Embedded engineer Cezar Chirila is working on a carrier board designed to convert the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 into a twin-SATA network attached storage (NAS) device — and is making the Pintry X2 available under the permissive MIT license.
"The Pintry X2 is a two bay NAS (Network Attached Storage) based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4," Chirila explains of his creation. "It uses the ASMedia AS1061 PCIe to SATA bridge to connect up to 2 drives (3.5"/2.5" HDD or 2.5" SSD) to the SoM running a Linux based OS (Raspberry Pi OS)."
Designed to support both the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, which includes on-board eMMC storage, and the eMMC-free Compute Module 4 Lite, the carrier board is surprisingly compact. Despite its dinky footprint, it still manages to pack in features: As well as the two SATA ports for storage, it offers two fan headers with pulse-width modulation (PWM) speed control, a USB 2.0 Host port, a micro-USB port for updating the CM4's eMMC flash, a smart power switch for safe shutdowns, and a general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header.
"Previously, to be able to use SATA drives with a CM4 you had to recompile the kernel with added SATA support," Chirila notes. "However, newer kernel versions have SATA support built-in, so you should not have to worry about this."
To go alongside the Pintry X2 board - named for "Pi" and "Pantry," the room of the house where Chirila's NAS is housed — Chirila has designed a simple 3D-printable chassis. "The enclosure is pretty basic, as it supports only 2.5" drives," Chirila warns. "For better thermals, there are vents on both halves and there you have an option to add a 60mm fan as you can see in the picture below. For better thermals, I have also added a RAM heatsink to the ASM1061 IC."
Design files for the PCB and enclosure, plus supporting software, and installation notes, are available on the project's GitHub repository under the permissive MIT license; more details can be found on Chirila's website.