Gumstix Launches an Adapter to Pack Raspberry Pi's New Compute Module 4 Into Older Carrier Boards

Part of a new family of carrier boards, the Uprev adapter turns the CM4 into a drop-in upgrade — and comes with an optional Edge TPU.

Embedded compute specialist Gumstix has become the first out of the gate with a solution to the newly-launched Raspberry Pi Compute Module's biggest drawback: Its inability to be installed as a drop-in upgrade for earlier Compute Module carrier boards.

Launched this morning, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 family brings the high-performance system-on-chip at the heart of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer to a system-on-module format — but it does so with a new form factor, meaning it's not compatible with carrier boards designed for the Compute Module 3+ and earlier.

Gumstix' solution: The Raspberry Pi CM4 Uprev, an adapter board which hosts a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 of any type and breaks its two 100-pin high-density connectors out onto a 200-pin SODIMM edge connector compatible with the old Compute Module pin-out. While the adapter doesn't allow for use of the newly-exposed PCI Express connectivity, it should — space allowing — provide a means to upgrade the performance of older Compute Module-powered designs without needing to replace the carrier board.

Interestingly, Gumstix has also announced a second model which adds a Google Coral Edge TPU coprocessor, putting the Compute Module 4 head-to-head with Google's Coral Dev Board Mini — and still offering the same backwards compatibility with earlier Compute Module carrier boards as its non-AI variant.

CNX Software, which brought our attention to the new range, has also highlighted other Compute Module 4 carrier boards from Gumstix, including an alternative to the official Raspberry Pi IO Board, a small-format breakout designed for robotics application, a smart camera board with Power over Ethernet (PoE) support and an Edge TPU coprocessor, and drone-centric carrier board which includes both an Edge TPU and an STM32H7 microcontroller compatible with the Pixhawk flight management unit standard.

Full details on all the boards, which start at $30 for the basic Uprev adapter, can be found on the Gumstix website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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