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Raspberry Pi goes 64-bit with freshly baked Compute Module 3 board

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a new version of its Compute Module, the Compute Module 3, which comes with 64-bit and multi-core functionality.

The original Module was launched in 2014, and combined the guts of a first-generation Pi with a small SODIMM-layout module

Now, the Foundation has produced the new Compute Module 3 (CM3) based on the latest Raspberry Pi 3, providing greatly-improved performance.

Related: MWC 2017

Since the first Compute Module, which was designed mainly for industrial use, the Raspberry Pi has gone through two further iterations, rendering the module itself outdated.

But the new version, which uses the same BCM2837, a quad-core 64-bit ARMv8 part, as the Pi 3, brings the Compute Module fully up to date.

The module will come with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of onboard eMMC flash storage, along with the new 64-bit support, while a Compute Module 3 Lite will also be available with connector pins for hooking up your own storage in place off the eMMC memory.

Foundation COO James Adams writes on the Foundation’s site: “Some users wanted free access to add their own flash [storage].To solve this, two versions of the CM3 are being released: one with 4GB eMMC on-board and a ‘Lite’ model which requires the user to add their own SD card socket or eMMC flash.”

compute module 3

And while the new device outdoes its full-size counterpart with the increased RAM and onboard storage, it does lack the radio module that comes with the Pi 3, so there’s no built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity.

Those that need such connectivity will have to hook up third-party hardware via the edge connector in order to get the Module communicating wirelessly.

The new device also comes with a breakout board which supports both the first-generation Compute Module and the new Compute Module 3.

As Adams explains: “We are also releasing an updated version of our get-you-started breakout board, the Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3).

“This board provides the necessary power to the Module and gives you the ability to program the Module’s flash memory (for the non-Lite versions) or use an SD card (Lite versions), access the processor interfaces in a slightly more friendly fashion (pin headers and flexi connectors, much like the Pi), and provides the necessary HDMI and USB connectors so that you have an entire system that can boot Raspbian (or the OS of your choice).”

The Compute Module 3 is available now for $30 (around £25) while the Compute Module 3 Lite is avaialble for $25 (around £20).

WATCH: Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2

Let us know what you think of the new module in the comments.

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