Raspberry Pi announces new open source modular hardware

Raspberry Pi plans later this year to ship new hardware in the form of a smaller board that plugs into a custom motherboard slot, which could appeal to a new audience of makers, enthusiasts and enterprise users. The new computer has similar circuitry from the current Raspberry Pi design, which is an uncased board with key components on it. The smaller Raspberry Pi board can be plugged into SODIMM slots, which are typically found in small computers with custom motherboards. The new Pi will be more like a mini-computer inside a computer.

Soon, there could be Pi in just about any device that needs embedded computing power. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new version of the Raspberry Pi platform that is aimed at a whole new class of devices and applications. Called the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the new product puts all of the Pi’s core functionality onto a small board the size of a laptop memory module, allowing it to be plugged in to custom-built hardware. Intended for use with custom-built circuit boards, the Compute Module puts the Raspberry Pi’s system-on-a-chip with 512MB of memory and 4GB of Flash storage on a board that fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM slot. To help hardware developers get started, the foundation is also releasing an “IO board” for the module that has the same sort of input and output interfaces as the single-board Pi—the main difference being that the board is entirely open source.

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