PiGWay Turns a Raspberry Pi Compute Module Into a Two- or Four-Port IoT Gateway

With up to four Ethernet ports, the PiGWay could be perfect for home-brew routers and gateways — but lacks Compute Module 4 support.

An Australian electronics startup is planning to raise funds for an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway system dubbed the PiGWay, powered by Raspberry Pi Compute Module system-on-modules — but lacking, sadly, direct support for the latest Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 range.

"If you’re looking to create your own router, edge computing device, or IoT gateway," the company explains of the project, "the PiGWay P2 and P4 are a step up from the kind of DIY solution you might otherwise implement using a Raspberry Pi (RPi) or some other single-board computer (SBC)."

"More specifically, they: Are driven by RPi Compute Modules with access to 8, 16, or 32 GB of eMMC flash storage so they do not have to rely on SD Cards; Include a hardware crypto chip to help protect your sensitive key material; Support a wider range of power options by way of expansion boards; Can be expanded with peripherals like LTE modems and cameras by way of a USB 2.0 interface exposed through a four-pin header in the P4 and two four-pin headers in the P2; Host multiple on-board NICs that provide for network isolation (keeping WAN and LAN traffic separate, for example); Can power downstream peripherals like CCTV cameras and thermal imaging sensors via PoE [Power over Ethernet]."

The key differentiation between the two models is in the number of Ethernet ports available: The P2 has, as its name suggests, two Ethernet ports and a more compact form factor; the P4, meanwhile, has a bulkier footprint but boasts four ports. In both cases, though, these ports are limited to 10/100 operation. Both models include a Microchip ATECC608A for cryptographic operations.

There's one key caveat to the PiGWay design, though: It's based on the original Compute Module SODIMM form factor. As a result, while it'll accept the original Compute Module, the Compute Module 3, and Compute Module 3+ range, it won't take the new Compute Module 4 with its more powerful BCM2711 system-on-chip and up to 8GB of RAM. While third-party interposer boards may solve that hiccup, it's not yet clear whether there's enough clearance for them to work.

More information, and a form to fill in order to be notified when the campaign goes live, can be found on the PiGWay Crowd Supply page.

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