Jon Kivinen's Board Template Gets You Started Designing Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Carrier Boards

Provided as a permissively-licensed KiCad project, this template gets you up and running — and comes with a bonus Ethernet design, too.

Engineer Jon Kivinen has launched a project to design open-hardware carrier boards for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and compatible systems-on-modules — starting with a central template and working from there.

Launched last year, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and Compute Module 4 Lite — the latter lacking any on-board eMMC storage — brings the power of the Raspberry Pi 4 to the system-on-module market. Its flexibility comes from being paired with either off-the-shelf or custom-built carrier boards — and for those interested in the latter, Kivinen's project offers an easy starting point.

Brought to our attention by OSH Park, Kivinen's open-hardware carrier boards start with a central template — bringing connectivity to the Compute Module 4 without breaking any particular features out. Using this, Kivinen — and anyone else, given the project's permissive licensing — can then build more complex carrier boards for particular tasks.

Kivinen has already launched one spin-off board: The cm4-carrier-net, a compact breakout which offers USB Type-C connectivity, a microSD slot, and a gigabit Ethernet port. "This board can also be used," Kivinen notes, "to program the eMMC memory for use on other carrier boards."

Both the Ethernet board and the template board are published on Kivinen's GitHub repository as KiCad projects under the permissive BSD two-clause license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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