Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 for industry goes on sale

The Raspberry PI logo, a stylised cartoon raspberry

RS Components and Allied Electronics have announced the release of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, a chip specifically designed for industrial applications.

Although it features the same components as the full-scale Raspberry Pi 3 microcomputer, including a four-core, 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 processor and 1GB of RAM, it's less than half the size of the consumer model and doesn't include the Ethernet, USB, SD Card and display sockets or feature Wi-Fi.

Companies wanting to add on the extra ports can do so using an edge connector that slots into a SODIMM socket, enabling developers to pick and choose which ports they want to include and which they don't.

This more modular design makes the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 more flexible for product designers, making it useful for more simple applications when extras aren't necessary.

"With a modular design you can isolate a lot of the high technology PCB design into a relatively small area," said Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3's creator Eben Upton. "We've seen some nice designs for it. Probably the ones we are most excited about are NEC's large-format displays, which have the option to put a Compute Module inside to add intelligence to what was previously a passive display."

To keep the module as open as possible, it will come without an operating system installed, allowing businesses to install their own preferred interface. However, RS Components said it can pre-program it if the company wishes, as long as the order is big enough to warrant the special request.

Companies will also need to buy up their own circuit board with a SODIMM socket to use Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation will offer its own Compute Module IO Board to ensure those developing their own products can start creating from the off.

The chip will be available exclusively from RS Components and Allied Electronics for between $25 and $30 (20 and 25) depending on whether companies wish to buy it with integrated flash memory.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.