A new flavor of Raspberry Pi
is going to lead to some interesting mods
, or so that's the hope. Raspberry Pi is being shrunk down and baked onto a SODIMM module, which modders and makers will be able to plug into their own home brewed Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). If that's above your skill or interest level, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also has in its recipe book a Compute Module I/O board to help designers get started.
The SODIMM contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi -- BCM2835 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB eMMC flash storage (essentially the equivalent of having an SD card in the Pi). All of those parts are integrated into a 67.6mm by 30mm board that fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector.
"You get the full flexibility of the BCM2835 SoC (which means that many more GPIOs and interfaces are available as compared to the Raspberry Pi), and designing the module into a custom system should be relatively straightforward as we’ve put all the tricky bits onto the module itself," Raspberry Pi Foundation explains.
As for the I/O board, it's a simple, open-source breakout board with a slot for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. It allows you to program the module's flash memory, access the processor interfaces in a more friendly fashion, and provides HDMI and USB connectors.
At the outset, the Raspberry Pi Foundation plans to make these parts available in kit form from RS and element14 beginning in June. Sometime after that, you'll be able to buy just the Compute Module, with pricing set at $30 in batches of 100 units.