The n-fuse PoE HAT Provides Power and Range of mPCIe and M.2 Storage Options to the Raspberry Pi 5

New HAT comes in mPCIe and M.2 B-key, M-key, and E-key flavors — but USB connectivity will cost you your warranty.

Gareth Halfacree
15 days agoHW101

Those looking for a way to expand their Raspberry Pi 5's connectivity while also powering it in a less-accessible location have a new option in n-fuse's Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT add-on — which also delivers a choice of mini PCI Express (mPCIe) or M.2 expansion slot types.

"[This is] a PoE HAT for the Raspberry Pi 5 single board computer with mini-PCIe slot and M.2 slot options," n-fuse's Thomas Hoppe explains of the company's board design. "The device can be used to reliably power the Raspberry Pi through PoE while hosting various mini PCIe or M.2 add-in cards. This is ideal for using the RPi as a PoE powered file server with fast NVMe SSD storage, as a high performance Wi-Fi router or for AI [Artificial Intelligence] inference with an accelerator card."

The n-fuse design effectively mirrors that of two official Raspberry Pi Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi 5 — but while adding both an M.2 slot and Power-over-Ethernet requires two official boards, the n-fuse approach, brought to our attention by CNX Software, achieves it in one.

As a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) HAT, the n-fuse board is IEEE 802.3af/at/bt compliant and can deliver up to 25W of power to both the Raspberry Pi and to external devices through a 5V output pin. For expansion, the buyer has a choice to make from the four available variants: one with an mPCIe slot, one with an M.2 M-key slot, one with M.2 E-key, and one with M.2 B-key — the latter of which also includes a nano-SIM slot for use with cellular modems.

Those looking to take advantage of the connectivity options on offer will, however, need to take care: while various slot keyings are available, all variants are limited to PCI Express connectivity — meaning SATA devices aren't compatible. For those looking to add an M.2 card that requires USB connectivity, Hoppe writes of a way to add support — but warns that the modification, which requires soldering wires to two test points on the rear of the Raspberry Pi 5, will result in a voided warranty.

The company is accepting orders for all variants of the new PoE HAT on the n-fuse website, priced at €48 (around $52) excluding taxes and delivery.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles