Oratek Unveils TOFU, a Feature-Rich Carrier Board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Family

Board includes an M.2 slot, ready to accept either an NVMe SSD for high-speed storage or cellular modem for easy connectivity.

Oratek has announced the impending launch of TOFU, a feature-packed carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 family of systems-on-modules (SOMs) — complete with support for M.2 SSDs and 3G/4G cellular modems.

"The TOFU board is a carrier board for use with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4)," Oratek chief executive officer Aurélien Essig explains. "Inspired by the official CM4IO board, it is intended for industrial applications. With user-friendly additions, it may also be used by enthusiasts looking for a compact yet complete solution to interface the many inputs and outputs of the single board computer."

Measuring 9x9cm (around 3.54x3.54in), the TOFU includes a range of features: A Raspberry Pi-standard 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header, an M.2 slot, a gigabit Ethernet port with Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, three USB Type-A ports, a single full-size HDMI port, Camera and Display Serial Interface ports, a micro-SD card slot, a USB Type-C port which acts as a programmer, USB On-The-Go (OTG), and power input for everything bar the M.2 slot, and the option of 2.1mm barrel-jack and 3.5mm terminal-block power inputs to unlock all features.

The M.2 slot offers two primary functions: With mounts for a 2242-size B-keyed M.2 module, the slot offers USB and PCI Express (PCIe) interfaces — meaning it can accept both a Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) solid-state drive (SSD) or a USB cellular modem. The board also includes a range of M3 mounting holes corresponding to those found on a standard Raspberry Pi Model B single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 IO Board, and Oratek's own custom layout.

Oratek aims to get the carrier board, which supports all models of Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 including the storage-free Lite range, shipping by mid-March this year; more information, and a link to pre-order at CHF 99 (around $110), can be found on the company website.

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