gathered from lighter end-point units, such as ESP32-based solutions.

ModBerry M500 Gateway with Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi increase in IoT significance

More and more engineers and technology providers believe that it is suitable for industrial applications in the real world. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion about the use of Raspberry Pi in industry, most of which emphasize that Raspberry Pi is a great tool for engineering experiments, but not so much for industrial applications in the real world. While it is true that the Raspberry Pi is not considered the best choice for mission-critical applications, it is also true that the Raspberry Pi is no longer a platform for experimentation.

Latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). can be chosen from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Raspberry Pi 4 continues the tradition of one of the most versatile and cheapest computer devices. It can be used for virtually anything from proprietary IoT solutions to a full-fledged desktop computer. The new Malinka has two micro-HDMI ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 type A ports and two USB 2.0 type A ports.

Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0
Raspberry Pi 4, with 2xHDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and 2xUSB3.0

Industrial use of Raspberry Pi 4

A year ago, TECHBASE released an updated version of the ModBerry M500 industrial IoT computer, replacing the aging Raspberry Pi 3 with a 3B+, giving it better performance. With the recent launch of the Raspberry Pi 4, TECHBASE has yet again, announced another upgrade to the M500, which now packs the latest single-board computer.

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation. ModBerry devices are compatible with Raspberry Pi accessories, supported by Raspberry Pi Foundation. ModBerry M500 now with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ / Raspberry Pi 4 Model B support.

TECHBASE updates M500 devices with Raspberry Pi 4

The newest addition to TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem is an updated ModBerry M500 with latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). ModBerry M500 can be configured from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Gigabit Ethernet & USB 3.0 on-board

Another new and appreciated feature is an upgrade to full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet for fast network connection and 2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0 for additional I/O, data storage extension and fast wireless modem support. ModBerry M500 with Rasbperry Pi 4 has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 on-board. For additional wireless networks expansions, you can choose from variety of Industrial IoT modems from TECHBASE offer, incl. 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT), Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, LoRa, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many more.

Enhanced Video support for RPi4

The full HDMI port has been replaced with two microHDMI ports with dual monitor support, at resolutions up to 4K, VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x and 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. The device is fully compatible with previous versions of Rasbperry Pi based Industrial IoT devices and accessories from TECHBASE.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Modberry M500

Raspberry Pi 4 based ModBerry M500 availability

New ModBerry M500 with three variants of Raspberry Pi 4 based devices is available for pre-orders via https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/ For specific delivery time please contact us via e-mail or Live Chat, directly at Industrial IoT Shop.

The embedded SIM card (eSIM) is a form of programmable SIM card that is directly built in the device. eSIM is a global GSMA specification that enables remote SIM delivery to any supported device, and GSMA defines eSIM as the SIM card for the next generation of connected consumer / professional devices and network solution with the use of eSIM technology.

Easy SIM operator swap

In Industrial IoT applications in which there is no need to change the SIM card, the need of using a connector is avoided, which increases reliability and data security. eSIM can be remotely configured – users can add or change operators without having to physically swap the SIM card from the device. It is often a crucial requirement for the installations where factors such as temperature, water and shock resistance, as well as lack of access forces user to choose remote solutions.

eSIM Raspberry Pi Connvectivity

Raspberry Pi & ESP32-based devices

TECHBASE company is now developing eSIM support for Raspberry Pi and ESP32 industrial devices, such as ModBerry and Moduino X to improve the handling of wireless modem connectivity. To receive an offer for ModBerry/Moduino device with eSIM-based modem, contact our Sales Department via e-mail or Live Chat.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

With new Compute Module 3+ options from Raspberry Pi, we upgraded our ModBerry 500/9500 industrial computers. From now on the ModBerry 500/9500 can be supported with extended eMMC, up to 32GB. Higher memory volume brings new features available for ModBerry series.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+

New Rasperry Pi’s Compute Module 3+ specs:
Processor: Broadcom BCM2837 64-bit
Core: Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53
Clock: 1.2 GHz
RAM memory: 1 GB LPDDR2
eMMC Flash memory: 8/16/32 GB (CM3 has 4GB RAM only)

RASPBERRY PI COMPATIBLE

Over 10 million Raspberry Pi’s have been sold and the Raspberry Pi is likely to stay as a new standard in the industry. Official Raspbian OS is free operating system based on Linux Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation.

WINDOWS 10 IOT SUPPORT

Higher performance of ModBerry 500/9500 with extended eMMC flash memory, up to 32GB , powered by quad-core Cortex A53 processor allows the device to smoothly run Windows 10 IoT Core system, opening up many possibilities for data management, remote control and visualisation.

ModBerry 500/9500 devices are still available with previous Compute Module 3 (4GB RAM) and new CM3+ with 8/16/32GB RAM are available on demand. For delivery time, ask our Sales Department via Live Chat, since the small quantities of new modules are available seasonally.

Various data connection protocols & MQTT data management solutions

To take full advantage of the TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem’s capabilities, you can build your own installation, depending on project requirements, choosing from variety of Gateways (Gateway Layer) to control data collected from an array of Moduino edge devices (Sensor Layer). Moduino can be programmed in one of open software platforms, e.g. MicroPython to gather the data and send it, using MQTT standard protocol, further to Gateway and/or cloud service.

Both Moduino ESP32 and Pycom-based Moduino supports open & free libraries, shared by Pycom, tested and approved by constantly growing ESP32/Arduino community. TECHBASE company has plans to provide an open-source platform for managing services & remote configuration and control of endpoint Moduino devices using MicroPython.

MQTT Data Management

Wide range of protocol support

All TECHBASE’s solution can be empowered with iMod software incl. protocol support for industrial interfaces, e.g. M-Bus, Modbus, SNMP, MQTT. iMod software works seamlessly with Node-RED using MQTT protocol, allowing use of bacnet and direct control over devices I/Os with Google’s platform-neutral protobuf – extensible mechanism for serializing structured data and zeroMQ controls to connect the code in any modern language, on any platform. The protocol drivers library can be expanded with CODESYS development system to support PROFIBUS, CANopen, EtherCAT, PROFINET and EtherNet/IP.