Raspberry Pi reveals Compute Module 3+: From $25, cooler, 8x more storage

The latest Raspberry Pi Compute Module runs cooler under heavy loads and is now available with up to 32GB storage.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Raspberry Pi Foundation has brought a new model to its lineup of tiny cheap computers aimed at enterprise customers. 

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ (CM3+) is the newest iteration of Raspberry Pi technology for businesses and industrial companies to add to their own tech products, such as NEC did for its digital signage display units. 

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module boards lack components like USB and HDMI ports featured on Raspberry Pi A and B models. 

The first compute module launched in 2014, two years after the first Raspberry Pi developer board debuted. It featured a Broadcom BCM2835 CPU, a single-core Arm11 at 700MHz, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of eMMC flash.  

Five years on CM3+ is bringing better sustained performance, larger RAM and flash, and improved thermal design. The board features the same Broadcom BCM2837B0 CPU from the $35 Raspberry Pi 3B+ in the same form factor as the CM3 that was released in January 2017

According to Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Compute Module's eMMC flash is more reliable than normal SD cards and is therefore a better fit for industrial applications. It also features more interfaces than the normal Raspberry Pi models, with support for two cameras, two displays, and extra GPIO pins. 

The CM3+ is available in four variants that start at $25 per unit. The cheapest option does not include eMMC Flash storage. The variant with 8GB of in-built storage costs $30, while the 16GB and 32GB variants cost $35 and $40, respectively. The storage options significantly boost the range from CM3, which topped out at 4GB. 

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"One of the most frequent requests from users and customers is for Compute Module variants with more on-board flash memory. CM1 and CM3 both came with 4GB of flash, and although we are fans of the Henry Ford philosophy of customer choice ("you can have any color, as long as it's black"), it was obvious that there was a need for more official options," said James Adams, COO of Raspberry Pi Trading. 

The non-profit also says the CM3+ will run cooler under heavy loads and the processor should remain below 80°C for longer on average, thus maintaining optimal clock speeds. 

However, it warns that the CM3+ outputs the same amount of heat as its predecessor for a given application, so performance will depend on the design of the board and enclosure. 

The CM3+ will be available until January 2026, while CM1, CM3, and CM3 Lite have been transitioned to "not recommended for new designs". However, the legacy compute modules will still be available until at least January 2023. 

The CM3+ is available in four variants that start at $25 per unit. 

Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

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