M5Stack Unveils the CM4Stack, a Powerful All-in-One Development Kit Based on the Raspberry Pi CM4

With a 4GB/32GB Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 at its heart, this compact touchscreen dev kit packs a punch well above its weight class.

Embedded hardware specialist M5Stack has launched a new entry in its development board family, this time leaning on Raspberry Pi's Compute Module 4 system-on-module (SOM): the M5STack CM4Stack Development Kit.

Designed, the company says, for industrial automation, smart home, and Internet of Things (IoT) projects, as well as educational use, the M5Stack CM4Stack builds atop the CM4104032 variant of Raspberry Pi's Compute Module 4 system-on-module — giving it a quad-core Arm Cortex-A72 processor running at 1.5GHz, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage.

M5Stack's carrier board further breaks out a USB 2.0 Type-C port with USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, and both I2C and UART serial buses, with an HDMI port to the rear providing a video output.

The front of the all-in-one development board is dominated by a two-inch color touchscreen, based on the ST7789V2 controller, which offers a clue as to just how compact the gadget really is. There's a speaker and 2W amplifier included, providing on-board audio even when not connected to an HDMI device, a real-time clock module, the Microchip ATECC408B cryptographic coprocessor, and two Grove connectors for solder-free connectivity to external hardware modules.

As anyone who's worked with a Raspberry Pi 4 or Compute Module 4 will know, the system-on-chip at their heart can get toasty during prolonged operation with compute-intensive workloads. As well as a DC barrel jack connector for a 12V 3A power supply, to ensure the device is never wanting for power, M5Stack has included a CNC-milled heatsink in the design with an integrated fan for active cooling. The chassis, meanwhile, can be screwed onto surfaces, wall-mounted, or attached to a DIN rail — or just used as-is, handheld or on a desk.

The M5Stack CM4Stack Development Kit is listed on the M5Stack website at $199 excluding shipping, though at the time of writing was showing as out of stock. More information is available on the company's documentation site.

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