Raspberry Pi Foundation launches Compute Module 3, pricing starts at $25

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,526   +122
Staff member

The Raspberry Pi Foundation on Monday launched a brand new version of its Compute Module for industrial-type applications.

The Compute Module 3 (CM3) is based on the latest Raspberry Pi 3 and thus, affords a much higher level of performance. On the small SODIMM-layout module, you’ll find a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 quad-core processor clocked at up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of eMMC on-module flash storage.

There’s also a new Compute Module 3 Lite (CM3L) that packs the same quad-core processor and 1GB of memory but drops the eMMC storage in favor of letting users wire up their own eMMC or SD card using the module’s pins.

It’s worth noting that the new modules are 1mm taller than the original. What’s more, the processor core supply (VBAT) can draw a lot more current which unfortunately means the chip can run a lot hotter under heavy CPU loads. Depending on the application, this could present thermal-related issues.

The original Compute Module arrived in April 2014 but because the new modules are based on the latest Raspberry Pi 3, the foundation has skipped over the “2” naming convention entirely (there was no “middle” module based on the Raspberry Pi 2 generation).

Pricing for the CM3 and CM3L is set at $30 and $25, respectively (minus tax and shipping) and applies to orders of all sizes (in other words, no bulk order discounts). The foundation is keeping the original Compute Module around as well, slashing its price down to $25.

There’s also a full development kit that foundation partners RS and Premier Farnell are offering, we’re told, which should include everything you’d need to get started designing on the new modules.

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Posts: 1,601   +906
What is it's function? What can I use this for?
Whatever you want. You're going to have to be a little more tech savvy than your average bear, but its completely open source and they don't care what you do with the hardware.

Full-blown RasPis often get a Linux distro thrown on them and set to do something along the lines of functioning as basic computer/internet device - 'build your own Roku' is common, but I've seen people deploy them as home-controlling devices, Xbox mods, TOR routers, simple robotics, even some stratospheric photography and cube satellite projects.

For RasPi compute module projects tend to be more 'embedded' type projects, but they are still devices capable of functioning as the brains for 'simple' robotics projects or IoT projects.


Posts: 236   +197
What is it's function? What can I use this for?
I use mine as a temperature/humidy monitor for the various floors in my house and outdoors. I set thresholds to send a text and email should the temp drop to levels indicating a heating problem in the house. (I live in NE US without a backup heating source at the moment) It also records all the data for later analysis should I want it and I want to add a relay to turn on the De-Humidifier in the older basement if a certain humidity level is reached.

The same Pi 3 monitors for movement in the house at a couple of points with some cheap ir sensors and depending if an alarm on condition is set, it will send out notifications. I use it to wake up my PC and send out an email when my assigned cable IP is changed.

I want to add a few things like relays to set off a small alarm and turn on some accent LED lighting if daylight falls below a certain level, maybe activate an electronic lock on one door to let someone in if necessary.

It's a little impractical for some of that, but it is a hobby I have fun with and you can do all that (Current setup) for less than $100 including the pi.